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Low effective population sizes in Amblyomma variegatum, the tropical bont tick

Huber K., Jacquet S., Rivallan R., Adakal H., Vachiéry N., Risterucci A.M., Chevillon C.. 2019. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 10 : p. 93-99.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.08.019

Effective population sizes have rarely been estimated in ticks despite the importance of this parameter for evaluating the evolutionary and adaptive potential of tick populations. The present study was aimed at evaluating the effective population sizes of Amblyomma variegatum, the tropical bont tick, in three villages in Burkina Faso. For this purpose, microsatellites markers were developed. Eight out of 19 assessed markers provided good amplification results with 4 to 24 alleles recorded per marker on 216 genotyped ticks. The within-samples polymorphism was congruent with Hardy-Weinberg expectations at four markers while sex linkage and/or null alleles were observed at the others. As sampling involved two tick generations, effective population sizes were independently estimated by two methods insensitive to heterozygosity: the first one is based on linkage disequilibrium analysis within a single cohort while the second uses the changes in allele frequencies across generations. Both methods estimated the number of reproducing ticks ranging from two to a few tens reproductive adults per village and cohort. Such small estimates are congruent with the rarity of records of acaricide resistance in A. variegatum.

Mots-clés : population animale; marqueur génétique; amblyomma variegatum; Écologie des populations; burkina faso

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