Unfed, virgin adult male Dermacentor variabilis 1st and 4th leg transcriptomes; comparative transcriptomics and the tick Haller's organ
Identifiers: SRA: SRP132560
Ticks are major vectors of human and animal diseases and a significant nuisance problem. The American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, which is the focus of this project is the vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the US, and an excellent model, in part due to its large size, ease of rearing and the background research on its development. Critical to disease transmission is host recognition, blood feeding, pheromone detection, mating and reproduction. It has long been recognized that olfaction is a critical aspect of these processes, and extensive studies have been conducted on olfaction including functional transcriptomics in other blood feeding arthropods like mosquitoes. However, essentially nothing is known about olfaction at the molecular level in ticks. The project goals are to develop the first transcriptome to a tick Haller''s organ and to conduct gene expression analysis and RNAi screening to identify targets (odorant binding proteins, receptors, catabolic systems and other proteins) for future mechanistic studies of tick olfaction and the development of next generation control strategies for ticks. We expect the work proposed will greatly increase our knowledge of the molecular biology of tick olfaction which is currently in its infancy and stimulate future work on chemoreception in this important arthropod group. Future research will include gustatory receptors in the tick palps and their function in tick development and repellency.