Preserving tardigrades under pressure

Abstract

When an animal is exposed to high hydrostatic pressure, its cellular membranes1,2, proteins3,4,5 and DNA6 are damaged. At pressures of around 30 megapascals (MPa), proliferation and metabolism in micro-organisms stops; at 300 MPa, most bacteria and multicellular organisms die. But here we show that, in perfluorocarbon at pressures as high as 600 MPa, small terrestrial animals known as tardigrades can survive in a dehydrated state.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Survival rate of Macrobiotus occidentalis after exposure to high hydrostatic pressure.

References

  1. 1

    Macdonald, A.G. in Current Perspectives in High Pressure Biology (eds Jonnasch, H. W., Marquis, R. E. & Zimmerman, A. M.) 207-223 (Academic, London, 1987).

  2. 2

    Ookuma, M. in Pressure Processed Food-Research and Development (ed. Hayashi, R.) 157-164 (San-Ei, Kyoto, 1990).

  3. 3

    Suzuki, K. Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol. 26, 103–124 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Weber, G. & Drickamer, H. G. Q. Rev. Biophys. 16, 89–112 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Heremans, K. in Current Perspectives in High Pressure Biology (eds Jonnasch, W., Marquis, R. E. & Zimmerman, A. M.) 224-244 (Academic, London, 1987).

  6. 6

    Murakami, T. H. & Zimmerman, A. M. Cytobiosis 7, 171–181 (1973).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Rahm, P. G. Ann. Zool. Jpn 16, 345–352 (1937).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Crowe, J. H. & Cooper, A. F. Sci. Am. 225, 30–36 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    May, R., Maria, M. & Gulmard, J. Bull. Biol. Fr. Bel. 48, 349–367 (1964).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Kinchin, I. M. The Biology of Tardigrades (Portland, London, 1994).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Seki, K., Toyoshima, M. Preserving tardigrades under pressure. Nature 395, 853–854 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/27576

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter for a daily update on COVID-19 science.
Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing