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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 17;5:9204. doi: 10.1038/srep09204.

Pushing the limit: examining factors that affect anoxia tolerance in a single genotype of adult D. melanogaster.

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Florida Atlantic University, Department of Biological Sciences, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL. 33458, USA.


Drosophila melanogaster is a promiscuous species that inhabits a large range of harsh environments including flooded habitats and varying temperature changes. To survive these environments, fruit flies have adapted mechanisms of tolerance that allow them to thrive. During exposure to anoxic stress, fruit flies and other poikilotherms enter into a reversible, protective coma. This coma can be manipulated based on controlled environmental conditions inside the laboratory. Here we utilize a common laboratory raised strain of D. melanogaster to characterize adaptation abilities to better understand coma recovery and survival limitations. Our goal is to mimic the fly's natural environments (wet anoxia) and relate findings to a typical gas induced environment (dry anoxia) that is commonly used in a laboratory. Despite the abundance of research regarding acute and chronic anoxic exposure and cold stress, the literature is lacking evidence linking anoxic stress with variable environmental conditions such as animal age and stress duration. We present novel ways to assess coma recovery and survival using readily available laboratory tools. Our findings suggest that younger age, exposure to colder temperatures and wet environments increase resistance to anoxic stress.

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