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Trehalose in desiccated rotifers: a comparison between a bdelloid and a monogonont species.

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Department of Biology, UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.


In response to drought bdelloid and monogonont rotifers undergo anhydrobiosis and are assumed to synthesize protective chemicals, which are commonly sugars. In contrast to most anhydrobionts, bdelloids have earlier been shown to lack trehalose as protective chemical, and more importantly to lack trehalose synthase (tps) genes. It remains to be assessed if the absence of trehalose is a characteristic common to the entire taxon Rotifera, or if it is limited to bdelloids, or is peculiar to the two bdelloid species investigated so far. In this study, anhydrobiotic adults of a bdelloid species (Macrotrachela quadricornifera) and resting eggs of a monogonont species (Brachionus plicatilis) were analysed by thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography to detect the presence of trehalose. No trehalose was detected in the bdelloid, while the anhydrobiotic resting egg of the monogonont rotifer contained about 0.35% trehalose of its dry weight. Although very little, the presence of trehalose in B. plicatilis suggests that the trehalose synthase genes, absent in bdelloid rotifers, are present in non-bdelloid rotifers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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