Mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences and phylogenetic relationships of species of Rhipicephalus and other tick genera among Metastriata (Acari: Ixodidae)

Parasitol Res. 1998 Jun;84(6):478-84. doi: 10.1007/s004360050433.


The mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene sequences of the following eight European Metastriata tick species were obtained by direct polymerase-chain-reaction cycle sequencing and silver-staining methods: Rhipicephalus bursa, R. pusillus, R. sanguineus, R. turanicus, Boophilus annulatus, Dermacentor marginatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, and Hyalomma lusitanicum. This mitochondrial gene seems to be a good marker for the establishment of genetic relationships among closely related tick species, but it does not seem to be useful for comparisons of distantly related taxa. The molecular data provide very strong support for the monophyly of the Rhipicephalinae, including Hyalomma spp. However, the genus Rhipicephalus may not be considered a monophyletic group; in all analyses carried out in this study, R. bursa clustered with Boophilus spp. The high percentage of similarity (98.7%) observed between R. sanguineus and R. turanicus sequences would suggest that these species recently diverged within the Rhipicephalus genus. Phylogenetic analyses showed a monophyletic relationship among Amblyomminae taxa. The relationships between Haemaphysalis species and the true placement of this genus within Metastriata could not be resolved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Ticks / classification
  • Ticks / genetics*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S