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J Insect Physiol. 2008 Sep;54(9):1356-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2008.07.012. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Cold hardening processes in the Antarctic springtail, Cryptopygus antarcticus: clues from a microarray.

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British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK.


The physiology of the Antarctic microarthropod, Cryptopygus antarcticus, has been well studied, particularly with regard to its ability to withstand low winter temperatures. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still poorly understood. 1180 sequences (Expressed Sequence Tags or ESTs) were generated and analysed, from populations of C. antarcticus. This represents the first publicly available sequence data for this species. A sub-set (672 clones) were used to generate a small microarray to examine the differences in gene expression between summer acclimated cold tolerant and non-cold tolerant springtails. Although 60% of the clones showed no sequence similarity to annotated genes in the datasets, of those where putative function could be inferred via database homology, there was a clear pattern of up-regulation of structural proteins being associated with the cold tolerant group. These structural proteins mainly comprised cuticle proteins and provide support for the recent theory that summer SCP variation within Collembola species could be a consequence of moulting, with moulting population having lowered SCPs.

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