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The development of oocytes in the ovary of a parthenogenetic tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis

Mihara, Ryo, Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika, Abe, Yasuyuki, Matsuo, Tomohide, Horiuchi, Noriyuki, Kawano, Suguru, Fujisaki, Kozo, Suzuki, Hiroshi
Parasitology international 2018 v.67 no.4 pp. 465-471
Haemaphysalis longicornis, copulation, cytoplasm, developmental stages, domestic animals, egg yolk, germinal vesicle, hematophagy, humans, oogenesis, ovarian development, oviposition, parthenogenesis, pathogens, pedicel, races, ticks, transovarial transmission
Haemaphysalis longicornis is an important vector of various pathogens in domestic animals and humans. The tick is a unique species with bisexual and parthenogenetic races. Although mating induces oocyte development, it is possible in the parthenogenetic race to complete oogenesis without copulation. Here we examined the developmental process of oocytes from unfed to the oviposition period in parthenogenetic H. longicornis. We classified the developmental stages of oocytes into five stages: stage I, germinal vesicle occupies more than half of the cytoplasm; stage II, germinal vesicle occupies less than half of the cytoplasm; stage III, germinal vesicle migrates from the center in the oocyte to the vicinity of the pedicel cells; stage IV, the cytoplasm is filled with yolk granules of various sizes; stage V, the cytoplasm is occupied by large yolk granules. Oocytes at the unfed period were undeveloped and classified as stage I. Stage I and II oocytes were observed at the rapid feeding period, indicating that oocyte development began after the initiation of blood feeding. All developmental stages of oocytes were observed at the pre-oviposition period. At 10 days after the beginning of the oviposition period, the ratios of stage I and II oocytes were higher than those of the previous period, suggesting that the ovarian development and activity may be continuing. Based on these findings, we propose classification criteria for the oocyte development in the parthenogenetic H. longicornis. The criteria will be useful for understanding the mechanisms of tick reproduction and transovarial transmission of pathogens.