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Damage Escape and Repair in Dried Chroococcidiopsis spp. from Hot and Cold Deserts Exposed to Simulated Space and Martian Conditions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalAstrobiology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Abstract

The cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis, overlain by 3mm of Antarctic sandstone, was exposed as dried multi-layers to simulated space and martian conditions. Ground-based experiments were conducted in the context of Lichens and Fungi Experiments (EXPOSE-E mission, European Space Agency), which were performed to evaluate, after 1.5 years on the International Space Station, the survival of cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsis), lichens, and fungi colonized on Antarctic rock. The survival potential and the role played by protection and repair mechanisms in the response of dried Chroococcidiopsis cells to ground-based experiments were both investigated. Different methods were employed, including evaluation of the colony-forming ability, single-cell analysis of subcellular integrities based on membrane integrity molecular and redox probes, evaluation of the photosynthetic pigment autofluorescence, and assessment of the genomic DNA integrity with a PCR-based assay. Desiccation survivors of strain CCMEE 123 (coastal desert, Chile) were better suited than CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica) to withstand cellular damage imposed by simulated space and martian conditions. Exposed dried cells of strain CCMEE 123 formed colonies, maintained subcellular integrities, and, depending on the exposure conditions, also escaped DNA damage or repaired the induced damage upon rewetting.

    Research areas

  • Astrobiology, Endolithic cyanobacteria, Chroococcidiopsis, Ground-based experiments, TOLERANT CYANOBACTERIUM CHROOCOCCIDIOPSIS, BACILLUS-SUBTILIS, DESICCATION, MICROORGANISMS, RESISTANCE, RADIATION, LIFE, ENVIRONMENTS, TARDIGRADES, VIABILITY

ID: 1495406