Pre-flight Kombucha samples testing before exposition outboard the International Space Station

1Zaets, I, 1Podolich, O, 1Kukharenko, O, 1Orlovska, I, 1Haidak, A, 1Shpylova, S, 2Khirunenko, L, 3Rogutskyy, I, 4Reva, O, 5Rabbow, E, 6de Vera, J-PP, 7Demets, R, 1Kozyrovska, N
1Institute of Molecular Biology & Genetics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine
2Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
3Institute of Physics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine
4Pretoria University, Bioinformatics Сenter, Pretoria, South Africa
5German Aerospace Center (DLR) Cologne, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology, FRG
6German Aerospace Center (DLR) Berlin, Institute of Planetary Research, FRG, Berlin,Germany
7ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Kosm. nauka tehnol. 2015, 21 ;(3):54–58
Section: Space Life Sciences
Publication Language: English

Kombucha is a multispecies microbial community which produce bacterial cellulose — a polymer molecule to be a candidate for a biomarker of life. For the pre-flight ground-based phase of Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX), the multi-microbial cellulosebased biofilm was embedded in mineral material to test the structural integrity of the bacterial cellulose and a survival of communitymembers under Mars-like CO2-rich atmosphere, pressure and solar irradiation spectrum similar to that on the surface of Mars. During the preparatory testing stage it was found that after the synergistic action of a set of stressful space- and Mars-associated factors the mineralized cellulose preserved the characteristic molecular fingerprints, which might be detected instrumentally. The flight stage of the BIOMEX begun on July, 2014 and will last for 12—18 months on the EXPOSE-R2 platform mounted by the astronauts outside the ISS

Keywords: astrobiology, bacterial cellulose, Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX), biosignature

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