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Trends Microbiol. 2001 Nov;9(11):553-9.

Desiccation tolerance: a simple process?

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Virginia Tech Center for Genomics, W. Campus Drive, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


Water is essential for life, and thus the removal of water from a cell is a severe, often lethal stress. This is not a remarkable observation but it is one that is often taken for granted. Desiccation-tolerant cells implement structural, physiological and molecular mechanisms to survive severe water deficit. These mechanisms, and the components and pathways which facilitate them, are poorly understood. Here, recent developments are considered to illustrate the importance of desiccation, longevity and cell stasis in basic microbiology, and the relevance of the topic to the metabolic engineering of sensitive cells, including those of humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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