Population Genetics of the Tick, Dermacentor andersoni, in Montana, based on the Mitochondrial 16S Gene
The tick Dermacentor andersoni is a vector for Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powassan encephalitis, and bovine anaplasmosis. Under the Infectious Disease Ecology Research Program at Carroll College, the protocols for developing a West Nile Virus, carried primarily by the mosquito vector Culex tarsalis, distribution map are being applied to D. andersoni. A portion of the 16s ribosomal mtDNA was PCR amplified using the D16S5 and 16S+1 primers for 105 D. andersoni spread across five sites in western Montana. There were nine different haplotypes found in this study. This is lower than the 14 reported haplotypes found in a similar study done near Lake Como in Montana. The statistical analysis indicated there was no statistical difference of haplotype distribution among the populations. Also, there were no more than two haplotypes that matched when comparing the current study, a study in Canada, and the two other studies done in Montana. However, the usefulness of the 16s ribosomal mtDNA in differentiating between sister species was demonstrated.