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On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets

Leuko, Stefan and Bohmeier, Maria and Hanke, Franziska and Böettger, Ute and Rabbow, Elke and Parpart, André and Rettberg, Petra and de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul (2017) On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8. Frontiers Media S.A.. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01680 ISSN 1664-302X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01680

Abstract

Outer space, the final frontier, is a hostile and unforgiving place for any form of life as we know it. The unique environment of space allows for a close simulation of Mars surface conditions that cannot be simulated as accurately on the Earth. For this experiment, we tested the resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans to survive exposure to simulated Mars-like conditions in low-Earth orbit for a prolonged period of time as part of the Biology and Mars experiment (BIOMEX) project. Special focus was placed on the integrity of the carotenoid deinoxanthin, which may serve as a potential biomarker to search for remnants of life on other planets. Survival was investigated by evaluating colony forming units, damage inflicted to the 16S rRNA gene by quantitative PCR, and the integrity and detectability of deinoxanthin by Raman spectroscopy. Exposure to space conditions had a strong detrimental effect on the survival of the strains and the 16S rRNA integrity, yet results show that deinoxanthin survives exposure to conditions as they prevail on Mars. Solar radiation is not only strongly detrimental to the survival and 16S rRNA integrity but also to the Raman signal of deinoxanthin. Samples not exposed to solar radiation showed only minuscule signs of deterioration. To test whether deinoxanthin is able to withstand the tested parameters without the protection of the cell, it was extracted from cell homogenate and exposed to high/low temperatures, vacuum, germicidal UV-C radiation, and simulated solar radiation. Results obtained by Raman investigations showed a strong resistance of deinoxanthin against outer space and Mars conditions, with the only exception of the exposure to simulated solar radiation. Therefore, deinoxanthin proved to be a suitable easily detectable biomarker for the search of Earth-like organic pigment-containing life on other planets.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114222/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Auch erschienen in: Olsson-Francis, K., Billi, D., Teske, A., de Vera, J.-P. P., eds. (2019). Habitability Beyond Earth. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-765-6
Title:On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Leuko, Stefanradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder hoehe, 51147 cologne, germany; stefan.leuko (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0423-0896
Bohmeier, Mariaradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Hanke, Franziskainstitut für optische sensorsysteme, german aerospace center (dlr), berlinUNSPECIFIED
Böettger, Uteinstitut für optische sensorsysteme, german aerospace center (dlr), berlinUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, Elkeradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany; Elke.Rabbow (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9301-2021
Parpart, Andréradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petraradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany; petra.rettberg (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paulinstitute of planetary research, german aerospace center (dlr) berlin, berlin, germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9530-5821
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:Frontiers in Microbiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:8
DOI :10.3389/fmicb.2017.01680
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Jia, BaoleiChung-Ang University, South Korea
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
ISSN:1664-302X
Status:Published
Keywords:Raman spectroscopy, Deinococcus radiodurans, deinoxanthin, Mars
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, R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:21 Sep 2017 13:11
Last Modified:18 Sep 2019 12:09

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