Rapid cold-hardening in Zaprionus vittiger (Coquillett) (Diptera: Drosophilidae)

Casper Nyamukondiwa, John S. Terblanche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Low temperature injury can be significantly reduced by pre-treatment at sub-lethal low temperatures of only a few hours - a phenomenon termed 'rapid cold-hardening' (RCH). However, most studies to date have focused extensively on only a few key insect taxa, e.g. Drosophila melanogaster within the Drosophilidae family. Further studies on other closelyrelated species are required to better understand evolutionary and ecological variation in the magnitude of the RCH response in terrestrial arthropods. Here, we investigated RCH in a previously unstudied fruit fly, Zaprionus vittiger, following a range of high and low pretreatment temperatures. There was a significant improvement in Z. vittiger survival of lethal temperatures (2 h at -3°C) following a 2 h pretreatment at 4, 7 and 10°C as well as 30°C for 2 h. Maximum survival (60-70%) during RCH was achieved following hardening at 7°C and 10°C but is lower than some Drosophila species under similar treatment conditions. Therefore, since RCH was detected in a confamilial species, we propose that RCH might be a widely conserved response to temperature variation in the family Drosophilidae, although some variation in the magnitude of the response can be detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-512
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Anatomy


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