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The effect of high-dose ionizing radiation on the isolated photobiont of the astrobiological model lichen Circinaria gyrosa

Meeßen, J. and Backhaus, T. and Brandt, A. and Raguse, M. and Böttger, U. and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul and de la Torre, R. (2017) The effect of high-dose ionizing radiation on the isolated photobiont of the astrobiological model lichen Circinaria gyrosa. Astrobiology, 17 (2), pp. 154-162. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2015.1453. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Lichen symbioses between fungi and algae represent successful life strategies to colonize the most extreme terrestrial habitats. Consequently, space exposure and simulation experiments have demonstrated lichens’ high capacity for survival, and thus, they have become models in astrobiological research with which to discern the limits and limitations of terrestrial life. In a series of ground-based irradiation experiments, the STARLIFE campaign investigated the resistance of astrobiological model organisms to galactic cosmic radiation, which is one of the lethal stressors of extraterrestrial environments. Since previous studies have identified that the alga is the more sensitive lichen symbiont, we chose the isolated photobiont Trebouxia sp. of the astrobiological model Circinaria gyrosa as a subject in the campaign. Therein, gamma radiation was used to exemplify the deleterious effects of low linear energy transfer (LET) ionizing radiation at extremely high doses up to 113 kGy in the context of astrobiology. The effects were analyzed by chlorophyll a fluorescence of photosystem II (PSII), cultivation assays, live/dead staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and Raman laser spectroscopy (RLS). The results demonstrate dose-dependent impairment of photosynthesis, the cessation of cell proliferation, cellular damage, a decrease in metabolic activity, and degradation of photosynthetic pigments. While previous investigations on other extraterrestrial stressors have demonstrated a high potential of resistance, results of this study reveal the limits of photobiont resistance to ionizing radiation and characterize Gamma radiation–induced damages. This study also supports parallel STARLIFE studies on the lichens Circinaria gyrosa and Xanthoria elegans, both of which harbor a Trebouxia sp. photobiont.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/111256/
Document Type:Article
Title:The effect of high-dose ionizing radiation on the isolated photobiont of the astrobiological model lichen Circinaria gyrosa
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Meeßen, J.institute of botany, heinrich-heine university, universitätsstr.1, 40225 düsseldorf, germanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Backhaus, T.institut für botanik, heinrich-heine-universität (hhu), universitätsstr.1, 40225 düsseldorf, germanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brandt, A.institut für botanik, heinrich-heine-universität düsseldorfUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Raguse, M.german aerospace center, institute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology department, space microbiology research group, cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
de la Torre, R.earth observation department, inta. ctra. de ajalvir, km. 4, torrejón de ardoz, 28850 madrid, spainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 154-162
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Keywords:Astrobiology; Gamma rays; Extremotolerance; Ionizing; radiation; Lichens; Photobiont
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: de Vera, Dr. Jean Pierre Paul
Deposited On:24 Feb 2017 10:56
Last Modified:01 Oct 2020 21:47

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