An annotated catalog of salivary gland transcripts from Ixodes scapularis ticks

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Over 8000 expressed sequence tags from six different salivary gland cDNA libraries from the tick Ixodes scapularis were analyzed. These libraries derive from feeding nymphs infected or not with the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, from unfed adults, and from adults feeding on a rabbit for 6-12 h, 18-24 h, and 3-4 days. Comparisons of the several libraries led to identification of several significantly differentially expressed transcripts. Additionally, over 500 new predicted protein sequences are described, including several novel gene families unique to ticks; no function can be presently ascribed to most of these novel families. Among the housekeeping-associated transcripts, we highlight those enzymes associated with post translation modification of amino acids, particularly those forming sulfotyrosine, hydroxyproline, and carboxyl-glutamic acid. Results support the hypothesis that gene duplication, most possibly including genome duplications, is a major player in tick evolution. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology