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Insect cold tolerance

Insects are small ectotherms with little ability to generate and maintain body heat. Despite this obvious limitation, insects colonized almost all terrestrial and freshwater habitats on the Earth, including frosty ends of Arctics and Antarctics. The evolutionary success of insects was based on their ability to evolve complex and efficient strategies for survival at low body temperatures. In our laboratory, we conduct experiments on whole array of biochemical, physiological and molecular adjustments that counteract damaging effects of subzero temperatures. In terms of cold tolerance, some insects are unique among all animals. For instance, larvae of the malt fly, Chymomyza costata survive submersion in liquid nitrogen (-196°C). Knowledge on mechanisms that underlie such fantastic cold-tolerance can help in development of new techniques for cryogenic storage of biological material.

Head:  prof. Ing. Vladimír Košťál, CSc.
e-mail:  kostal@entu.cas.cz
tel.: +420 387 775 324

Researchers:
doc. RNDr. Magdalena Hodková, CSc.
RNDr. Jan Rozsypal, PhD.
RNDr. Jaroslava Korbelová
MSc. Tomáš Štětina
MSc. Petr Hůla

Collaborating institutions:
University of Western Ontario, Sinclair lab.; Aarhus University, Overgaard lab., Holmstrup lab.; Osaka City University, Goto lab.

Selected posters:
Crickets on ice: dissecting the mechanisms underlying insect freeze tolerance (Toxopeus et al. 2016)
Targeted transcriptomic analysis of diapause development in larvae of the drosophilid fly, Chymomyza costata (Štětina et al., 2015)
Heat shock protein expression after cold exposure in the larvae of Drosophila melanogaster (Štětina et al., 2014)
Global transcriptomic analysis reveals candidate genes for diapause induction in the malt fly Chymomyza costata (Poupardin et al., 2015)

References:
Kryobióza: skrytý život (ČT2)
Proč se hmyz hodí pro výzkum chladové odolnosti živočichů? (Živa)
Kryptobiotické stavy aneb vratná zastavení životních dějů (Vesmír)