Abstract

Ticks are terrestrial invertebrate parasites that attach to their hosts to feed on their blood. Ticks are composed of three families: Ixodidae, Argasidae, and Nuttalliellidae. Ixodid ticks include members of the genera Amblyomma, Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, Dermacentor, and Rhipicephalus. Ticks can transmit diseases to animals and humans, making them an important organism to study. Current tick-bite mitigation strategies include acaricides (harmful if misused), and CO2 traps (effective in decreasing tick abundance, but costly to use). Since the visual system of ticks has not been studied extensively, I expect that by studying their visual system, alternative tick-bite mitigation strategies could be developed. In this study, I used the Phylogenetically Informed Annotation (PIA) workflow to analyze the genes present in the phototransduction pathway of hard-bodied ticks from the transcriptome sequences and the whole-genome sequences (WGS). All six of the genera listed above are included. My analyses document the occurrence of opsin proteins, r_opsin, c_opsin, Gq subunits, lark, and ovo genes. These results imply that ticks possess the proteins necessary to sense light, since many of these components enable light-detection in the retinas of animals.

Thesis Completion

2021

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Fitak, Robert

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Biology

Degree Program

Biology

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

5-1-2021

Included in

Biology Commons

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