2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Physiological Age Determination of Lone Star Tick Nymphs in Missouri


Jared T. Kolok
Dr. Stephanie A. Fore and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

The lone star tick is a growing health risk across the country. This fact has led to large bodies of work aimed at understanding their lifecycle. The literature and others in the lab have shown that hemoglobin concentrations serve as a good determinant of physiological age. Ticks were collected from field sites during summer 2018. Lone star nymphs were massed and homogenized in Drabkin’s reagent and spectrophotometrically measured for hemoglobin content. There was a general downward trend in hemoglobin concentrations over time. Hemoglobin concentrations increased again in early July and remained fairly constant until the end of the sampling season in September. Two hypotheses were postulated which suggest ticks engage in different behaviors during winter and summer that would either use or conserve hemoglobin at different rates. It was further postulated that high temperatures and dry conditions during the summer and cold conditions during the winter would stress individual nymphs.

Keywords: Eastern Missouri, Physiological Age, Lone Star Tick Nymphs, Amblyomma americanum

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-6
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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