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Microbial diversity within the vicinity of the Antarctic Concordia Station - an analog for human exploration sites on Mars or the icy moons of Jupiter or Saturn

Ulrich, Nikea and Koskinen, Kaisa and Healey, Beth and van den Berg, Floris and Probst, Alexander and Moissl-Eichinger, Christine and Moeller, Ralf (2018) Microbial diversity within the vicinity of the Antarctic Concordia Station - an analog for human exploration sites on Mars or the icy moons of Jupiter or Saturn. In: EANA 2018 - Abstractbook. EANA 2018, 24-28 September 2018, Berlin, Germany.

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Official URL: http://www.eana-net.eu/index.php?page=Conferences/EANA2018

Abstract

The extreme terrestrial environment of the Antarctic ice sheet serves as an excellent probing ground for the adaptation of extremotolerant microorganisms. To inhabit this hostile environment, microorganisms resist sub-zero temperatures, wide temperature fluctuations, high incidence of solar UV radiation, desiccation, and very low nutrient availability. Located on a 3200 meter-high plateau in Antarctica, the Concordia Station is a remote, isolated habitat, providing an ideal location to monitor the indigenous microbial diversity and human-associated bacterial dispersal on the surface snow. In this study, (ESA project No. AO-13-Concordia-23) surface snow was sampled monthly at three areas varying in proximity (10 m, 500 m, and 1 km) to the Concordia Station across two years (March 2015 to December 2016). Snow samples from the months January, March, May, July, September, and November of both years (n=33) were phylogenetically profiled via sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to identify microbial presence and abundance with respect to seasonal changes and human activity. While harboring low microbial diversity, the surface snow samples were characterized by heterogeneous microbiomes. Interestingly, snow samples were found to have a core microbiome consisting of the genera Acinetobacter, Micrococcus, Delftia, Bacillus, Enhydrobacter, Cutibacterium, and Alcanivorax, which persisted regardless of the measured environmental factors and level of human activity. Ultimately, this study will further inform improvements or modifications to the existing techniques to interrogate the microbial ecology in extreme (sub-zero) environments as well as provide suggestions for future life-detection driven space missions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/124516/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Microbial diversity within the vicinity of the Antarctic Concordia Station - an analog for human exploration sites on Mars or the icy moons of Jupiter or Saturn
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Ulrich, NikeaRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Koskinen, KaisaMedical University of Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Healey, BethEuropean Space Agency, European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Cologne (Köln), GermanyUNSPECIFIED
van den Berg, FlorisEuropean Space Agency, European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Cologne (Köln), GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Probst, AlexanderUniversity of Duisburg-Essen, Group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Essen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Moissl-Eichinger, ChristineMedical University of Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; ralf.moeller (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676
Date:28 September 2018
Journal or Publication Title:EANA 2018 - Abstractbook
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Antarctica, Mars analog, Mars, microorganisms
Event Title:EANA 2018
Event Location:Berlin, Germany
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:24-28 September 2018
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:10 Dec 2018 15:57
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:22

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