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Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth

Cockell, Charles S and Rettberg, Petra and Rabbow, Elke and Olsson-Francis, Karen (2011) Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth. The ISME Journal, Epub ahead, pp. 1-12. Nature Publishing Group. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2011.46 ISSN 1751-7362

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

An epilithic microbial community was launched into low Earth orbit, and exposed to conditions in outer space for 548 days on the European Space Agency EXPOSE-E facility outside the International Space Station. The natural phototroph biofilm was augmented with akinetes of Anabaena cylindrica and vegetative cells of Nostoc commune and Chroococcidiopsis. In space-exposed dark controls, two algae (Chlorella and Rosenvingiella spp.), a cyanobacterium (Gloeocapsa sp.) and two bacteria associated with the natural community survived. Of the augmented organisms, cells of A. cylindrica and Chroococcidiopsis survived, but no cells of N. commune. Only cells of Chroococcidiopsis were cultured from samples exposed to the unattenuated extraterrestrial ultraviolet (UV) spectrum (4110nm or 200 nm). Raman spectroscopy and bright-field microscopy showed that under these conditions the surface cells were bleached and their carotenoids were destroyed, although cell morphology was preserved. These experiments demonstrate that outer space can act as a selection pressure on the composition of microbial communities. The results obtained from samples exposed to 4200nm UV (simulating the putative worst-case UV exposure on the early Earth) demonstrate the potential for epilithic colonization of land masses during that time, but that UV radiation on anoxic planets can act as a strong selection pressure on surface-dwelling organisms. Finally, these experiments have yielded new phototrophic organisms of potential use in biomass and oxygen production in space exploration.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/70545/
Document Type:Article
Title:Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Cockell, Charles S CEPSAR, Open University, Milton Keynes, UKUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petra DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, Elke DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Olsson-Francis, Karen CEPSAR, Open University, Milton Keynes, UKUNSPECIFIED
Date:2011
Journal or Publication Title:The ISME Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:Epub ahead
DOI :10.1038/ismej.2011.46
Page Range:pp. 1-12
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1751-7362
Status:Published
Keywords:algae, bacteria, cyanobacteria, epilith, Earth orbit, space exploration
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 - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:14
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:30

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