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Raman spectroscopic analysis of the calcium oxalate producing extremotolerant lichen Circinaria gyrosa

Böttger, Ute and Meessen, J. and Martinez-Frias, J. and Hübers, Heinz-Wilhelm and Rull, F. and Sánchez, F. J. and de la Torre Noetzel, R. and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul (2014) Raman spectroscopic analysis of the calcium oxalate producing extremotolerant lichen Circinaria gyrosa. International Journal of Astrobiology, 13 (1), pp. 19-27. Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550413000293 ISSN 1473-5504

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In the context of astrobiological exposure and simulation experiments in the BIOMEX project, the lichen Circinaria gyrosa was investigated by Raman microspectroscopy. Owing to the symbiotic nature of lichens and their remarkable extremotolerance, C. gyrosa represents a valid model organism in recent and current astrobiological research. Biogenic compounds of C. gyrosa were studied that may serve as biomarkers in Raman assisted remote sensing missions, e.g. ExoMars. The surface as well as different internal layers of C. gyrosa have been characterized and data on the detectability and distribution of β-carotene, chitin and calcium oxalate monohydrate (whewellite) are presented in this study. Raman microspectroscopy was applied on natural samples and thin sections. Although calcium oxalates can also be formed by rare geological processes it may serve as a suitable biomarker for astrobiological investigations. In the model organism C. gyrosa, it forms extracellular crystalline deposits embedded in the intra-medullary space and its function is assumed to balance water uptake and gas exchange during the rare, moist to wet environmental periods that are physiologically favourable. This is a factor that was repeatedly demonstrated to be essential for extremotolerant lichens and other organisms. Depending on the decomposition processes of whewellite under extraterrestrial environmental conditions, it may not only serve as a biomarker of recent life, but also of past and fossilized organisms.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/79550/
Document Type:Article
Title:Raman spectroscopic analysis of the calcium oxalate producing extremotolerant lichen Circinaria gyrosa
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Böttger, UteUte.Boettger (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Meessen, J.Heinrich-Heine-Universität, DüsseldorfUNSPECIFIED
Martinez-Frias, J.Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC-INTA, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Hübers, Heinz-WilhelmHeinz-Wilhelm.Huebers (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rull, F.Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Ctra. de Ajalvir km. 4, 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Sánchez, F. J.Earth Observation Department, INTA. Ctra. de Ajalvir, Km. 4, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
de la Torre Noetzel, R.Department of Earth Observation, Area of Atmospheric Research and Instrumentation, INTA, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2014
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1017/S1473550413000293
Page Range:pp. 19-27
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Keywords: biomarker; calcium oxalate; Circinaria gyrosa ; Raman spectroscopy
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt ExoMars
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Böttger, Dr.rer.nat. Ute
Deposited On:27 Nov 2013 15:18
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:48

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