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Microbial Monitoring in the EDEN ISS Greenhouse, a Mobile Test Facility in Antarctica

Beblo-Vranesevic, K. and Fahrion, J. and Zabel, P. and Schubert, D. and Mysara, M. and Van Houdt, R. and Eikmanns, B. and Rettberg, P. (2021) Microbial Monitoring in the EDEN ISS Greenhouse, a Mobile Test Facility in Antarctica. 23rd IAA Humans in Space, 5.-8. April 2021, Virtual Conference (Moskow, Russia).

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Abstract

The EDEN ISS greenhouse, integrated in two joined containers, is a confined mobile test facility in Antarctica for the development and optimization of new plant cultivation techniques for future space programs. The EDEN ISS greenhouse was used successfully from February to November 2018 for fresh food production for the overwintering crew at the Antarctic Neumayer III station. During the 9 months of operation, samples from the different plants, from the nutrition solution of the aeroponic planting system, and from diverse surfaces within the three different compartments of the container were taken [future exploration greenhouse (FEG), service section (SS), and cold porch (CP)]. Quantity as well as diversity of microorganisms was examined by cultivation. In case of the plant samples, microbial quantities were in a range from 102 to 104 colony forming units (CFU) per gram plant material. Compared to plants purchased from a German grocery, the produce hosted orders of magnitude more microorganisms than the EDEN ISS plants. The EDEN ISS plant samples contained mainly fungi and a few bacteria. No classical food associated pathogenic microorganism, like Escherichia and Salmonella, could be found. Probably due to the used cultivation approach, Archaea were not found in the samples. The bioburden in the nutrition solutions increased constantly over time but never reached critical values like 10² –10³ CFU per 100 mL in irrigation water as it is stated, e.g., for commercial European plant productions. The surface samples revealed high differences in the microbial burden between the greenhouse part of the container and the SS and CP part. However, the numbers of organisms (bacteria and fungi) found in the planted greenhouse were still not critical. The microbial loaded surfaces showed strong temporal as well as spatial fluctuations. In samples of the nutrition solution and the surface, the number of bacteria exceeded the amount of fungi by many times. For identification, 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed for the isolated prokaryotic organisms. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the most abundant bacterial phyla were Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. These phyla include plant- and human-associated bacterial species. In general, it could be shown that it is possible to produce edible fresh food in a remote environment and this food is safe for consumption from a microbiological point of view.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142846/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Microbial Monitoring in the EDEN ISS Greenhouse, a Mobile Test Facility in Antarctica
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Beblo-Vranesevic, K.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; kristina.beblo (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4834-7121
Fahrion, J.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany and Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Ulm, Ulm, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Zabel, P.Institute for Space Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Schubert, D.Institute for Space Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Mysara, M.Microbiology Unit, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN), Mol, BelgiumUNSPECIFIED
Van Houdt, R.Microbiology Unit, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN), Mol, BelgiumUNSPECIFIED
Eikmanns, B.Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Ulm, Ulm, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, P.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; petra.rettberg (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Date:6 April 2021
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:EDEN ISS greenhouse, Antarctica, microbial monitoring
Event Title:23rd IAA Humans in Space
Event Location:Virtual Conference (Moskow, Russia)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:5.-8. April 2021
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 - Project ISS LIFE 2.0
Location: Bremen , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Space Systems > System Analysis Space Segment
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:22 Jun 2021 12:54
Last Modified:22 Jun 2021 13:13

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