The role of ice nucleators in the frost tolerance of overwintering queens of the bald faced hornet

John G. Duman, Jean L. Patterson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    48 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    1. 1. Overwintering queens of the bald faced hornet, Vespula maculata, are tolerant of ice formation in their body fluids down to temperatures of approximately - 14°C. 2. 2. Contributing to this frost tolerance is a high concentration of the cryoprotectant glycerol in the overwintering queens. An additional factor is the presence in the hemolymph of macromolecular ice nucleating agents which function to induce harmless extracellular ice formation at comparatively high temperatures (-4.6°C), and thereby prevent lethal intracellular ice formation. 3. 3. These ice nucleating agents have molecular weights greater than 3500 and are probably proteinaceous.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)69-72
    Number of pages4
    JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
    Volume59
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1978

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology

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