Nematode Resurrected from Siberian Permafrost Had Laid Dormant for 46,000 Years; Genome Analysis Shows New Nematode Species Shares Molecular Toolkit for Survival with C. elegans

A soil nematode re-animated from Siberian permafrost had laid dormant for approximately 46,000 years, according to a study published July 27, 2023 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics by Anastasia Shatilovich, PhD, at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science RAS in Russia, Vamshidhar Gade, PhD, at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, and colleagues. Some animals, such as tardigrades, rotifers, and nematodes, can survive harsh conditions by entering a dormant state known as “cryptobiosis.” Previously, nematode individuals were re-animated from samples collected from a fossilized burrow in silt deposits in the northeastern Arctic. In the current study, radiocarbon analysis of plant material from the burrow revealed that these frozen deposits, 40 meters below the surface, had not thawed since the late Pleistocene era, between 45,839 and 47,769 years ago. The open-access article is titled “A Novel Nematode Species from the Siberian Permafrost Shares Adaptive Mechanisms for Cryptobiotic Survival with C. elegans Dauer Larva.”
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