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Mechanism behind Cyanobacterial Cryptobiosis?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Mechanism behind Cyanobacterial Cryptobiosis?

Postby NMLevesque » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:54 pm

Cyanobacteria seem able to, as a colony at least, undergo some form of cryptobiosis (well enough to survive 553 days in the vacuum of space). The only information I can find on the mechanism(s) behind this feet are that they form something called microbial mats which include coatings that protect against UV, some form of organic 'anti-freeze', and that they begin recycling nutrients while lowering their metabolic rate. Which is all well and good, but it's not very specific. By comparison E.Coli use a protein called Dps (http://jb.asm.org/content/186/13/4192.long) that crystallizes their DNA; and Tardigrades, while also slowing their metabolism, have Trehalose (a kind of sugar) which allows them to undergo extreme dessication in addition to crystallizing their DNA, and to subsequently rehydrate at a later time (as long as 10 years). What precisely is their secret, do they also undergo biocrystalization, or is it something else?
NMLevesque
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