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BIOMEX (Biology and Mars Experiment): Preliminary results on Antarctic black cryptoendolithic fungi in ground based experiments

Pacelli, C. and Selbmann, L. and Onofri, S. and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul (2014) BIOMEX (Biology and Mars Experiment): Preliminary results on Antarctic black cryptoendolithic fungi in ground based experiments. EANA 2014, 13.-16. Okt. 2014, Edinburgh, UK.

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Official URL: http://www.astrobiology.ac.uk/files/2013/03/Abstract-Book-EANA.pdf

Abstract

The main goal for astrobiologists is to find traces of present or past life in extraterrestrial environment or in meteorites. Biomolecules, such as lipids, pigments or polysaccharides, may be useful to establish the presence of extant or extinct life (Simoneit, B et al., 1998). BIOMEX (Biology and Mars Experiment) aims to measure to what extent biomolecules, such as pigments and cellular components, preserve their stability under space and Mars-like conditions. The experiment has just been launched in the space and will be exposed on EXPOSE-R payload to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) for about 2 years. Among a number of extremophilic microorganisms tested, the Antarctic cryptoendolithic black fungus Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 515 was included in the experiment. The fungus, living in the airspaces of porous rocks, was already chosen in previous astrobiological investigation for studying the interplanetary transfer of life via meteorites. In that context, the fungus survived 18 months of exposure outside of the ISS (Onofri al., 2012); for all these reasons it is considered an optimal eukaryotic model for astrobiological exploration. Before launch dried samples were exposed, in ground based experiments, to extreme conditions, including vacuum, irradiation and temperature cycles.Upon sample re-hydration and survival analysis, including colony forming ability, Propidium MonoAzide (PMA) assay-coupled quantitative PCR (Mohapatra and La Duc, 2012) all the test systems survived, neither any DNA damage was detectable. Our analyses focused also on mineral-microorganisms interactions and stability/degradation of typical fungal macromolecules, in particular melanin, when exposed to space and simulated Martian conditions, contributing to the development of libraries of biosignatures in rocks, supporting future exploration missions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/94152/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:BIOMEX (Biology and Mars Experiment): Preliminary results on Antarctic black cryptoendolithic fungi in ground based experiments
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Pacelli, C.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIED
Selbmann, L.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIED
Onofri, S.DECOS, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell’Università, Viterbo, Italy;UNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:13 October 2014
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:BIOMEX; antarctic black fungi; space experiment; simulation; Mars
Event Title:EANA 2014
Event Location:Edinburgh, UK
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:13.-16. Okt. 2014
Organizer:UK Centre of Astrobiology
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:06 Jan 2015 14:54
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:51

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