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Bacterial Cellulose Retains Robustness but its Synthesis Declines after Exposure to a Mars-Like Environment Simulated outside the International Space Station

Orlovska, Iryna and Podolich, Olga and Kukharenko, Olga and Zaets, Iryna and Reva, Oleg and Khirunenko, Ludmila and Zmejkoski, Danica and Rogalsky, Sergiy and Barth, Debmalya and Tiwari, Sandeep and Kumavath, Ranjith and Góes-Neto, Aristóteles and Azevedo, Vasco and Brenig, Bertram and Ghosh, Preetam and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul and Kozyrovska, Natalia (2021) Bacterial Cellulose Retains Robustness but its Synthesis Declines after Exposure to a Mars-Like Environment Simulated outside the International Space Station. Astrobiology, 21 (7). Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2020.2332. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Abstract

Cellulose is a widespread macromolecule in terrestrial environments and a major architectural component of microbial biofilm. Therefore, cellulose might be considered a biosignature that indicates the presence of microbial life. We present, for the first time, characteristics of bacterial cellulose after long-term spaceflight and exposure to simuled Mars-like stressors. The pristine cellulose-based pellicle membranes from a kombucha microbial community (KMC) were exposed outside the International Space Station, and after their return to Earth, the samples were reactivated and cultured for 2.5 years to discern whether the KMC could be restored. Analyses of cellulose polymer integrity and mechanical properties of cellulose-based pellicle films, as well as the cellulose biosynthesis-related genes' structure and expression, were performed. We observed that (i) the cellulose polymer integrity was not significantly changed under Mars-like conditions; (ii) de novo cellulose production was 1.5 times decreased in exposed KMC samples; (iii) the dry cellulose yield from the reisolated Komagataeibacter oboediens was 1.7 times lower than by wild type; (iv) there was no significant change in mechanical properties of the de novo synthesized cellulose-based pellicles produced by the exposed KMCs and K. oboediens; and (v) the gene, encoding biosynthesis of cellulose (bcsA) of the K. oboediens, was downregulated, and no topological change or mutation was observed in any of the bcs operon genes, indicating that the decreased cellulose production by the space-exposed samples was probably due to epigenetic regulation. Our results suggest that the cellulose-based pellicle could be a good material with which to protect microbial communities during space journeys, and the cellulose produced by KMC members could be suitable in the fabrication of consumer goods for extraterrestrial locations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141253/
Document Type:Article
Title:Bacterial Cellulose Retains Robustness but its Synthesis Declines after Exposure to a Mars-Like Environment Simulated outside the International Space Station
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Orlovska, IrynaInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine.UNSPECIFIED
Podolich, OlgaInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine.UNSPECIFIED
Kukharenko, OlgaInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine.UNSPECIFIED
Zaets, IrynaInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine.UNSPECIFIED
Reva, OlegDepartment of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.UNSPECIFIED
Khirunenko, LudmilaInstitute of Physics of NASU, Kyiv, UkraineUNSPECIFIED
Zmejkoski, DanicaVinca Institute of Neclear Sciences - National Institute of the Rep of SerbiaUNSPECIFIED
Rogalsky, SergiyV.P. Kukhar Institute of Bioorganic, Chemistry and Petrochemistry of Nat. Acad. of Sciences of UkraineUNSPECIFIED
Barth, DebmalyaCentre for Genomics and Applied Gene Technolgoy, Inst. of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology IndiaUNSPECIFIED
Tiwari, SandeepLab. de Genetica Celular e Molecular, Dep. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas. Univ. de Minas Gerais, BrazilUNSPECIFIED
Kumavath, RanjithDep. of Genomic Scineces, central Univ. of Kerale, IndiaUNSPECIFIED
Góes-Neto, AristótelesInstitute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, BrazilUNSPECIFIED
Azevedo, VascoInstitute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo HorizonteUNSPECIFIED
Brenig, BertramIns. of Veterinary Medicine, University GöttingenUNSPECIFIED
Ghosh, PreetamDepartment of Computer Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United StatesUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kozyrovska, NataliaInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine.UNSPECIFIED
Date:March 2021
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:21
DOI :10.1089/ast.2020.2332
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Series Name:Astrobiology
ISSN:1531-1074
Status:Published
Keywords:International Space Station, Bacterial cellulose, Extraterrestrial stressors, Microbial biosignature, Kombucha multimicrobial community, Komagataeibacter oboediens, The bcs operon
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)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Laboratories
Space Operations and Astronaut Training > User center for space experiments (MUSC)
Deposited By: Herrmann, Astrid
Deposited On:10 Mar 2021 09:42
Last Modified:10 Mar 2021 09:42

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