Sunday, October 08, 2006

 

Nematodes: Worms under stress

Species respond far more dynamically to disturbances in their environment than we think. This is the conclusion of Dutch researcher Olga Alda Alvarez (homepage) following her research into the stress response of nematodes, tiny worms that occur in large numbers in the soil. The outcomes of this study are important for further research into the consequences of climate change and pollution on the stability of the ecosystem.

Alda Alvarez investigated how two species of nematodes responded to pollution of their environment with toxic substances and changes in the ambient temperature.

...The researcher discovered that how nematodes respond to pollution is related to their life cycle.

...Additionally from a genetic viewpoint, nematodes quickly adapt to environmental factors such as the ambient temperature. For example a temperature rise from 16 to 24 degrees Celsius, results in a significant change in the composition of the genome and the interaction between the genes. The gene regulation network is therefore strongly dependent on the ambient temperature. [Evolution, Science, Nematode, Worm, Climate]

Continued at Worms under stress
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Based on "The mechanisms behind stress: from populations to genes in nematodes" (Abstract)

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