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Survival, DNA Integrity, and Ultrastructural Damage in Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Eukaryotic Microorganisms Exposed to Ionizing Radiation

Pacelli, Claudia and Selbmann, Laura and Zucconi, Laura and Raguse, Marina and Moeller, Ralf and Shuryak, Igor and Onofri, Silvano (2017) Survival, DNA Integrity, and Ultrastructural Damage in Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Eukaryotic Microorganisms Exposed to Ionizing Radiation. Astrobiology, 17 (2), pp. 126-135. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2015.1456 ISSN 1531-1074

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Official URL: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2015.1456

Abstract

Life dispersal between planets, planetary protection, and the search for biosignatures are main topics in astrobiology. Under the umbrella of the STARLIFE project, three Antarctic endolithic microorganisms, the melanized fungus Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 515, a hyaline strain of Umbilicaria sp. (CCFEE 6113, lichenized fungus), and a Stichococcus sp. strain (C45A, green alga), were exposed to high doses of space-relevant gamma radiation (60Co), up to 117.07 kGy. After irradiation survival, DNA integrity and ultrastructural damage were tested. The first was assessed by clonogenic test; viability and dose responses were reasonably described by the linear-quadratic formalism. DNA integrity was evaluated by PCR, and ultrastructural damage was observed by transmission electron microscopy. The most resistant among the tested organisms was C. antarcticus both in terms of colony formation and DNA preservation. Besides, results clearly demonstrate that DNA was well detectable in all the tested organisms even when microorganisms were dead. This high resistance provides support for the use of DNA as a possible biosignature during the next exploration campaigns. Implication in planetary protection and contamination during long-term space travel are put forward.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/111358/
Document Type:Article
Title:Survival, DNA Integrity, and Ultrastructural Damage in Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Eukaryotic Microorganisms Exposed to Ionizing Radiation
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Pacelli, ClaudiaDepartment of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Selbmann, LauraDepartment of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Zucconi, LauraDepartment of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Raguse, MarinaSpace Microbiology Research Group, Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfSpace Microbiology Research Group, Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Shuryak, IgorCenter for Radiological Research, Columbia University, New York, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Onofri, SilvanoDepartment of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:17
DOI :10.1089/ast.2015.1456
Page Range:pp. 126-135
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
ISSN:1531-1074
Status:Published
Keywords:Biosignatures, Ionizing Radiation, DNA integrity, Eukaryotic microorganisms, Fingerprinting, Mars exploration
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:07 Mar 2017 12:53
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:23

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