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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MINING THE GENOME OF RHIPICEPHALUS MICROPLUS TO DEVELOP NOVEL CONTROL TECHNOLOGY AND VACCINES

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: Gut transcriptome of replete adult female cattle ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, feeding upon a Babesia bovis-infected bovine host

Authors
item Heekin, Andrew
item Guerrero, Felix
item Bendele, Kylie
item Saldivar, Leo -
item Scoles, Glen
item Dowd, Scot -
item Gondro, Cedric -
item Nene, Vishvanath -
item Djikeng, Appolinaire -
item Brayton, Kelly -

Submitted to: International Journal for Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2013
Publication Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: Heekin, A.M., Guerrero, F., Bendele, K.G., Saldivar, L., Scoles, G.A., Dowd, S.E., Gondro, C., Nene, V., Djikeng, A., Brayton, K.A. 2013. Gut transcriptome of replete adult female cattle ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, feeding upon a Babesia bovis-infected bovine host. International Journal for Parasitology. 112:3075–3090.

Interpretive Summary: Cattle babesiosis is a tick-borne disease of cattle that has severe economic impact on cattle producers throughout the world's tropical and subtropical countries. The most severe form of the disease is caused by a pathogenic microbe, Babesia bovis, and transmitted to cattle through the bite of infected cattle ticks, the most prevalent species being Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. We studied how R. microplus female gut organs react at the gene level to infection by B. bovis. The R. microplus midgut complement of expressed genes was studied for two cohorts: adult female cattle ticks feeding on cattle infected with B. bovis and adult female cattle ticks feeding on uninfected cattle. The adult female gut was dissected and RNA was obtained from both the infected and uninfected samples. Specific differential gene expression associated with the infection of R. microplus by B. bovis was characterized by specialized computational approaches to achieve high quality identification of specific up- or down-regulated genes.

Technical Abstract: Babesiosis develops in susceptible cattle when infected by the apicomplexan Babesia bovis, which is transmitted to cattle through the bite of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. The R. microplus midgut transcriptome was studied for two cohorts: adult females feeding on cattle infected with B. bovis and adult females feeding on uninfected cattle. The adult female gut was dissected and RNA was obtained from both the infected and uninfected samples. From the RNA, a subtracted cDNA library was synthesized from Babesia-infected gut, subtracting with the corresponding uninfected tissues and 4,077 ESTs sequenced. The resulting EST subtracted library thus represents differentially expressed transcripts that were associated with R. microplus infected samples. Differential gene expression was also measured by a microarray designed from an R. microplus gene index: BmiGI Version 2. Thirty-three ESTs represented in the microarray were expressed at a statistically significant higher level in gut dissected from female ticks feeding upon a B. bovis-infected calf, compared with gut from ticks feeding on an uninfected calf. Forty-three transcripts were expressed at a statistically significant lower level in gut from female ticks feeding upon a B. bovis-infected calf, compared with ticks feeding on an uninfected calf. Specific differential gene expression associated with the infection of R. microplus by B. bovis was characterized by specialized bioinformatic approaches to achieve high quality annotations. After the ticks acquired B. bovis infection, the number of differentially expressed genes, overall, was unexpectedly low post-infection.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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