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J Insect Physiol. 2001 Sep;47(10):1197-1204.

Drought acclimation confers cold tolerance in the soil collembolan Folsomia candida.

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Department of Zoology, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aarhus, Building 135, Dk-8000, Aarhus, Denmark


It has been noted that both summer drought and sub-zero winter temperatures induce the synthesis of sugars and polyols in invertebrate tissues. This has led several authors to suggest that many of the adaptations, previously viewed as a response to cold, might be part of a more universal desiccation tolerance mechanism. Here we show that acclimation of the soil dwelling collembolan Folsomia candida to a sublethal desiccation stress confers tolerance to cold shock and a significant increase in the molar percent of membrane fatty acids with a mid-chain double bond. These changes in membrane fatty acids are interpreted as conferring a significant reduction in the transition temperature of cell membranes, as would be expected in acclimation to cold, and these changes are therefore interpreted as contributing to the cross-tolerance. Drought acclimation was also shown to trigger the synthesis of the 70kDa family of heat-shock proteins (Hsp70). This group of heat shock proteins is implicated in the reestablishment of the normal three-dimensional structure of partially unfolded proteins and therefore are also likely to contribute to the observed cross-tolerance. This study provides evidence that the stresses exerted by desiccation and cold at the cellular level have sufficient similarities to induce overlapping adaptations.

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