Genetic diversity and host specificity in the winter tick - Dermacentor albipictus (Acari: Ixodidae)

  • Author / Creator
    Leo, Sarah S. T.
  • Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) is an obligate, hematophagous ectoparasite commonly found on large ungulates in North America. At high infestation levels, the winter tick is known to cause severe pathology and may transmit diseases to its hosts. Knowledge of the genetic diversity in this parasite will allow us to accurately identify the tick to species and better understand how it interacts with its hosts and surroundings. In this thesis, I developed and used 14 microsatellite loci to re-examine the species boundaries and to investigate host specificity in this tick. I confirmed that D. albipictus consists of a single species but exhibits extensive genetic variation that is more associated with geography than host species. Information on species boundaries, geographically-associated genetic variation and extent of host specificity in winter ticks can have important implications in pest control and further research is desirable.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Systematics and Evolution
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Sperling, Felix (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Pybus, Margo (Alberta Sustainable Resources Fish and Wildlife Division)
    • Kowalewska-Grochowska, Kinga (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
    • Keddie, Andrew (Biological Sciences)