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Honors research poster.

Haemaphysalis longicornis is a species of tick native to eastern Asia, including eastern China, Japan, eastern Russia, and Korea. To date, it has invaded and has now established its existence in Australia, New Zealand, and several of the Pacific Islands. This species of tick has recently been introduced to the United States, having a confirmed sighting in November 2017 on a sheep farm in New Jersey and since establishing populations in 18 states along the east coast and Appalachia. Based on the existing locations of H. longicornis in its native regions, as well as in the United States, several models have been produced to help understand its potential geographic range expansion. One model based on current locations of H. longicornis suggests this species will continue to spread especially in areas of warm, humid environments, including southeastern parts of North America, as well as Mexico and Central America. Another model, however, suggests H. longicornis is more likely to spread in the New England area and drift no further south than Tennessee and no further west than Oklahoma. Because of the uncertainty associated with the geographic range expansion of the invasive H. longicornis tick in North America, it is important to understand the role of temperature and how it affects the microbiome, specifically in H. longicornis ticks. Our objective is to gain a baseline understanding of the effect of environmental temperature on microbial population structure and tissue localization of certain bacteria within female H. longicornis ticks.

HYPOTHESIS AND AIMS: My hypothesis was that H. longicornis ticks would have less bacterial diversity of Coxiella spp., Rickettsia spp., and Pseudomonas spp. within their microbiome at 4 degrees C and 20 degrees C. Ticks at 30 degrees C would have higher bacterial diversity.

Aim 1 was to examine the effect of environmental temperature on bacterial diversity and population structure within female H. longicornis ticks.

Aim 2 was to examine and assess the effect of temperature on tissue localization of certain bacteria within H. longicornis ticks.

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Animal Diseases | Animal Sciences | Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Bacteriology | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Diseases | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Entomology | Life Sciences | Medical Microbiology | Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Microbiology | Molecular Biology | Organisms | Other Animal Sciences | Parasitic Diseases | Population Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Effect of Temperature on the Microbiome of a Laboratory Reared Colony of Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks