Water is essential for living organisms. Terrestrial organisms are incessantly exposed to the stress of losing water, desiccation stress. Avoiding the mortality caused by desiccation stress, many organisms acquired molecular mechanisms to tolerate desiccation. Larvae of the African midge, Polypedilum vanderplanki, and its embryonic cell line Pv11 tolerate desiccation stress by entering an ametabolic state, anhydrobiosis, and return to active life after rehydration. The genes related to desiccation tolerance have been comprehensively analyzed, but transcriptional regulatory mechanisms to induce these genes after desiccation or rehydration remain unclear. Here, we comprehensively analyzed the gene regulatory network in Pv11 cells and compared it with that of Drosophila melanogaster, a desiccation sensitive species. We demonstrated that nuclear transcription factor Y subunit gamma-like, which is important for drought stress tolerance in plants, and its transcriptional regulation of downstream positive feedback loops have a pivotal role in regulating various anhydrobiosis-related genes. This study provides an initial insight into the systemic mechanism of desiccation tolerance.
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