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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Our project objective is to study the tick vector-pathogen interface using the experimental system of Boophilus microplus, the southern cattle tick, and Anaplasma marginale, a rickettsial pathogen of cattle which is transmitted by B. microplus. Development of pathogen infectivity in the tick vector is coordinated with tick feeding, thus ensuring an efficient transmission of the pathogen to susceptible livestock. The long term objective is an enhanced understanding of pathogensis in this system leading to development of technologies to block disease transmission. We expect to have identified specific pathways that are regulated at the time when pathogen infectivity develops and transmission occurs.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Integrated A. marginale-B. microplus microarrays will be developed using the completed A. marginale genome sequence and the existing B. microplus gene index database of expressed sequence tags. The microarrays will be used to identify networks of pathogen and tick vector gene expression profiles during the development of A. marginale infectivity within B. microplus. Differential gene transcription in the tick will be assayed using midguts and salivary glands of B. microplus, comparing RNA isolated from tissues of ticks reared in conditions under which infectivity develops or fails to develop. Lastly, we will veify the integrated pathogen and tick vector gene expression patterns by proteomic and quantitative PCR analysis.

3. Progress Report:
This project had little activity this fiscal year due to departmental reorganization at collaborator's university. This is an official Hispanic-serving Institution and it is expected that a grant application to USDA/NIFA Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grants Program will be prepared and submitted for the coming year to advance this collaboration.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
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