Onset of vitellogenin production and vitellogenesis, and their relationship to changes in the midgut epithelium and oocytes in the tick Dermacentor variabilis


In Dermacentor variabilis (Say), the onset of vitellogenin production and vitellogenesis (up-take of vitellogenin into oocytes) began during the rapid-engorgement feeding period. Mating was required for both vitellogenin production and vitellogenesis to complete the tick's life cycle. Complete immunological identity, as measured by Ouchterlony's double diffusion test, existed between vitellogenin from the fat body, midgut and hemolymph, and vitellin from the ovaries and eggs. Antivitellin antibody did not react with host hemoglobin nor with fat body, midgut, and ovary extracts from feeding females prior to rapid engorgement, feeding unmated females, or unfed or fed males. Some unmated females fed for 13 days and then hand-detached from the host eventually began oviposition after going through a preoviposition period. In these ticks, organ extracts from the midgut, fat body and ovary reacted with antivitellin antibody. The presence or absence of presumed vitellogenic cells in the midgut and yolk bodies in oocytes corresponded with the presence or absence of vitellogenin and vitellogenesis as measured by Ouchterlony's test. Presumed vitellogenic cells increased in size during the preoviposition period. These cells reached their greatest size during the time when the most eggs were being produced, and then declined in size toward the end of oviposition. Vitellogenin was deposited directly into developing yolk bodies in oocytes and was not processed through lysosomes. Feeding was the process that initiated the formation of eggshell cuticle. Detachment from the host was required for the initiation of oviposition. © 1989 Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.

Publication Title

Experimental and Applied Acarology