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Enabling deep-space experimentations on cyanobacteria by monitoring cell division resumption in dried Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029 with accumulated DNA damage

  • Cyanobacteria are gaining considerable interest as a method of supporting the long-term presence of humans on the Moon and settlements on Mars due to their ability to produce oxygen and their potential as bio-factories for space biotechnology/synthetic biology and other applications. Since many unknowns remain in our knowledge to bridge the gap and move cyanobacterial bioprocesses from Earth to space, we investigated cell division resumption on the rehydration of dried Chroococcidiopsis sp. CCMEE 029 accumulated DNA damage while exposed to space vacuum, Mars-like conditions, and Fe-ion radiation. Upon rehydration, the monitoring of the ftsZ gene showed that cell division was arrested until DNA damage was repaired, which took 48 h under laboratory conditions. During the recovery, a progressive DNA repair lasting 48 h of rehydration was revealed by PCR-stop assay. This was followed by overexpression of the ftsZ gene, ranging from 7.5- to 9-fold compared to the non-hydrated samples. Knowing the time required for DNA repair and cell division resumption is mandatory for deep-space experiments that are designed to unravel the effects of reduced/microgravity on this process. It is also necessary to meet mission requirements for dried-sample implementation and real-time monitoring upon recovery. Future experiments as part of the lunar exploration mission Artemis and the lunar gateway station will undoubtedly help to move cyanobacterial bioprocesses beyond low Earth orbit. From an astrobiological perspective, these experiments will further our understanding of microbial responses to deep-space conditions.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Claudia Fagliarone, Claudia Mosca, Giorgia Di Stefano, Stefan Leuko, Ralf Moeller, Elke Rabbow, Petra Rettberg, Daniela Billi
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Microbiology
Article Number:1150224
Number of pages:7
Publisher:Frontiers Media
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2023/05/17
Copyright:Copyright © 2023 Fagliarone, Mosca, Di Stefano, Leuko, Moeller, Rabbow, Rettberg and Billi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Funding:This research was supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI, DC-VUM-2017-034, Grant No. 2019-3 U.0 Life in Space to DB). RM and SL were supported by the Grant DLR-FuE-Projekt ISS LIFE (Programm RF-FuW, Teilprogramm 475).
Keyword:DNA damage; Fe-ion radiation; cell division; desert cyanobacteria; outer space
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Angewandte Naturwissenschaften
Institut für funktionale Gen-Analytik (IFGA)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 576 Genetik und Evolution
Entry in this database:2023/05/22
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International