Advertisement

Polar Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 105–112 | Cite as

Ice nucleation studies of two beetles from sub-antarctic South Georgia

  • Roger Worland
  • William Block
  • Peter Rothery
Article

Summary

Supercooling points of adults and larvae of the coleopterans Hydromedion sparsutum and Perimylops antarcticus at South Georgia ranged from -3.0 to -5.4°C with Perimylops freezing at c.1.6°C lower than Hydromedion. Intact excised guts from adults of both species froze c. 1°C lower than the adult insects. Ice nucleating activity of homogenized faeces from larvae and adults of both species and excised guts were compared with three potential food plants using an ice nucleation spectrometer. Mean supercooling points of the insect materials at four concentrations in distilled water (range from 0.01 to 10 g 1−1) were significantly different (P<0.01) within species, and within life stages between species. Differences in the supercooling points of suspensions of Polytrichum alpinum (moss) and Usnea fasciata (lichen) were not significant. In general, differences between supercooling points were greater at the higher concentrations. Histograms of the supercooling points showed unimodal distributions particularly at high concentrations and greater dispersion with increased dilution. Spectra showing the concentration of active ice nucleators over the temperature range 0 to -20°C were developed. These showed that nucleation occurred as high as -2°C in faecal material and all insect samples nucleated above -3°C, whereas the plant materials nucleated between -4 and -5°C. The calculated number of ice nucleators for each material in suspension revealed low values (5.3 to 5.8 × 103) for the plants, but a greater abundance (1.3 × 105 to 1.3 × 106) in the insect samples. It is concluded that c.1000 active nucleators g−1 are required for ice nucleation to occur in these suspensions. Ice nucleator activity of a suspension of Hydromedion faeces was much reduced by heating to 75°C, suggesting a proteinaceous structure. These results are discussed in relation to ice nucleation in other insects, and it is concluded that bacteria may be responsible for the high nucleation temperatures, and hence poor supercooling, in these South Georgia insects. An empirical model is developed for ice nucleation spectra based on these data.

