Chapter

Dormancy and Resistance in Harsh Environments

Volume 21 of the series Topics in Current Genetics pp 147-163

Date:

Cryoprotective Dehydration: Clues from an Insect

  • M. Roger WorlandAffiliated withBiological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council
  • , Gordana Grubor-LajšićAffiliated withFaculty of Sciences, University of Novi-Sad
  • , Jelena PuraćAffiliated withBiological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research CouncilFaculty of Sciences, University of Novi-Sad
  • , Michael A. S. ThorneAffiliated withBiological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council
  • , Melody S. ClarkAffiliated withBiological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council Email author 

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Abstract

Arthropods have evolved a number of different adaptations to survive extreme environmental temperatures including, in some regions, over-wintering temperatures well below 0°C. One of the less common adaptations to surviving cold is that of cryoprotective dehydration, where the animal becomes almost anhydrobiotic with the loss of virtually all osmotically active water. In this chapter, we describe integrated studies utilising physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand this phenomenon in the Arctic springtail (Megaphorura arctica) (formerly Onychiurus arcticus). These studies concentrate on the action of trehalose as a cryoprotectant, the production of antioxidants to reduce cell damage and changes in membrane composition.