Microarray analysis of gene expression changes in feeding female and male lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L)

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2009 Aug;71(4):236-53. doi: 10.1002/arch.20318.


A collection of EST clones from female tick Amblyomma americanum salivary glands was hybridized to RNA from different feeding stages of female tick salivary glands and from unfed or feeding adult male ticks. In the female ticks, the expression patterns changed dramatically upon starting feeding, then changed again towards the end of feeding. On beginning feeding, genes possibly involved in survival on the host increased in expression as did many housekeeping genes. As feeding progressed, some of the survival genes were downregulated, while others were upregulated. When the tick went into the rapid feeding phase, many of the survival genes were downregulated, while a number of transport-associated genes and genes possibly involved in organ degeneration increased. In the males, the presence of females during feeding made a small difference, but feeding made a larger difference. Males showed clear differences from females in expression, as well. Protein synthesis genes were expressed more in all male groups than in the partially fed females, while the putative secreted genes involved in avoiding host defenses were expressed less.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression*
  • Ixodidae / genetics*
  • Ixodidae / metabolism
  • Ixodidae / physiology
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Sex Factors