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Surviving Mars: new insights into the persistence of facultative anaerobic microbes from analogue sites

Beblo-Vranesevic, Kristina and Piepjohn, J. and Antunes, A. and Rettberg, P. (2022) Surviving Mars: new insights into the persistence of facultative anaerobic microbes from analogue sites. International Journal of Astrobiology, 21 (2), pp. 110-127. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/S1473550422000064. ISSN 1473-5504.

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Official URL: https://www.doi.org/10.1017/S1473550422000064

Abstract

Mars analogue environments are some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Their unique combination of multiples extremes (e.g. high salinity, anoxia and low nutrient availability) make them valuable sources for finding new polyextremophilic microbes, and for exploring the limits of life. Mars, especially at its surface, is still considered to be very hostile to life but it probably possesses geological subsurface niches where the occurrence of (polyextremophilic) life is conceivable. Despite their well-recognized relevance, current knowledge on the capability of (facultative) anaerobic microbes to withstand extraterrestrial/Martian conditions, either as single strains or in communities, is still very sparse. Therefore, space experiments simulating the Martian environmental conditions by using space as a tool for astrobiological research are needed to substantiate the hypotheses of habitability of Mars. Addressing this knowledge gap is one of the main goals of the project MEXEM (Mars EXposed Extremophiles Mixture), where selected model organisms will be subjected to space for a period of 3 months. These experiments will take place on the Exobiology facility (currently under development and implementation), located outside the International Space Station. Such space experiments require a series of preliminary tests and ground data collection for the selected microbial strains. Here, we report on the survivability of Salinisphaera shabanensis and Buttiauxella sp. MASE-IM-9 after exposure to Mars-relevant stress factors (such as desiccation and ultraviolet (UV) radiation under anoxia). Both organisms showed survival after anoxic desiccation for up to 3 months but this could be further extended (nearly doubled) by adding artificial Mars regolith (MGS-1S; 0.5% wt/v) and sucrose (0.1 M). Survival after desiccation was also observed when both organisms were mixed before treatment. Mixing also positively influenced survival after exposure to polychromatic Mars-like UV radiation (200–400 nm) up to 12 kJ m−2, both in suspension and in a desiccated form

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/187603/
Document Type:Article
Title:Surviving Mars: new insights into the persistence of facultative anaerobic microbes from analogue sites
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Beblo-Vranesevic, KristinaGerman Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Department , Cologne, Germany; kristina.beblo (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4834-7121
Piepjohn, J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Antunes, A.State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences/ China National Space Administration (CNSA) Macau Center for Space Exploration and Science, Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), Av. Wai Long, Taipa, Macau SAR, China.UNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, P.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Date:24 March 2022
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:21
DOI:10.1017/S1473550422000064
Page Range:pp. 110-127
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1473-5504
Status:Published
Keywords:Buttiauxella; desiccation; Mars analogue; Martian regolith; radiation; Salinisphaera; space exposure; survival
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: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Schrage, Larissa
Deposited On:15 Aug 2022 12:29
Last Modified:22 Sep 2022 10:13

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