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Impact shocked rocks as protective habitats on an anoxic early Earth

Bryce, Casey C. and Horneck, Gerda and Rabbow, Elke and Edwards, Howell G. M. and Cockell, Charles S. (2014) Impact shocked rocks as protective habitats on an anoxic early Earth. International Journal of Astrobiology, pp. 115-122. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/S1473550414000123. ISSN 1473-5504.

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1473550414000123


On Earth, microorganisms living under intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation stress can adopt endolithic lifestyles, growing within cracks and pore spaces in rocks. Intense UV irradiation encountered by microbes leads to death and significant damage to biomolecules, which also severely diminishes the likelihood of detecting signatures of life. Here we show that porous rocks shocked by asteroid or comet impacts provide protection for phototrophs and their biomolecules during 22 months of UV radiation exposure outside the International Space Station. The UV spectrum used approximated the high-UV flux on the surface of planets lacking ozone shields such as the early Earth. These data provide a demonstration that endolithic habitats can provide a refugium from the worst-case UV radiation environments on young planets and an empirical refutation of the idea that early intense UV radiation fluxes would have prevented phototrophs without the ability to form microbial mats or produce UV protective pigments from colonizing the surface of early landmasses.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/89203/
Document Type:Article
Title:Impact shocked rocks as protective habitats on an anoxic early Earth
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Horneck, GerdaGerman Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Koeln, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, ElkeGerman Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Koeln, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Edwards, Howell G. M.Centre for Astrobiology and Extremophiles Research, School of Life Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Space Science Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cockell, Charles S.UK Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 115-122
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Keywords:chroococcidiopsis, early life, EXPOSE-R, impacts, ISS, low Earth orbit, UV
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 - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:20 May 2014 15:42
Last Modified:22 Sep 2015 10:36

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