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

de la Torre, Rosa und Sancho, Leopoldo G. und Horneck, Gerda und de los Ríos, Asunción und Wierzchos, Jacek und Olsson-Francis, Karen und Cockell, Charles S. und Rettberg, Petra und Berger, Thomas und de Vera, Jean-Pierre P. und Ott, Sieglinde und Martinez Frías, Jesus und Gonzalez Melendi, Pablo und Lucas, Maria Mercedes und Reina, Manuel und Pintado, Ana und 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), Seiten 735-748. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.010.

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Kurzfassung

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.

Dokumentart:Zeitschriftenbeitrag
Titel:Survival of lichens and bacteria exposed to outer space conditions – Results of the Lithopanspermia experiments
Autoren:
AutorenInstitution oder E-Mail-Adresse der Autoren
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 NICHT SPEZIFIZIERT
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 NICHT SPEZIFIZIERT
Berger, Thomas NICHT SPEZIFIZIERT
de Vera, Jean-Pierre P. NICHT SPEZIFIZIERT
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
Datum:2010
Erschienen in:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Referierte Publikation:Ja
In Open Access:Nein
In SCOPUS:Ja
In ISI Web of Science:Ja
Band:208
DOI :10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.010
Seitenbereich:Seiten 735-748
Verlag:Elsevier
Status:veröffentlicht
Stichwörter:Astrobiology, Exobiology, Meteorites, Solar radiation
HGF - Forschungsbereich:Verkehr und Weltraum (alt)
HGF - Programm:Weltraum (alt)
HGF - Programmthema:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (alt)
DLR - Schwerpunkt:Weltraum
DLR - Forschungsgebiet:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Teilgebiet (Projekt, Vorhaben):W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (alt)
Standort: Köln-Porz , Berlin-Adlershof
Institute & Einrichtungen:Institut für Planetenforschung
Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrtmedizin > Strahlenbiologie
Hinterlegt von: Kerstin Kopp
Hinterlegt am:16 Jul 2010 09:22
Letzte Änderung:04 Apr 2013 16:22

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