Cold Adaptation Responses in Insects and Other Arthropods: An “Omics” Approach

  • Jelena Purać
  • Danijela Kojić
  • Edward Petri
  • Željko D. Popović
  • Gordana Grubor-Lajšić
  • Duško P. BlagojevićEmail author
Part of the Entomology in Focus book series (ENFO, volume 4)


In this chapter, we review recent genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic studies that link several gene and protein products involved in cold adaptation in insects and other arthropods to energy metabolism and cellular protection mechanisms. Organisms have evolved various mechanisms for survival at subfreezing temperatures. In general, cold hardy invertebrates utilize four main strategies to survive cold temperatures: (1) freeze tolerance, (2) freeze avoidance, (3) cryoprotective dehydration, and (4) vitrification. In addition, many insects in temperate regions overwinter in an arrested developmental state known as diapause, during which they are cold hardy. Major alterations occur during winter diapause, with respect to both total metabolic flux and the relative activities of different metabolic pathways. In these organisms, one such metabolic adaptation to unfavorably cold environmental conditions is the synthesis of cryoprotectants/anhydroprotectants. The metabolic changes and metabolic paths involved in cold adaptation suggest involvement of specific enzymes and key regulatory proteins. These mechanisms of cold adaptation require precise scheduling of the expression of specific genes. Thus, we discuss here the evidence researchers have recently begun to gather supporting a relationship between the genes and proteins of the cold adaptation response and mechanisms of cellular protection and energy metabolism using an “omics” approach.


Cold Acclimation Cold Tolerance Suppression Subtractive Hybridization Cold Hardiness Cold Adaptation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Antioxidant defense system


Antifreeze protein


Canadian Drosophila Microarray Centre


Constant low temperature


Cold shock


Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis


Two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis


Expressed sequence tag


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Glycogen phosphorylase


Gene Ontology


Heat shock protein


Ice-nucleating protein


Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation


Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry


Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry


National Center for Biotechnology Information


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Quantitative polymerase chain reaction


Rapid cold hardening


Suppression subtractive hybridization



This study was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, project No 173014B: “Molecular mechanisms of redox signaling in homeostasis: adaptation and pathology.”


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelena Purać
    • 1
  • Danijela Kojić
    • 1
  • Edward Petri
    • 1
  • Željko D. Popović
    • 1
  • Gordana Grubor-Lajšić
    • 1
  • Duško P. Blagojević
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadRepublic of Serbia
  2. 2.Department for Physiology, Institute for Biological ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeRepublic of Serbia

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