Keywords

Faecal Material Unimodal Distribution Nucleation Temperature Adult Insect Great Dispersion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Block W (1988) South Georgian entomology. Antenna 12:97–102Google Scholar
  2. Block W (1991) To freeze or not to freeze? Invertebrate survival of sub-zero temperatures. Funct Ecol 5:284–290Google Scholar
  3. Block W, Erzinclioglu YZ, Worland MR (1988) Survival of freezing in Calliphora larvae. Cryo-Letters 9:86–93Google Scholar
  4. Block W, Sømme L (1983) Low temperature adaptations in beetles from the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Polar Biol 2:109–114Google Scholar
  5. Block W, Sømme L, Ring RA, Ottesen P, Worland MR (1988) Adaptations of arthropods to the sub-Antarctic environment. Br Antarct Surv Bull 81:65–67Google Scholar
  6. Duman JG, Xu L, Neven LG, Tursman, D, Wu DW (1991) Haemolymph proteins involved in insect subzero-temperature tolerance: ice nucleators and antifreeze proteins. In: Lee RE, Denlinger DL (eds) Insects at low temperature. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 94–127Google Scholar
  7. Gressitt JL (1970) Subantarctic entomology, particularly of South Georgia and Heard Island. Pac Insects Monogr 23:1–374Google Scholar
  8. Haderspeck W, Hoffman KH (1990) Effects of photoperiod and temperature on development and production of Hydromedion sparsutum (Müller) (Coleoptera, Perimylopidae) from South Georgia (Subantarctic). Oecologia 83:99–104Google Scholar
  9. Haderspeck W, Hoffman KH (1991) Thermal properties for digestive enzymes of a sub-antarctic beetle, Hydromedion sparsutum (Coleoptera, Perimylopidae) compared to those in two thermophilic insects. Comp Biochem Physiol 100A:595–598Google Scholar
  10. Johnston SL, Lee RE (1990) Regulation of supercooling and nucleation in a freeze intolerant beetle (Tenebrio molitor). Cryobiology 27:562–568Google Scholar
  11. Kieft TL (1988) Ice nucleation activity in lichens. Appl Env Microbiol 54:1678–1681Google Scholar
  12. Kukal O, Serianni AS, Duman JG (1988) Glycerol metabolism in a freeze-tolerant arctic insect: an in vivo 13C NMR study. J Comp Physiol B 158:175–183Google Scholar
  13. Lee RE (1991) Principles of insect low temperature tolerance. In: Lee RE, Denlinger DL (eds) Insects at low temperature. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 17–46Google Scholar
  14. Lee RE, Strong-Gunderson JM, Lee MR, Grove KS, Riga TJ (1991) Isolation of ice nucleating active bacteria from insects. J Exp Zool 257:124–127Google Scholar
  15. Lindow, SE, Arny DC, Upper CD (1978) Erwinia herbicola: a bacterial ice nucleus active in increasing frost injury to corn. Phytopathology 68:523–527Google Scholar
  16. Lindow SE, Arny DC, Upper CD (1982) Bacterial ice nucleation: a factor in frost injury to plants. Plant Physiol 70:1084–1089Google Scholar
  17. Salt RW (1961) Principles of insect cold-hardiness. Annu Rev Entomol 6:55–74Google Scholar
  18. Schnell RC, Vali G (1972) Atmospheric ice nuclei from decomposing vegetation. Nature, Lond 236:163–165Google Scholar
  19. Shimada K (1989) Ice-nucleating activity in the alimentary canal of the freeze-tolerant prepupae of Trichiocampus populi (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). J Insect Physiol 35:113–120Google Scholar
  20. Sømme L (1978) Nucleating agents in the haemolymph of third instar larvae of Eurosta solidaginis (Fitch) (Dipt., Tephritidae). Norw J Ent 25:187–188Google Scholar
  21. Sømme L (1982) Supercooling and winter survival in terrestrial arthropods. Comp Biochem Physiol 73A:519–543Google Scholar
  22. Sømme L, Block W (1982) Cold hardiness of Collembola at Signy Island, maritime Antarctic. Oikos 38:168–176Google Scholar
  23. Sømme L, Ring RA, Block W, Worland MR (1989a) Respiratory metabolism of Hydromedion sparsutum and Perimylops antarcticus (Col., Perimylopidae) from South Georgia. Polar Biol 10:135–139Google Scholar
  24. Sømme L, Ring RA, Block W, Worland MR (1989b) Feeding in the two phytophagous beetles Hydromedion sparsutum and Perimylops antarcticus from South Georgia, Polar Biol 10:141–143Google Scholar
  25. Smith RI Lewis, Walton DWH (1975) South Georgia, Subantarctic. Ecol Bull 20:399–423Google Scholar
  26. Strong-Gunderson JM, Lee RE, Lee MR, Riga TJ (1990) Ingestion of ice-nucleating active bacteria increases the supercooling point of the lady beetle Hippodamia convergens. J Insect Physiol 36:153–157Google Scholar
  27. Swift MJ, Boddy L 1984 Animal-microbial interactions in wood decomposition. In: Anderson JM, Rayner ADM, Walton DWH (eds) Invertebrate-microbial interactions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 89–131Google Scholar
  28. Vali G (1971) Quantitative evaluation of experimental results on the heterogeneous freezing nucleation of supercooled liquids. J Almos Sci 28:402–409Google Scholar
  29. Worland MR, Block W, Rothery P (1992) Survival of sub-zero temperatures by two South Georgian beetles (Coleoptera, Perimylopidae). Polar Biol 11:607–613Google Scholar
  30. Yankofsky SA, Levin Z, Bertold T, Sandlerman N (1981) Some basic characteristics of baclerial freezing nuclei. J Meteorol 20:1013–1019Google Scholar
  31. Zachariassen KE, Baust JG, Lee RE (1982) A method for quantitative determination of ice nucleating agents in insect haemolymph. Cryobiology 19:180–184Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Worland
    • 1
  • William Block
    • 1
  • Peter Rothery
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations