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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » Cattle Fever Tick Research Unit » Research » Research Project #435195

Research Project: Preventing Bovine Babesiosis by Characterizing Fever Tick Acaricide Resistance and Genetic Variation Within Vaccine Candidate Antigens

Location: Cattle Fever Tick Research Unit

Project Number: 3094-32000-042-023-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Secure the productivity of the cattle industry through a better understanding of management tools used to prevent the establishment and spread of cattle fever ticks and bovine babesiosis in Texas. Because these pathogens require tick vectors, achieving this goal depends, to a large extent, on tick control. Use genetic tools to help guide disease management efforts with two objectives: 1) Characterize new genetic mechanisms of resistance for commonly used acaricide chemicals; and 2) Identify genetic variation in tick antigens that are high priority candidates for future anti-tick vaccine targets.

Approach for Objective #1: ARS investigators will use existing laboratory tick strains maintained at the Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory in Edinburg, TX. The resistant and susceptible tick lineages maintained at this facility will be used to generate total RNA for transcriptomic sequencing to search for differences among these resistant and susceptible populations. We will then use targeted RNA sequencing to quantify relative gene expression at specific genes of interest in resistant versus susceptible ticks. Approach for Objective #2: ARS investigators will isolate DNAs from geographically isolated tick populations in order to investigate sequence variation at both old and new vaccine targets.