Multimicrobial Kombucha Culture Tolerates Mars-Like Conditions Simulated on Low-Earth Orbit
Olga Podolich, Olga Kukharenko, Andriy Haidak, Iryna Zaets, Leonid Zaika, Olha Storozhuk, Larysa Palchikovska, Iryna Orlovska, Oleg Reva, Tatiana Borisova, Ludmila Khirunenko, M
A kombucha multimicrobial culture (KMC) was exposed to simulated Mars-like conditions in low Earth orbit (LEO). The study was part of the BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment (BIOMEX), which was accommodated in the European Space Agency's EXPOSE-R2 facility, outside the International Space Station. The aim of the study was to investigate the capability of a KMC microecosystem to survive simulated Mars-like conditions in LEO. During the 18-month exposure period, desiccated KMC samples, represented by living cellulose-based films, were subjected to simulated anoxic Mars-like conditions and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, as prevalent at the surface of present-day Mars. Postexposure analysis demonstrated that the growth of both the bacterial and yeast members of the KMC community was observed after 60 days of incubation, whereas growth was detected after 2 days in the initial KMC. The KMC that was exposed to extraterrestrial UV radiation showed degradation of DNA, alteration in the composition and structure of the cellular membranes, and inhibition of cellulose synthesis. In the "space dark control" (exposed to LEO conditions without the UV radiation), the diversity of the microorganisms that survived in the biofilm was reduced compared with the ground-based controls. This was accompanied by structural dissimilarities in the extracellular membrane vesicles. After a series of subculturing, the revived communities restored partially their structure and associated activities.
Keywords: kombucha multimicrobial culture—survivability—biofilm— extracellular membrane vesicles
Citation: ASTROBIOLOGY Volume 19, Number 2, 2019 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.DOI: 10.1089/ast.2017.1746
Study Mailing Address:
Olga Podolich, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Acad. Zabolotnoho str., 150, 03680 Kiev, Ukraine
Date Updated: March 12, 2020