Surviving the Ice: A critical review of cold tolerance strategies in Antarctic nematodes
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Antarctica presents an extreme environment. Diversity is restricted yet life thrives, particularly nematodes. Nematodes are a dominant soil invertebrate in Antarctic ecosystems and have developed a suite of cold tolerance mechanisms to cope with freezing events and desiccation. Panagrolaimus davidi is one of these nematode species, believed to have exceptional cold tolerance abilities, above and beyond that of its counterparts. Several years of research has produced an impressive literature base on cold tolerance mechanisms. Upon reading this literature it is immediately clear that investigators agree to the classes of cold tolerance mechanisms and the species which employ each strategy. However, there are areas requiring further research; switching between strategies is apparent in some species, which is suggestive of plasticity among mechanisms, yet a solid conclusion has not been reached. In the case of P. davidi there is little information as to how members of Panagrolaimus vary in their cold tolerance mechanisms. It is also obvious that studying cold tolerance abilities can be problematic as nematodes have to be removed from their natural habitat.
- Literature Reviews