Phylogeny and host specificity of psoroptic mange mites (Acarina: Psoroptidae) as indicated by ITS sequence data

Rob Roy Ramey, Scott Theodore Kelley, Walter M Boyce, Brian Dorsey Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


We used molecular phylogenetic techniques to study the systematic relationships and host specificity of Psoroptes mange mites, which are pests of numerous domestic and wild ungulates. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1) of nuclear ribosomal DNA indicated that populations of Psoroptes are not host specific. Furthermore, the currently used taxonomy of Psoroptes is not concordant with the phytogeny derived from ITS1. During the course of the study, we discovered apparent paralogous ITS sequences within individual mites as a result of varying polymerase chain reaction reaction conditions. This finding concords with other studies of ITS and suggests a cautious approach when interpreting data from ITS sequences. Host DNA contamination was also found to be a significant problem in data collection, and we report on the development of methods to overcome the problems of contamination in parasitic mites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-796
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000



  • Bighorn sheep
  • Internal transcriber spacer region
  • Parasitism
  • Phylogeny
  • Psoroptes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)

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