Proteomic insights into odorant-binding and other chemsensory-related proteins in ticks
Ticks are blood-feeding external parasites. They commonly live on the blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Amblyomma americanum also known as the lone star tick, has eight legs. The tarsus of the first leg contains a unique sensory organ, the Haller's organ, which can detect odors and chemicals and can sense changes in temperature and air currents. Some sensory structures are thought to be present in the palps as well. The basic purpose of this project is to analyze the proteins from the sensory appendages which will help understand tick chemoreception. This analysis was done using mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics tools. Some interesting proteins, such as a lipocalin, microplusins and odorant binding proteins were detected. These results can help develop control strategies to protect humans and domestic animals from bacterial and viral diseases carried by tick vectors.