Culex pipiens L. reared under diapause-inducing conditions (short daylength; 18°C) were more cold tolerant and desiccation resistant than their nondiapausing counterparts (long daylength; 18°C). Upon cold exposure (−5°C), diapausing mosquitoes reared at 18°C survived nearly twice as long as nondiapausing mosquitoes reared at 18°C and 10 times longer than nondiapausing mosquitoes reared at 25°C. Thus, rearing temperature provided partial protection against low temperature injury in nondiapausing mosquitoes, but maximum resistance to cold was attained by the diapause state. In this species, the supercooling point is not a good indicator of cold tolerance. Both diapausing and nondiapausing females had supercooling points of approximately −16°C, but diapausing as well as nondiapausing females died at temperatures well above the supercooling point, suggesting that low temperature mortality was due to indirect chilling injury. Diapause also conferred greater resistance to desiccation (1.6–2-fold increase in survival) compared with the nondiapause state. The gene encoding a 70-kDa heat shock protein, hsp70, was not up-regulated (i.e., more highly expressed) as a part of the diapause program, nor was it up-regulated by desiccation stress, but it was up-regulated during recovery from cold shock. Cx. pipiens thus differs from a number of other diapausing insect species that are known to developmentally up-regulate hsp70 during diapause.
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