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The BOSS Experiment of the EXPOSE-R2 Mission: Biofilms versus planktonic cells

Panitz, C. and Frösler, J. and Wingender, J. and Flemming, H.-C. and Rösch, P. and Rettberg, Petra (2017) The BOSS Experiment of the EXPOSE-R2 Mission: Biofilms versus planktonic cells. EANA 2017, 14.-17. August, 2017, Aarhus, Denmark.

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In the BOSS experiment (biofilm organisms surfing space), which was performed in the context of the successfully finalized EXPOSE-R2 mission, an international consortium of scientists investigated the ability of a variety of organisms to survive in space and on Mars as a function of their life style. The question in focus is whether there are different strategies for individually living microorganisms (planktonic state) compared to a microbial consortium of the same cells (biofilm state) to cope with the unique mixture of extreme stress factors including desiccation, gamma-, ionizing- and UV radiation in this environment. Biofilms, in which the cells are encased in a self-produced matrix of excreted extracellular polymeric substances, are one of the oldest clear signs of life on Earth. Since they can become fossilized they might also be detected as the first life forms on other planets and moons of the solar system and are therefore ideal candidates for astrobiological investigations. As an exam- ple for the organisms that attended the EXPOSE-R2 mission the results of the flight and mission ground reference analysis of Deinococcus geothermalis are presented. Deinococcus geothermalis is a non-spore-forming, gram-positive, orange-pigmented representative of the Deinococcus family which is unparalleled in its poly-extreme resistances to a variety of envi- ronmental stress factors on Earth. The results demonstrate that Deinococcus geothermalis remains viable in the desiccated state over almost 2 years, whereas culturability was pre- served in biofilm cells at a significantly higher level than in planktonic cells. Furthermore, cells of both sample types were able to survive simulated space and Martian conditions and showed high resistance towards extra-terrestrial UV radiation. Additionally results of cultivation-independent investigations of pigment stability, membrane integrity, enzyme ac- tivity, ATP content and DNA integrity will be discussed.To conclude, biofilms exhibit an enhanced rate of survival compared to their planktonic counterparts when exposed to space and Martian conditions. This seems to indicate an advantage of living as a biofilm when facing the poly-extreme conditions of space or Mars. The findings will contribute to the understanding of the opportunities and limitations of life under the extreme environmental conditions of space or other planets as function of the state of life and aims to contribute to the understanding of the adaptation mechanisms that allow microorga isms to survive in extreme environments, possibly including space and the surface of Mars.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114425/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:The BOSS Experiment of the EXPOSE-R2 Mission: Biofilms versus planktonic cells
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Panitz, C.Institute of Pharmacoloy and Toxicology,RWTH/University Clinic Aachen,Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Frösler, J.Biofilm Centre, University of Duisburg Essen, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wingender, J.Biofilm Centre, University of Duisburg Essen, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Flemming, H.-C.Biofilm Centre, University of Duisburg Essen, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rösch, P.University Jena, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, PetraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395UNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:BOSS experiment (biofilm organisms surfing space), EXPOSE-R2 mission
Event Title:EANA 2017
Event Location:Aarhus, Denmark
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:14.-17. August, 2017
Organizer:European Astrobiology Network Association
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 - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 11:47
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:11

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