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Shock experiments in support of the Lithopanspermia theory: The influence of host rock composition, temperature, and shock pressure on the survival rate of endolithic and epilithic microorganisms

Meyer, Cornelia and Fritz, Jörg and Misgaiski, Martin and Stöffler, Dieter and Artemieva, Natalia A. and Hornemann, Ulrich and Moeller, Ralf and de Vera, Jean-Pierre and Cockell, Charles and Horneck, Gerda and Ott, Sieglinde and Rabbow, Elke (2011) Shock experiments in support of the Lithopanspermia theory: The influence of host rock composition, temperature, and shock pressure on the survival rate of endolithic and epilithic microorganisms. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 46 (5), pp. 701-718. Wiley. DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01184.x ISSN 1086-9379

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Abstract

Shock recovery experiments were performed with an explosive set-up in which three types of microorganisms embedded in various types of host rocks were exposed to strong shock waves with pressure pulse lengths of lower than 0.5 μs: spores of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, Xanthoria elegans lichens, and cells of the cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029. In these experiments, three fundamental parameters were systematically varied (1) shock pressures ranging from 5 to 50 GPa, (2) preshock ambient temperature of 293, 233 and 193 K, and (3) the type of host rock, including nonporous igneous rocks (gabbro and dunite as analogs for the Martian shergottites and chassignites, respectively), porous sandstone, rock salt (halite), and a clay-rich mineral mixture as porous analogs for dry and water-saturated Martian regolith. The results show that the three parameters have a strong influence on the survival rates of the microorganisms. The most favorable conditions for the impact ejection from Mars for microorganisms would be (1) low porosity host rocks, (2) pressures <10–20 GPa, and (3) low ambient temperature of target rocks during impact. All tested microorganisms were capable of surviving to a certain extent impact ejection in different geological materials under distinct conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/69844/
Document Type:Article
Title:Shock experiments in support of the Lithopanspermia theory: The influence of host rock composition, temperature, and shock pressure on the survival rate of endolithic and epilithic microorganisms
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Meyer, Cornelia Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Abteilung Forschung, D-10099 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Fritz, Jörg Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Abteilung Forschung, D-10099 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Misgaiski, Martin Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Abteilung Forschung, D-10099 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Stöffler, Dieter Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Abteilung Forschung, D-10099 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Artemieva, Natalia A. Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow 119334, RussiaUNSPECIFIED
Hornemann, Ulrich Ernst-Mach-Institut für Kurzzeitdynamik, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, D-79104 Freiburg, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, Ralf German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, D-51170 Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean-Pierre German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Planetary Research, D-12489 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Cockell, CharlesOpen University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UKUNSPECIFIED
Horneck, Gerda German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, D-51170 Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Ott, Sieglinde Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, D-40225 Düsseldorf, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, ElkeGerman Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, D-51170 Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2011
Journal or Publication Title:Meteoritics and Planetary Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:46
DOI :10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01184.x
Page Range:pp. 701-718
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1086-9379
Status:Published
Keywords:Lithopanspermia therory, enolithic and epilithic microorganisms, survival, impact ejection
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz , Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:16 Jun 2011 10:55
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:28

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