Monday, October 02, 2006

 

Unique Gene Regulation Gives Chilly Bugs Survival Advantage At Bottom Of The World

Ohio State University, Columbus - The larvae of Antarctic midges never stop producing special proteins that minimize environmental stress, allowing them to withstand a range of intense environmental conditions in one of the world's harshest environments.

Scientists found that adult midges (Belgica antarctica) lose their ability to continually express these protective heat-shock proteins. Instead, like most animals, adult midges produce these proteins only when they are stressed. The discovery currently appears in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The proteins help defend the larval midges against environmental stresses including temperature changes as well as changes in water, oxygen and pH levels, said David Denlinger (homepage), the study's lead author and a professor of entomology at Ohio State University (OSU).

Continued at Unique Gene Regulation Gives Chilly Bugs Survival Advantage At Bottom Of The World [Science, Evolution]
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Based on "Continuous up-regulation of heat shock proteins in larvae, but not adults, of a polar insect" (Abstract)

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