elib
DLR-Header
DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

Survival of lichens and bacteria exposed to outer space conditions – Results of the Lithopanspermia experiments

de la Torre, Rosa and Sancho, Leopoldo G. and Horneck, Gerda and de los Ríos, Asunción and Wierzchos, Jacek and Olsson-Francis, Karen and Cockell, Charles S. and Rettberg, Petra and Berger, Thomas and de Vera, Jean-Pierre P. and Ott, Sieglinde and Martinez Frías, Jesus and Gonzalez Melendi, Pablo and Lucas, Maria Mercedes and Reina, Manuel and Pintado, Ana and Demets, René (2010) Survival of lichens and bacteria exposed to outer space conditions – Results of the Lithopanspermia experiments. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 208 (2), pp. 735-748. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.010.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

In the space experiments Lithopanspermia, experimental support was provided to the likelihood of the lithopanspermia concept that considers a viable transport of microorganisms between the terrestrial planets by means of meteorites. The rock colonising lichens Rhizocarpon geographicum and Xanthoria elegans, the vagrant lichen Aspicilia fruticulosa, and endolithic and endoevaporitic communities of cyanobacteria and bacteria with their natural rock substrate were exposed to space for 10 days onboard the Biopan facility of the European Space Agency (ESA). Biopan was closed during launch and re-entry. In addition, in the Stone facility, one sample of R. geographicum on its natural granitic substrate was attached at the outer surface of the re-entry capsule close to the stagnation point, only protected by a thin cover of glass textolite. Post-flight analysis, which included determination of the photosynthetic activity, LIVE/DEAD staining, and germination capacity of the ascospores, demonstrated that all three lichen were quite resistant to outer space conditions, which include the full spectrum of solar extraterrestrial electromagnetic radiation or selected wavelength ranges. This high resistance of the lichens to space appears to be due to their symbiotic nature and protection by their upper pigmented layer, the cortex. In contrast, the rock- or halite-inhabiting bacteria were severely damaged by the same exposure. After atmospheric re-entry, the granite of the Stone sample was transformed into a glassy, nearly homogenous material, with several friction striae. None of the lichen cells survived this re-entry process. The data suggest that lichens are suitable candidates for testing the concept of lithopanspermia, because they are extremely resistant to the harsh environment of outer space. The more critical event is the atmospheric re-entry after being captured by a planet. Experiments simulating the re-entry process of a microbe-carrying meteoroid did not show any survivors.

Document Type:Article
Title:Survival of lichens and bacteria exposed to outer space conditions – Results of the Lithopanspermia experiments
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
de la Torre, Rosa INTA, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Crta. Ajalvir, km. 4, 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
Sancho, Leopoldo G. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Pza. Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Horneck, Gerda UNSPECIFIED
de los Ríos, Asunción CSIC, Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Serrano 115dpdo, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Wierzchos, Jacek CSIC, Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Serrano 115dpdo, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Olsson-Francis, Karen The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom
Cockell, Charles S. The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom
Rettberg, Petra UNSPECIFIED
Berger, Thomas UNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean-Pierre P. UNSPECIFIED
Ott, Sieglinde Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Institut für Botanik, Universitätsstr. 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
Martinez Frías, JesusINTA-CSIC, Centro de Astrobiología, Crta. Ajalvir, km. 4, 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
Gonzalez Melendi, Pablo Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Campus de Montegancedo, Autopista M-38, Pozuelo de Alarcón, 28223 Madrid, Spain
Lucas, Maria MercedesCSIC, Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Serrano 115dpdo, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Reina, Manuel INTA, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Crta. Ajalvir, km. 4, 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
Pintado, Ana Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Pza. Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Demets, René ESA-ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Date:2010
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:208
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.010
Page Range:pp. 735-748
Publisher:Elsevier
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology, Exobiology, Meteorites, Solar radiation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz , Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kerstin Kopp
Deposited On:16 Jul 2010 09:22
Last Modified:04 Apr 2013 16:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Browse
Search
Help & Contact
Informationen
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Copyright © 2008-2012 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.