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Defining the boarders of extreme life: The study of microbial communities and their settings gives insights into Mars analogue life within the MASE project

Perras, A. and the MASE team: and Cockell, C.S. and Beblo-Vranesevic, Kristina and Bohmeier, M. and Rabbow, E. and Rettberg, Petra and Schwendner, P. and Westall, F. and Gaboyer, F. and Walter, N. and Moissl-Eichinger, C. and Perras, A. and Gomez, F. and Amils, R. and Garcia, L. and Ehrenfreund, P. and Monaghan, E. and Marteinsson, V. and Vannier, P. (2016) Defining the boarders of extreme life: The study of microbial communities and their settings gives insights into Mars analogue life within the MASE project. 16th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, 21. – 26. August 2016, Montreal, Canada.

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Abstract

The search for life beyond Earth is challenging and requires, as a prerequisite, intensive research on microbial life in similar, extreme environments on Earth. Mars analogue sites are characterised by e.g. anoxic conditions, organic compound limitation, low temperatures, high salinity or presence of oxidising compounds, and consequently represent the chemical and physical borders of life as we know it. The analysis of microorganisms withstanding such conditions is embedded in the European Commission-funded MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration; (http://mase.esf.org/) project. Combining a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary expertise, the European project members aim at a better understanding of habitability, microbial lifestyles and biomarker preservation in Mars analogues. For the first time, the selected sites (e.g. salt mine, sulfidic springs) have undergone a profound analysis of their microbial communities on various levels, including vast cultivation of anaerobic microorganisms and molecular screening. In this work, we applied propidium monoazide in order to distinguish between cells with intact membrane (considered as viable) and dead cells on molecular stage, followed by DNA extraction, and amplicon-sequencing of the archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes. The geochemistry of the sites was comprehensively investigated (i.e. elemental analysis, amino acid chirality, minerology), to determine triggers for microbial community composition. We aim to set up a model of potential metabolism reactions based on the different setting conditions and compare it with microbiome data. Consequently, we will obtain insights into the prerequisites of possible extra-terrestrial life forms and into their lifestyles, which may enable them to thrive under most extreme conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/105907/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Defining the boarders of extreme life: The study of microbial communities and their settings gives insights into Mars analogue life within the MASE project
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Perras, A. and the MASE team:(A)UNSPECIFIED
Cockell, C.S.(Coordinator, UK)UNSPECIFIED
Beblo-Vranesevic, Kristina(D)https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4834-7121
Bohmeier, M.(D)UNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, E.(D)UNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petra(D)https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Schwendner, P.(UK)UNSPECIFIED
Westall, F.(F)UNSPECIFIED
Gaboyer, F.(F)UNSPECIFIED
Walter, N.(F)UNSPECIFIED
Moissl-Eichinger, C.(A)UNSPECIFIED
Perras, A.(A)UNSPECIFIED
Gomez, F.(ES)UNSPECIFIED
Amils, R.(ES)UNSPECIFIED
Garcia, L.(ES)UNSPECIFIED
Ehrenfreund, P.(NL)UNSPECIFIED
Monaghan, E.(NL)UNSPECIFIED
Marteinsson, V.(IS)UNSPECIFIED
Vannier, P.(IS)UNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:MASE, Mars Analogues for Space Exploration,
Event Title:16th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology
Event Location:Montreal, Canada
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:21. – 26. August 2016
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:23 Sep 2016 08:01
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:03

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