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Worm. 2012 Jan 1;1(1):61-5. doi: 10.4161/worm.19040.

How worms survive desiccation: Trehalose pro water.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics; Dresden, Germany.


While life requires water, many organisms, known as anhydrobiotes, can survive in the absence of water for extended periods of time. Although discovered 300 years ago, we know very little about the fascinating phenomenon of anhydrobiosis. In this paper, we summarize our previous findings on the desiccation tolerance of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva. A special emphasis is given to the role of trehalose in protecting membranes against desiccation. We also propose a simple mechanism for this process.


Caenorhabditis elegans; anhydrobiosis; dauer; desiccation; membrane packing; membrane phase transition; membrane protection; metabolic depression; trehalose

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