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1. Olds, Brett. Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa.

Degree: PhD, 0314, 2013, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

With the advent of sequencing technologies that are both affordable and readily available, biologists are now able to address questions that were previously intractable. New species are having their genomes mapped at an increasing rate, including non-model organisms. Two such organisms are the human body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis and the black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa. While unrelated, these two organisms each represent a study system with questions that challenge our current understanding of each organism. Body and head lice, while closely related, are thought to be separate species with their most important difference being that only body lice vector disease to humans. The first question is: Are body lice (Pediculus humanus coporis) and head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) the same species? A total of 10,771 body louse and 10,770 head louse transcripts were predicted from a combined assembly of Roche 454 and Illumina sequenced cDNAs from whole body tissues collected at all life stages and during pesticide exposure and bacterial infection treatments. Illumina reads mapped to the 10,775 draft body louse gene models from the whole genome assembly predicted nine presence/absence differences, but PCR confirmation resulted in a single gene difference. One novel microRNA was predicted in both lice species and 99% of the 544 transcripts from Candidatus riesia indicate that they share the same endosymbiont. Overall, few differences exist, which supports the hypothesis that these two organisms are ecotypes of the same species. A second question is: Are there gene expression differences between these two organisms that cause the body louse to vector disease to humans while head lice do not? We utilized an RNAseq analysis on 7-day old head and body lice fed blood infected with Bartonella quintana, the bacterium that causes trench fever, and control individuals to elicit gene expression differences. Eight immunoresponse genes came out significant, many associated with the Toll pathway; Fibrinogen-related protein (PHUM500950), Spaetzle (PHUM595260), Defensin 1 (PHUM365700) and 2 (PHUM595870), Serpin (PHUM311330), Cactus (PHUM345810), Scavenger receptor A (ScavA; PHUM066640) and Apolipoprotein D (PHUM427700). Increased expression of Fibrinogen-related protein and Spaetzle, both related to the Toll pathway, in treated body lice supports the hypothesis that body lice are fighting infection from B. quintana. But conflicting results in Defensin 1 and 2 based upon validation method suggest another mechanism in head lice alternative to the Toll pathway might be involved. Additionally, Scavenger receptor A was higher in both control and treated head lice, suggesting higher phagocytotic activity in head lice to curb infection. In 1981, Whitham and Slobodchikoff hypothesized that long-lived plant species, like black cottonwood, that propagate both asexually and sexually, might develop, through accumulation of somatic mutations, as genetic mosaics, providing the potential to respond to or even outrun their insect… Advisors/Committee Members: Paige, Ken N. (advisor), Pittendrigh, Barry R. (advisor), Paige, Ken N. (Committee Chair), Pittendrigh, Barry R. (Committee Chair), Hudson, Matthew E. (committee member), Malhi, Ripan S. (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: body louse; Pediculus humanus; Bartonella quintana; disease vector competency; black cottonwood; Populus trichocarpa; somatic mutation

…for the development of novel tactics to reduce vector competency and disease transmission in… …disease vector competency differences between the two organisms. We utilized an RNAseq analysis… …unique way, body lice can vector disease to humans whereas head lice cannot. While we see head… …between these two organisms that cause the body louse to vector disease to humans while head… …louse is a potent disease vector. In spite of numerous morphological and life history… 

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APA (6th Edition):

Olds, B. (2013). Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44336

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Olds, Brett. “Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa.” 2013. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Accessed April 15, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44336.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Olds, Brett. “Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa.” 2013. Web. 15 Apr 2021.

Vancouver:

Olds B. Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; 2013. [cited 2021 Apr 15]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44336.

Council of Science Editors:

Olds B. Analysis of genetic variation in Pediculus humanus and Populus trichocarpa. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; 2013. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44336

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