Antarctic Midge Has The Smallest Insect Genome, Yet Tough Enough To Survive Extreme Environment

August 13, 2014 8:12 AM

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Antarctic Midge Has The Smallest Insect Genome, Yet Tough Enough To Survive Extreme Environment

The Antarctic midge, a tiny flightless fly, is tough enough to survive the hostile South Pole because of its compact genome, according to a new study, which found that the creature has the smallest genome ever sequenced among insects. The researchers expect the findings to help examine how different species respond to various forms of environmental stress.

The midge, which endures high winds, salty air and the intense ultraviolet radiation of the frozen continent, spends most of its life cycle in four larval stages -- losing nearly half of its body mass each time -- that develop over two Antarctic winters. The adults emerge from the larva in the sprin...

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