Anhydrobiosis is a highly stable state of suspended animation in an organism due to its desiccation, which is followed by recovery after rehydration. Changes occurring during drying could damage molecules, including DNA. Using as a model organism the anhydrobiotic tardigrade Paramacrobiotus richtersi, we have evaluated the effects of environmental factors, such as temperature and air humidity level (RH), on the survival of desiccated animals and on the degradation of their DNA. Tardigrades naturally desiccated in leaf litter and tardigrades experimentally desiccated on blot paper were considered. Replicates were kept at 37°C and at different levels of RH for 21 days. RH values and temperature, as well as time of exposure to these environmental factors, have a negative effect on tardigrade survival and on the time required by animals to recover active life after desiccation. DNA damages (revealed as single strand breaks) occurred only in desiccated tardigrades kept for a long time at high RH values. These results indicate that during the anhydrobiotic state, damages take place and accumulate with time. Two hypotheses can be formulated to explain the results: i. oxidative damages occur in desiccated specimens of P. richtersi, ii. high temperature and high RH values change the state of the disaccharide trehalose, reducing its protective role.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Titolo:||Survival and DNA degradation in anhydrobiotic tardigrades|
|Autori:||Rebecchi, Lorena; Cesari, Michele; Altiero, Tiziana; Frigieri, A.; Guidetti, Roberto|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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