Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extreme Survival: Genes Let Creepy-crawly Creatures Survive Deep Freeze

Date:
July 21, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Arctic springtails (Megaphorura arctica) survive freezing temperatures by dehydrating themselves before the coldest weather sets in. Researchers have identified a suite of genes involved in controlling this extreme survival mechanism.

Megaphorura arctica.
Credit: Image courtesy of BioMed Central

Arctic springtails (Megaphorura arctica) survive freezing temperatures by dehydrating themselves before the coldest weather sets in. Researchers have now identified a suite of genes involved in controlling this extreme survival mechanism.

Melody Clark led a team of researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Novi-Sad, Serbia, who studied the arthropods. She said, "This is the first in-depth molecular study on the underlying cold survival mechanisms in this species. Such information is not only of interest to ecologists, but also to the medical field of cryobiology."

Arctic springtails desiccate themselves in order to survive the worst of polar ice, snow and low temperatures, which can easily reach -14C. They shrivel up into small husks until, when conditions become more favorable, they rehydrate themselves and re-emerge. This is the first study to identify the genetic basis for this physiological process. To generate the cold-induced gene expression profile of springtails, Clark and her colleagues compared gene expression in groups of the animals exposed to different environmental conditions.

They showed that genes involved in a number of significant cellular processes, namely the production and mobilisation of a natural anti-freeze called trehalose, protection of cellular systems via small heat shock proteins and tissue/cellular remodeling, were activated during the cold-induced dehydration process. Genes that dominated when the animals were allowed to recover at a higher temperature, were those involved in energy production, leading to protein production and cell division.

Speaking about possible implications of this research, Clark said, "This is part of a larger European project called Sleeping Beauty, which is looking at how different animals survive desiccation. Understanding how animals survive harsh cold environments will hopefully provide novel solutions for medical research and preserving tissues for transplant operations".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Melody S Clark, Michael A.S Thorne, Jelena Purac, Gavin Burns, Guy Hillyard, Zeljko D Popovic, Gordana Grubor-Lajsic and M Roger Worland. Surviving the cold: molecular analyses of insect cryoprotective dehydration in the Arctic springtail Megaphorura arctica (Tullberg). BMC Genomics, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Extreme Survival: Genes Let Creepy-crawly Creatures Survive Deep Freeze." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720191143.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, July 21). Extreme Survival: Genes Let Creepy-crawly Creatures Survive Deep Freeze. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720191143.htm
BioMed Central. "Extreme Survival: Genes Let Creepy-crawly Creatures Survive Deep Freeze." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720191143.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins