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Possible Role of Glycerol in the Winter-Hardiness of Insects


DURING investigations into the carbohydrases of insects1 in the winter of 1957–58 it was found that the macerated tissue of the dormant larvae of the wood-boring insect of the species Melandrya striata, found in felled wood of Salix amygdaloides Anderss., contained a considerable proportion of glycerol as revealed by paper chromatography. This preliminary observation indicated that glycerol might be acting as an ‘anti-freeze’,2 a view supported by the observation that the larvae and the adult insects of M. striata did not contain glycerol during summer.

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  1. Dubach, P., Pratt, D., Stewart, C. M., and Smith, F. (unpublished).

  2. Salt, R. W., Can. J. Zool., 37, 59 (1959).

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DUBACH, P., PRATT, D., SMITH, F. et al. Possible Role of Glycerol in the Winter-Hardiness of Insects. Nature 184, 288–289 (1959).

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