Water and Life pp 301-315 | Cite as

The Role of Antifreeze Glycopeptides and Peptides in the Survival of Cold-water Fishes

  • A. L. DeVries
  • C.-H. C. Cheng

Abstract

The necessity of maintaining a liquid state at the cellular level for life is obvious. For poikilotherms„ the limits of cellular function and hence life are set by the temperatures at which phase changes of water occur. At the lower end it is 0 °C, the freezing point of water, or the freezing point of the body fluids of the organism, which is slightly lower than 0 °C, as determined by the salt content. Some organisms have evolved mechanisms which allow them to exist in a dormant state, or in an active state at temperatures well below their freezing points. This chapter is a brief account of how certain marine fishes maintain their hypo-osmotic body fluids in a liquid state while living actively in hyper-osmotic, freezing seawater laden with ice crystals, and avoid death from freezing.

Keywords

Crystallization Filtration Depression Hexagonal Proline 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. DeVries
    • 1
  • C.-H. C. Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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