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Potential for fossilization of an extremotolerant bacterium isolated from a past mars analog environment

Gaboyer, Frederic and Le Milbeau, Claude and Bohmeier, Maria and Schwendner, Petra and Foucher, Frederic and Gautret, Pascale and Richard, Annie and Sauldubois, Audrey and Guegan, Regis and Richmann, Pierre and Cockell, Charles and Westall, Frances and the MASE team (2016) Potential for fossilization of an extremotolerant bacterium isolated from a past mars analog environment. 16th EANA Astrobiology Conference, 27. - 30. September 2016, Athens, Greece.

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Abstract

In the context of astrobiological missions to Mars, the key question is what biosignatures to search for and how? lndigenous Martian organisms, if they existed or still exist, can be classified as extremophile per se. Following this precept the FP7-funded European MASE project (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration} is investigating various aspects of anaerobic life under Mars' extreme envrionmental conditions, including the potential for preservation over long geological time periods of certain strains. In this contribution, we report on the mineralisation and preservation of Yersinia sp. in silica and gypsum, two minerals that have been reported on Mars, in cold and anaerobic conditions, similar to Martian conditions. The organism, polyextremotolerant bacterium Yersinia sp. MASE-LG-1 (hereafter named Yersinia. sp.) was isolated from the lcelandic Graenavatn Lake, an acidic (pH3), cold and oligotrophic volcanic crater lake. These organisms have a strong tolerance to diverse Mars-like stresses (Rettberg et al., 2015). We also studied the effect of physiological status on mineralisation by exposing Yersinia to two common stresses thought to have increased du ring Mars history, desiccation and radiation. The mineralisation process has been studied using microbiological (microbial viability), morphological (scanning and transmission electron microscopy), biochemical (GC-MS, Rock-Eval) and spectroscopic (FTIR and RAMAN spectroscopy) methodologies. Based on these approaches, the potential of mineralised Yersinia sp. cells to be preserved over geological time scales is also discussed. Salient results include the fact that fossilisation in gypsum solutions is slower than in silica; not all cells were mineralised, even after 6-months in the fossilising solutions, although the FTIR, Raman and SOLID biomarker signatures were lost by this time period; Rock-Eval analysis suggests that the kerogen in the fossilised strain may not survive preservation over long geological periods, although carbon molecules preserved in fossil microbial traces up to ~3.45 Ga have been detected in the rock record.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/107922/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Potential for fossilization of an extremotolerant bacterium isolated from a past mars analog environment
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Gaboyer, FredericCNRS, Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, Orleans, France; frederic.gaboyer (at) cnrs-orleans.frUNSPECIFIED
Le Milbeau, ClaudeUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Bohmeier, MariaGerman Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology, Linder Hoehe, 51147 Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Schwendner, PetraUniversity of Edinburgh, ScotlandUNSPECIFIED
Foucher, FredericCNRS, Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, Orleans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Gautret, PascaleUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Richard, AnnieUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Sauldubois, AudreyUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Guegan, RegisUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Richmann, PierreUniversité d'Orléans, Orléans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Cockell, CharlesUniversity of Edinburgh, ScotlandUNSPECIFIED
Westall, Frances and the MASE teamCNRS, Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, Orleans, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology, Mars, Mars Analogues, fossilization
Event Title:16th EANA Astrobiology Conference
Event Location:Athens, Greece
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:27. - 30. September 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:25 Nov 2016 13:16
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:05

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