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J Comp Physiol B. 2011 Apr;181(3):335-42. doi: 10.1007/s00360-010-0541-3. Epub 2010 Dec 12.

The oatmeal nematode Panagrellus redivivus survives moderately low temperatures by freezing tolerance and cryoprotective dehydration.

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Department of Zoology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The cold tolerance abilities of only a few nematode species have been determined. This study shows that the oatmeal nematode, Panagrellus redivivus, has modest cold tolerance with a 50% survival temperature (S (50)) of -2.5°C after cooling at 0.5°C min(-1) and freezing for 1 h. It can survive low temperatures by freezing tolerance and cryoprotective dehydration; although freezing tolerance appears to be the dominant strategy. Freezing survival is enhanced by low temperature acclimation (7 days at 5°C), with the S (50) being lowered by a small but significant amount (0.42°C). There is no cold shock or rapid cold hardening response under the conditions tested. Cryoprotective dehydration enhances the ability to survive freezing (the S (50) is lowered by 0.55°C, compared to the control, after 4 h freezing at -1°C) and this effect is in addition to that produced by acclimation. Breeding from survivors of a freezing stress did not enhance the ability to survive freezing. The cold tolerance abilities of this nematode are modest, but sufficient to enable it to survive in the cold temperate environments it inhabits.

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