, Volume 347, Issue 1-3, pp 1-13

Desiccation of Panagrolaimus rigidus (Nematoda): survival, reproduction and the influence on the internal clock

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Following the life-table experimental schedule, cohorts of aparthenogenetic strain of the free-living nematode Panagrolaimus rigidus were desiccated for six days at theages of4, 8, 12, and 19 d (age effect) and cohorts aged 8 d weredried for15, 20, 40, and 60 days (time effect) to determine theirability torecover and to reproduce.Nematode age had poor effect on recovery after 6 days ofdesiccation until the mean longevity of the nematode (19 daysinhydrated medium) is approached, while increasing times ofdesiccation (from 6 to 60 d) remarkably decreased capacity forrecovery (from 80 to 8%). Anhydrobiosis experienced atdifferentages or for different durations modified the timing of thenematodelife cycle events, but not the pattern of age-specificfecunditynor survival curves. The age-specific fecundity is largelyretainedfollowing anhydrobiosis, but when matched to that of thenematodeskept hydrated (controls), it declines for increasing durationsofdesiccation. Anhydrobiosis appears to cause a reset of theanimal‘sinternal clock, that is dependent on the duration ofdesiccation.