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Osmoregulatory capacity at low temperature is critical for insect cold tolerance

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  • Johannes Overgaard
  • Lucie Gerber, University of Oslo
  • ,
  • Mads Kuhlmann Andersen, Carleton University

At low temperature many insects lose extracellular ion homeostasis and the capacity to mitigate homeostatic imbalance determines their cold tolerance. Extracellular homeostasis is ensured by the osmoregulatory organs and recent research has emphasized key roles for the Malpighian tubules and hindgut in modulating insect cold tolerance. Here, we review the effects of low temperature on transport capacity of osmoregulatory organs and outline physiological processes leading from cold exposure to disruption of ion homeostasis and cold-injury in insects. We show how cold adaptation and cold acclimation are associated with physiological modifications to transport capacity in Malpighian tubules and hindgut. These responses mitigate loss of homeostasis and we highlight how further study of molecular and cellular mechanisms are critical to fully appreciate the adaptations that facilitate insect cold tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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© 2021 Elsevier Inc.

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