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Anhydrobiosis in Tardigrades and Nematodes

John H. Crowe and K. A. Madin
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 93, No. 4, Symposium: Perspectives on the Biology of Dormancy (Oct., 1974), pp. 513-524
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3225155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3225155
Page Count: 12
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Anhydrobiosis in Tardigrades and Nematodes
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Abstract

Tardigrades and nematodes which exhibit the phenomenon of anhydrobiosis must be dried slowly, at high relative humidities, if they are to survive. The animals undergo important morphological and metabolic changes during the extended dehydration: tardigrates contract into tuns and nematodes coil; the nematode Aphelenchus avenae synthesizes free glycerol and trehalose at the expense of lipid, glycogen, and free glucose. Hypotheses for the adaptive significance of these compounds are presented, with evidence for each hypothesis. It is suggested that anhydrobiosis, while regarded as a form of quiescence, is more complex than formerly thought, involving endogenous controls.

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