216 Abiotic Stress in Plants – Mechanisms and Adaptations membranes and preventing protein denaturation, whereas in yeast it plays a role in osmotic (Hounsa et al., 1998), heat, and desiccation tolerance (Hottiger et al., 1987), and it may act as a free radical scavenger (Benaroudj, 2001). Insects use trehalose from blood as an energy source during flight (Elbein, 1974). Even though in most plants trehalose does not participate directly in the alleviation of abiotic stress, it may act as a signaling molecule. Microarray analyses revealed that both trehalose and trehalose-6-phosphate are affecting the levels of genes involved in abiotic stress (Schluepmann et al., 2004; Bae et al., 2005). Trehalose accumulated by brine shrimp embryos when entering dormancy may act as a stabilizer during dormancy and as an energy source for the embryos when the dormancy period ends (Clegg, 1965). Nematodes, when dehydrated slowly, convert as much as 20% of their dry weight to trehalose, helping them survive dehydration (Crowe et al., 1992).
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