Water and Life pp 161-169 | Cite as

Water in Dry Organisms

  • A. C. Leopold
  • F. Bruni
  • R. J. Williams


In the evolution of life systems, water has been a component of transcendent importance. In addition to its involvement in syntheses and metabolism, it has provided the cradle supporting the structures of macromolecules, and it has been the main source of the forces which generate and maintain membrane structures. The ability to survive the removal of water in anhydrous systems is especially remarkable as a departure from these structural dependencies. Because desiccation tolerance is widespread through the plant and animal kingdoms, we may hope that it might involve relatively simple biochemical modifications (Green and Angell 1989). In this chapter we will suggest that the basis for the survival of desiccation involves the accumulation of solutes which can lead to a vitrification of the cytoplasm as desiccation proceeds.


Electron Spin Resonance Glassy State Desiccation Tolerance Thermally Stimulate Depolarization Current Cytoplasmic Viscosity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Leopold
    • 1
  • F. Bruni
    • 1
  • R. J. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Boyce Thompson InstituteCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.American Red Cross Biomedical Research and Development LaboratoryRockvilleUSA

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