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Characterisation of Growth and Ultrastructural Effects of the Xanthoria elegans Photobiont After 1.5 Years of Space Exposure on the International Space Station

Brandt, A. and Posthoff, E. and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul and Onofri, S. and Ott, S. (2015) Characterisation of Growth and Ultrastructural Effects of the Xanthoria elegans Photobiont After 1.5 Years of Space Exposure on the International Space Station. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s11084-015-9470-1. ISSN 0169-6149.

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Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11084-015-9470-1#

Abstract

The lichen Xanthoria elegans has been exposed to space and simulated Mars-analogue environment in the Lichen and Fungi Experiment (LIFE) on the EXPOSE-E facility at the International Space Station (ISS). This long-term exposure of 559 days tested the ability of various organisms to cope with either low earth orbit (LEO) or Mars-analogue conditions, such as vacuum, Mars-analogue atmosphere, rapid temperature cycling, cosmic radiation of up to 215 ± 16mGy, and insolation of accumulated doses up to 4.87GJm−2, including up to 0.314GJm−2 of UV irradiation. In a previous study, X. elegans demonstrated considerable resistance towards these conditions by means of photosynthetic activity as well as by post-exposure metabolic activity of 50–80 % in the algal and 60–90 % in the fungal symbiont (Brandt et al. Int J Astrobiol 1 (3):411– 425, 2015). The two objectives of the present study were complementary: First, to verify the high post-exposure viability by using a qualitative cultivation assay. Second, to characterise the cellular damages by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) which were caused by the space and Mars analogue exposure conditions of LIFE. Since the algal symbiont of lichens is considered as the more susceptible partner (de Vera and Ott 2010), the analyses focused on the photobiont. The study demonstrated growth and proliferation of the isolated photobiont after all exposure conditions of LIFE. The ultrastructural analysis of the algal cells provided an insight to cellular damages caused by long-term exposure and highlighted that desiccation-induced breakdown of cellular integrity is more pronounced under the more severe space vacuum than under Mars analogue atmospheric conditions. In conclusion, desiccation-induced damages were identified as a major threat to the photobiont of X. elegans. Nonetheless, a fraction of the photobiont cells remained cultivable after all exposure conditions tested in LIFE.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/99287/
Document Type:Article
Title:Characterisation of Growth and Ultrastructural Effects of the Xanthoria elegans Photobiont After 1.5 Years of Space Exposure on the International Space Station
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Brandt, A.Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität DüsseldorfUNSPECIFIED
Posthoff, E.Institut für Botanik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität DüsseldorfUNSPECIFIED
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Onofri, S.Universitá della Tuscia ViterboUNSPECIFIED
Ott, S.Institute of Botany, Heinrich-Heine-University, Universitätsstr.1, 40225 Düsseldorf, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2 November 2015
Journal or Publication Title:Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s11084-015-9470-1
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0169-6149
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology; Expose-E; Life; Lichen; Space conditions; Mars-analogue conditions
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Exploration of the Solar System
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: de Vera, Dr. Jean Pierre Paul
Deposited On:17 Nov 2015 13:57
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:29

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