Elizabeth R. Evans



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The freeze tolerant Cope’s gray treefrog Dryophytes chrysoscelis can survive multiple winter freeze-thaw cycles in which up to 70% of extracellular fluids may be frozen solid without apparent detriment to the animal. Previous studies in our lab have shown that post-freeze cell viability in D. chrysoscelis is likely enhanced by biophysical and biochemical properties of cellular membranes, in addition to accumulation of cryoprotectants and upregulation of membrane aquaglyceroporin proteins. Largely composed of lipids, cellular membranes may varysignificantly in phospholipid composition and cholesterol content during thermal fluctuation tobest preserve membrane integrity and cellular function. The objective of this study is to assess the biochemical and biophysical differences in cellular membranes of treefrogs in discrete stages of the freeze-thaw process to better discern the adaptation of membranes to freezing temperatures. It is hypothesized that lipid biochemistry significantly affects membrane physical conditions, and in combination, the biochemical and biophysical membrane properties actively adapt to and compensate for changes in environmental temperature.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Jeremy M. Erb, Dr. David Goldstein (Wright State University), Carissa M. Krane

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Life On Land

Investigating the role of cellular membranes in the freeze tolerance of Cope’s gray treefrog Dryophytes chrysoscelis