Open Access

Panagrolaimus superbus tolerates hypoxia within Gallium metal cage: implications for the understanding of the phenomenon of anhydrobiosis


Panagrolaimus superbus nematodes are able to tolerate desiccation by entering into a peculiar state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis. When desiccated, anhydrobiotic organisms are also able to tolerate other physical stresses, as high and low levels of temperature and pressure. Here, we decided to investigate the tolerance of desiccated P. superbus to an unprecedented double stress – hypoxia within 99.99% Gallium (Ga) metal cage. The authors observed that regardless of the external relative humidity, desiccated P. superbus tolerated 7 d confined within the metal cage, displaying no negative effects on its survival and population growth rates over 40 d. The results evidence that anhydrobiosis also renders nematodes tolerant to otherwise lethal concentrations of Ga, in an oxygen-poor environment; thus, expanding its polyextremotolerance profile.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other