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Detection of Macromolecules in Desert Cyanobacteria Mixed with a Lunar Mineral Analogue After Space Simulations

Baqué, Mickael and Verseux, Cyprien and Rabbow, Elke and de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul and Billi, Daniela (2014) Detection of Macromolecules in Desert Cyanobacteria Mixed with a Lunar Mineral Analogue After Space Simulations. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s11084-014-9367-4 ISSN 0169-6149

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11084-014-9367-4

Abstract

In the context of future exposure missions in Low Earth Orbit and possibly on the Moon, two desert strains of the cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, strains CCMEE 029 and 057, mixed or not with a lunar mineral analogue, were exposed to fractionated fluencies of UVC and polychromatic UV (200–400 nm) and to space vacuum. These experiments were carried out within the framework of the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) project, which aims at broadening our knowledge of mineral-microorganism interaction and the stability/degradation of their macromolecules when exposed to space and simulated Martian conditions. The presence of mineral analogues provided a protective effect, preserving survivability and integrity of DNA and photosynthetic pigments, as revealed by testing colony-forming abilities, performing PCR-based assays and using confocal laser scanning microscopy. In particular, DNA and pigments were still detectable after 500 kJ/m² of polychromatic UV and space vacuum (10⁻⁴ Pa), corresponding to conditions expected during one-year exposure in Low Earth Orbit on board the EXPOSE-R2 platform in the presence of 0.1 % Neutral Density (ND) filter. After exposure to high UV fluencies (800 MJ/m²) in the presence of minerals, however, altered fluorescence emission spectrum of the photosynthetic pigments were detected, whereas DNA was still amplified by PCR. The present paper considers the implications of such findings for the detection of biosignatures in extraterrestrial conditions and for putative future lunar missions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/91505/
Document Type:Article
Title:Detection of Macromolecules in Desert Cyanobacteria Mixed with a Lunar Mineral Analogue After Space Simulations
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Baqué, MickaelDepartment of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Verseux, CyprienDepartment of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, ElkeRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean-Pierre PaulInstitute of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center (DLR) Berlin, Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Billi, DanielaDepartment of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2014
Journal or Publication Title:Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
Refereed publication:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s11084-014-9367-4
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0169-6149
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology, Extreme environments, Expose-R2, Biosignatures, Lunar regolith
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: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:13 Nov 2014 11:44
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 15:52

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