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Laser spectroscopic real time measurements of methanogenic activity under simulated Martian subsurface analogue conditions

Schirmack, J. and Böhm, M. and Bauer, C. and Löhmannsröben, H.G. and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul and Möhlmann, D. and Wagner, D. (2013) Laser spectroscopic real time measurements of methanogenic activity under simulated Martian subsurface analogue conditions. Planetary and Space Science. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2013.08.019i ISSN 0032-0633

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Abstract

On Earth, chemolithoautothrophic and anaerobic microorganisms such as methanogenic archaea are regarded as model organisms for possible subsurface life on Mars. For this reason, the methanogenic strain Methanosarcina soligelidi (formerly called Methanosarcina spec. SMA-21), isolated from permafrost-affected soil in northeast Siberia, has been tested under Martian thermo-physical conditions. In previous studies under simulated Martian conditions, high survival rates of these microorganisms were observed. In our study we present a method to measure methane production as first attempt to study metabolic activity of methanogenic archaea during simulated conditions, which are approaching conditions of Mars-like environments. To determine methanogenic activity, a measurement technique which is capable to measure the produced methane concentration with high precision and with high temporal resolution is needed. Although there are several methods to detect methane, only a few fulfill all the needed requirements to work within simulated extraterrestrial environments. We have chosen laser spectroscopy, which is a non-destructive technique that measures the methane concentration without sample taking and also can be run continuously. In our simulation, we detected methane production at temperatures down to -5°C, which would be found on Mars either temporarily in the shallow subsurface or continually in the deep subsurface. The pressure of 50 kPa which we used in our experiments, corresponds to the expected pressure in the Martian near subsurface. Our new device proved to be fully functional and the results indicate that the possible existence of methanogenic archaea in Martian subsurface habitats cannot be ruled out.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/83654/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Bisher nur online erschienen.
Title:Laser spectroscopic real time measurements of methanogenic activity under simulated Martian subsurface analogue conditions
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Schirmack, J.Alferd Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit PotsdamUNSPECIFIED
Böhm, M.University of Potsdam, Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, innoFSPEC PotsdamUNSPECIFIED
Bauer, C.University of Potsdam, Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, innoFSPEC PotsdamUNSPECIFIED
Löhmannsröben, H.G.University of Potsdam, Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, innoFSPEC PotsdamUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Möhlmann, D.dirk.moehlmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, D.Geoforschungszentrum, Potsdam UNSPECIFIED
Date:23 August 2013
Journal or Publication Title:Planetary and Space Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.pss.2013.08.019i
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0032-0633
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars; Methanogens; Methane; Sub-zero temperature (Celsius); Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy (Laser 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 - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: de Vera, Dr. Jean Pierre Paul
Deposited On:28 Nov 2013 11:08
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:49

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