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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.
tel.: +420 387 775 324

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

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

Selected posters:
Disruptions of mitochondrial integrity and function in response to cold in the larvae of Chymomyza costata (Štětina et al., 2019)
Potential role for histone H3K4 methylation in diapause induction in the larva of Chymomyza costata (Hůla & Košťál, 2017)

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

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