Quantum-like decreased embryogenesis time with increased cold exposure time Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Three theoretical models have been proposed to explain lifespan extension resulting from exposure to extreme conditions in microscopic animals: individuals become completely dormant and stop aging, continue to age or age but at a diminished rate. Here we show that the earliest life history stages, embryonic cell divisions, in the tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini are retarded when eggs are reared at 0 °C. Compared to control specimens reared at 22 °C, juveniles that hatched from eggs exposed to 0 °C for 4 days and returned to 22 °C experienced a three-day lag, indicating that their biological age was less than their chronological age. As cold exposure duration increased (days = 10, 20, 40), incubation period at 22 °C decreased incrementally (days = 3, 2, 1), suggesting that tardigrades involve a threshold-determined, quantum-like, energetic-based system for controlling embryogenesis.

publication date

  • December 2019