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Carotenoid Raman Signatures Are Better Preserved in Dried Cells of the Desert Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis than in Hydrated Counterparts after High-Dose Gamma Irradiation

Baqué, Mickael and Napoli, Alessandro and Fagliarone, Claudia and Moeller, Ralf and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul and Billi, Daniela (2020) Carotenoid Raman Signatures Are Better Preserved in Dried Cells of the Desert Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis than in Hydrated Counterparts after High-Dose Gamma Irradiation. Life, 10 (6), p. 83. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/life10060083. ISSN 2075-1729.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/10/6/83

Abstract

Carotenoids are promising targets in our quest to search for life on Mars due to their biogenic origin and easy detection by Raman spectroscopy, especially with a 532 nm excitation thanks to resonance effects. Ionizing radiations reaching the surface and subsurface of Mars are however detrimental for the long-term preservation of biomolecules. We show here that desiccation can protect carotenoid Raman signatures in the desert cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis sp. CCMEE 029 even after high-dose gamma irradiation. Indeed, while the height of the carotenoids Raman peaks was considerably reduced in hydrated cells exposed to gamma irradiation, it remained stable in dried cells irradiated with the highest tested dose of 113 kGy of gamma rays, losing only 15-20% of its non-irradiated intensity. Interestingly, even though the carotenoid Raman signal of hydrated cells lost 90% of its non-irradiated intensity, it was still detectable after exposure to 113 kGy of gamma rays. These results add insights into the preservation potential and detectability limit of carotenoid-like molecules on Mars over a prolonged period of time and are crucial in supporting future missions carrying Raman spectrometers to Mars’ surface.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135321/
Document Type:Article
Title:Carotenoid Raman Signatures Are Better Preserved in Dried Cells of the Desert Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis than in Hydrated Counterparts after High-Dose Gamma Irradiation
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Baqué, MickaelMickael.Baque (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6696-6030
Napoli, AlessandroDepartment of Biology, Laboratory of Astrobiology and Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133-Rome, Italy; alessandro.napoli (at) uniroma2.it (A.N.)UNSPECIFIED
Fagliarone, ClaudiaDepartment of Biology, Laboratory of Astrobiology and Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133-Rome, Italy; claudia.fagliarone (at) hotmail.it (C.F.)UNSPECIFIED
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
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9530-5821
Billi, DanielaDepartment of Biology, Laboratory of Astrobiology and Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133-Rome, Italy; Correspondence: billi (at) uniroma2.itUNSPECIFIED
Date:8 June 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Life
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:10
DOI :10.3390/life10060083
Page Range:p. 83
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
ISSN:2075-1729
Status:Published
Keywords:biosignatures; extremophiles; ionizing radiation; Raman spectroscopy; cyanobacteria; Mars exploration
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), R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:24 Jun 2020 07:24
Last Modified:26 Jun 2020 14:33

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