Worms from Kolyma came to life after 30,000 year slumber

Worms from Kolyma came to life after 30,000 year slumber

However, among the survivors was the only female.

Zoologists from Moscow, Pushchino, and Princeton found in the sediments of permafrost in the Kolyma lowland of live round worms — nematodes. Their specific identity is managed with high precision to determine through the analysis of 18S rRNA and partial analysis of the morphology of these invertebrates. A scientific paper published in the journal Doklady Biological Sciences, and its Russian language version in the journal “Doklady of the Russian Academy of Sciences”.

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In 2002, the protected area Duvanny Yar (68°37″N, 159°08″E) in the lower reaches of the Kolyma river scientists have learned from various depths of more than 300 samples of permafrost. Two of them, raised from the former burrows of ground squirrels at 30 meters below the present ground level, was found by soil nematodes. After the “defrosting” they began to show signs of life: moved and ate. Invertebrates from the samples of permafrost produced in 2015 in the vicinity of the Azalea (69°20″N, 154°60″E) with depths of 3.5 meters, is also “alive.” The age of the Kolyma permafrost is estimated at 30-32 thousand years, azarashi — 40-42 thousand years. Both are Dating to the Pleistocene era. The same age and have learned from them nematodes.

To accurately determine the species of worms found in their morphology failed, as discovered only females (a nematode can reproduce by parthenogenesis, without the participation of males).NewsGiant worms”hammer” captured France, say environmentalists

But the appearance of the existing individuals have said that they belong to different families. Analysis of their 18S rRNA (the RNA has a certain length and rate of sedimentation during centrifugation, and it contains the ribosomes) could establish them as belonging to specific genera. Some females related to the genus Panagrolaimus (presumably the species Panagrolaimus detritophagus), others to the genus Plectus (presumably species Plectus parvus).

The discovery of Russian scientists, of course, important for understanding the possibilities of survival of frozen roundworms. While Kolyma and aalaska nematodes — the oldest animals on Earth. However, they relate to very common types, resistant to low temperatures and, therefore, the obtained results are not entirely unexpected. It is also interesting that earlier the seeds of plants of the family Caryophyllaceae, Campion (genus Silene; about the species those seeds debate), found in the same suslichek holes on the Kolyma, sprouted successfully and gave rise to flowering plants.