CM – Arctic rotifer lives in a frozen state after 24,000 years


Click here to log in with


Forgot Password?

Learn more

June 7, 2021

from Cell Press

Bdelloid rotifers are multicellular animals that are so small that you need a microscope to see them. Despite their size, they are known to be tough and able to survive drying, freezing, starvation, and lack of oxygen. Now researchers in the journal Current Biology on June 7th found that they can not only withstand freezing, but also survive and survive in Siberian permafrost for at least 24,000 years.

googletag.cmd.push (function () {googletag.display (‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2’);});

« Our report is the hardest evidence yet that multicellular animals could survive tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of an almost completely stopped metabolism, » says Stas Malavin of the Soil Cryology Laboratory at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, Russia.

The Soil Cryology Lab specializes in isolating microscopic organisms from the ancient permafrost in Siberia. To collect samples, they use an oil rig in some of the most remote arctic locations.

They have previously identified many unicellular microbes. There was also a report of a 30,000 year old nematode worm. Mosses and some plants have also regenerated themselves in the ice after many millennia. Now the team is adding rotors to the list of organisms with a remarkable ability to survive seemingly indefinitely in a state of floating animation beneath the frozen landscape.

Rotors have been reported to survive for up to 10 years when frozen, based on previous evidence. In the new study, the researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine that the rotifers they had recovered from the permafrost were around 24,000 years old.

After thawing, the rotifers, which belong to the genus Adineta, cloned themselves called parthenogenesis. To follow the process of freezing and recovering the old rotifer, the researchers frozen dozens of rotifers in the laboratory and then thawed them.

The studies showed that the rotifers can withstand the formation of ice crystals during slow freezing. It suggests that they have a mechanism in place to protect their cells and organs from damage at extremely low temperatures.

“The insight is that a multicellular organism as such can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then brought back to life – a dream for many novelists, ”says Malavin. “Of course, the more complex the organism, the more difficult it is to keep it frozen alive, and this is currently not possible for mammals. But the transition from a unicellular organism to an organism with a gut and a brain, although microscopic, is a big step forward. « 

It is not yet clear what it will take to be on the ice for even a few years survival and whether jumping to the thousands makes a big difference, he says. That’s a question that needs further study. Researchers say they will continue to study arctic samples in search of other organisms that may have such long-term effects. Cryptobiosis.

Ultimately, they want to learn more about the biological mechanisms that enable rotifers to survive. The hope is that the insights of these tiny animals will provide clues as to how cells, tissues and organs of other animals, including the People, can be cryopreserved better.

Use this form if you have identified a typographical error, inaccuracy, or if you would like to submit a change request to the contents of this page.
For general inquiries, please use our contact form.
For general feedback, use the public comments section below (please follow the guidelines).

Your feedback is important to us. Due to the high volume of messages, however, we cannot guarantee individual responses.

Your email address will only be used to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor that of the recipient will be used for any other purpose.
The information you entered will appear in your email message and will not be stored in any form by

Receive weekly and / or daily updates in your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time and we will never pass your data on to third parties.

This website uses cookies to make navigation easier, to analyze your use of our services and to provide third-party content.
By using our website, you confirm that you have read and understood our privacy policy
and terms of use.


Permafrost,Rotifers,Bdelloidea,Siberia,Permafrost, Rotifers, Bdelloidea, Siberia,,,,,,Zoology,Biology,Science,World news,,Rotifers,Arctic,Permafrost,Microbiology,Zoology,Cryptobiosis,,,Microbiology,Animals,Temperature,Siberia,Research,Current Biology (Journal),your-feed-science,your-feed-animals,,,

Donnez votre avis et abonnez-vous pour plus d’infos

Vidéo du jour: