Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Jennifer Glowienka

Second Advisor

Grant Hokit

Third Advisor

Edward Glowienka

Abstract

Demacentor andersoni (Ixodidae) is one of the most important disease vectors in Montana. Ticks transmit more animal disease agents than any other blood-sucking arthropods. Ticks are the second most important vector in public health and the most important in veterinary medicine. Dermacentor andersoni is the vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, bovine anaplasmosis, and Powassan encephalitis. Population genetic studies of disease vectors can allow insight into the vectors contribution to the spread of disease and possible control strategies. This study used inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) to assess genetic variation within and among populations. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and population pairwise fixation index (FST) were used to determine statistical differences in ISSR banding patterns. A regression analysis was performed to determine if there was a significant relationship between Euclidean distance and FST values. Significant variation was found between individuals and populations, though no significant variation was found between groups of populations. While no connection was found between geography and genetic variation, this analysis was limited by small population sizes for some sites. This analysis found that ISSRs could potentially be useful in determining genetic variation in D. andersoni populations.

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