Morphological and molecular divergence of Rhipicephalus turanicus tick from Albania and China

Hong Yu Li, Shan Shan Zhao, Sándor Hornok, Róbert Farkas, Li Ping Guo, Chuang Fu Chen, Ren Fu Shao, Ji Zhou Lv, Yuan Zhi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rhipicephalus turanicus is an important tick species potentially carrying tick-borne pathogens. Several tick species have obvious subspecies divergence. However few studies aimed to examine the existence of divergence within R. turanicus. Therefore, a detailed morphological and molecular analysis was conducted for comparing R. turanicus from the Mediterranean Basin (represented by Albania) and Central Asia (Northwestern China). Altogether 315 adult ticks of R. turanicus (103 from Albania and 212 from China) were morphologically and molecularly analysed. DNA samples were used for mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cox1 gene sequences analysis. In addition, as potentially genetic markers, three fragments including partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1, cox1-tRNA-Lys, were designed and then phylogenetically analyzed. Based on detailed morphological observations, only basis capituli length:width ratio (females), the length, the width and the length:width ratio of the scutum (males) had differences between R. turanicus from China and Albania. Gene divergences of 16S rRNA, cox1, partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1 and cox1-tRNA-Lys from China and Albania ticks were 3.53–4.84, 3.57–4.92, 3.57–4.07, 3.57–4.39 and 3.18–4.69%, respectively. The evaluated five genetic markers revealed two phylogenetic branches in R. turanicus. Obvious differences exist within R. turanicus based on morphological and genetic analysis. Three newly designed genetic markers (partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1 and cox1-tRNA-Lys) in this study may be suitable genetic tools for identification and analysis in R. turanicus. Subspecies analysis of R. turanicus from other regions of the world should be initiated in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Rhipicephalus turanicus
  • Subspecies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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