Multi-decadal survival of an Antarctic nematode, Plectus murrayi, in a -20C degree stored moss sample
It is not clear for how long Antarctic soil nematodes might tolerate freezing. Samples of the Antarctic moss, Bryum argenteum, were collected on 1 October 1983 at Langhovde, Soya coast, eastern Antarctica and were stored at -20°C. After 25.5 years of storage, living nematodes were recovered from the samples and were identified as Plectus murrayi by morphological examination and nucleotide sequencing of ribosomal RNA loci. The nematodes can grow and reproduce in a water agar plate with bacteria (mainly Pseudomonas sp.) cultured from the moss extract. They showed freezing tolerance at -20°C and -80°C and their survival rate after exposure to -20°C, but not -80°C, was increased if they were initially frozen slowly at a high sub-zero temperature. They also showed some ability to tolerate desiccation stress.
Authors: Kagoshima, H., Kito, K., Aizu, T., Shin-i, T., Kanda, H., Kobayashi, S., Toyoda, A., Fujiyama, A., Kohara, A., Convey, P. ORCID record for P. Convey, Niki, H.