Isolating tick tissues
Here is an simple explanation of how I will characterize the microbiome. Many researchers will grind up the arthropod (insect or tick) and sequence the total DNA; however, for my project I am interested in only the midgut (stomach) and salivary glands. These tissues are the first and last places for pathogens to enter and leave as they feed on a host.
The easiest way to isolate these tissues is to use replete (or fed) ticks. After they have fed, I will using a dissecting microscope to dissect the tick and remove the tissues. If you take a look at the last photo - the black tissue is part of the midgut.