Stieglmeier, Michaela and Rettberg, Petra and Barczyk, Simon and Bohmeier, Maria and Pukall, Rüdiger and Wirth, Reinhard and Moissl-Eichinger, Christine (2012) Abundance and Diversity of Microbial Inhabitants in European Spacecraft-Associated Clean Rooms. Astrobiology, 12 (6), pp. 572-585. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2011.0735.
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The determination of the microbial load of a spacecraft en route to interesting extraterrestrial environments is mandatory and currently based on the culturable, heat-shock-surviving portion of microbial contaminants. Our study compared these classical bioburden measurements as required by NASA’s and ESA’s guidelines for the microbial examination of flight hardware, with molecular analysis methods (16S rRNA gene cloning and quantitative PCR) to further develop our understanding of the diversity and abundance of the microbial communities of spacecraft-associated clean rooms. Three samplings of the Herschel Space Observatory and its surrounding clean rooms were performed in two different European facilities. Molecular analyses detected a broad diversity of microbes typically found in the human microbiome with three bacterial genera (Staphylococcus, Propionibacterium, and Brevundimonas) common to all three locations. Bioburden measurements revealed a low, but heterogeneous, abundance of spore-forming and other heatresistant microorganisms. Total cell numbers estimated by quantitative real-time PCR were typically 3 orders of magnitude greater than those determined by viable counts, which indicates a tendency for traditional methods to underestimate the extent of clean room bioburden. Furthermore, the molecular methods allowed the detection of a much broader diversity than traditional culture-based methods.
|Title:||Abundance and Diversity of Microbial Inhabitants in European Spacecraft-Associated Clean Rooms|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Astrobiology|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 572-585|
|Publisher:||Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.|
|Keywords:||Planetary protection, Clean rooms, Microbial diversity, Bioburden, qPCR|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport, Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)|
|HGF - Program:||Space, Space (old)|
|HGF - Program Themes:||Research under Space Conditions, W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)|
|DLR - Research area:||Raumfahrt, Space|
|DLR - Program:||R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen, W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie, W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology|
|Deposited By:||Kerstin Kopp|
|Deposited On:||08 Aug 2012 15:33|
|Last Modified:||26 Mar 2013 13:41|
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