Janice E. Thies, in Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry (Fourth Edition), 2015. In addition, the concurrent and significant influence of Brownian motion, which is not gravity dependent, also suggests that microbial cells are not likely to discern the lesser influence of gravity at any given instance, although the cumulative effect of sedimentation can result in altered environmental conditions, hence indirectly affecting microbial metabolism (137). Taken collectively with other findings apparently similarly governed by motility, this correlation provides additional insight into how microgravity dictates the relationship between the cell and its environment, further reinforcing the mechanistic explanation that the indirect altering of mass transfer is responsible for the changes observed in space. The identification of these targets and their associated mechanisms will provide new directions for drug development and refractory infection treatment strategies. Bacterial gene expression of specific virulence factors for S. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa was similarly characterized under defined sets of experimental conditions for comparison across the different experiments. Studies on the induction of mutations (e.g., histidine reversion in B. subtilis and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and azide resistance in B. subtilis spores) gave the following results: (i) few, if any, mutations were induced by light ions (Z ≤ 10), and (ii) for heavier ions (Z ≥ 26), the mutation cross section, σm, increased with energy up to a maximum or saturation point. In 2002, Monascus purpureus was the first microbe carried by Shenzhou III. While growth for muticelluar organisms is typically measured in terms of the increase in size of a single organism, microbial growth is measured by the increase in population, either by measuring the increase in cell number or the increase in overall mass. Using ESA's Biopan facility for 2-week space experiments, it was demonstrated that mixing spores of B. subtilis with clay, rock, or meteorite powder increased their survival by 3 to 4 orders of magnitude compared to those without any additive (110). It was Kircher who first recognized the importance of microorganisms in disease development. 11). (141) targeted several biomarkers, such as ATP, LPS, and DNA (ribosomal or spore specific), to quantify the total bioburden and specific types of microbial contamination on the surfaces inside the spacecraft and in drinking water reservoirs aboard the ISS. (Modified from reference 103 with permission of the publisher.). Another antibiotic production study, conducted using kanglemycin C (K-C), an immunosuppressant isolated from the culture broth of Nocardia mediterranei var. The aim of this chapter is to sum up important progress in the field of human skin microbiota research that was achieved over the last years.The human skin is one of the largest and most versatile organs of the human body. In a variety of space experiments, spores of Bacillus subtilis have been used as biological dosimeters at the μm scale to determine radial biological efficiency along the trajectories of individual HZE particles. It was determined that increasing the differential rotation rate (microgravity) increased mixing and transport, while increasing the mean rotation rate (ground-based system) suppressed both. Since 1992, five Biopan missions have been completed successfully (Table 1). (i) Microbial drug resistance.Leys et al. Long-term exposure (about 3 months) of organic chemical compounds and microorganisms to space was also conducted in 1999 by the French Perseus mission on the Russian MIR station (220). Survival as a function of applied shock pressure during shock recovery experiments with spores of B. subtilis TKL 6312 and cells of Chroococcidiopsis sp. Other techniques for exploring altered inertial environments while still on Earth, such as temporary free fall, neutral buoyancy, and diamagnetic levitation (79), can also provide additional insight into how gravity affects microbial systems. Space microbiology is in its infancy worldwide (Su et al., 2013), and the influence of the space environment on microorganisms and the relevant specific mechanisms are cutting‐edge issues that require further research and attention. The responses of microorganisms to microgravity at the molecular and cellular levels are discussed in “Role of Gravity in Basic Biological Processes.” It should be noted that microgravity mostly interferes with growing or metabolizing cells; however, in the exposure experiments, dry layers of cells, fungal conidia, or bacterial spores were used that were not affected by the gravity environment. When captured by a planet with an atmosphere, most meteorites are subjected to very high temperatures during landing. 16), a vital launch window for the transport of rock-colonizing microorganisms from a Mars-like planet was inferred that encompasses shock pressures in the range of 5 to about 40 GPa for the bacterial endospores and lichens, with a more limited one for endolithic cyanobacteria (from 5 to 10 GPa). Foods can be considered as a medium for microbial growth. The goal of the NLP projects is to develop a vaccine against diarrhea-causing strains of Salmonella, for which no vaccine is currently available. In comparison with clinostat results relative to 1 × g unstirred conditions, this experiment showed that comparable behavior could be achieved by partially immobilizing the cells through matched density with the medium, further suggesting that the dominating role of gravity at this scale is that of indirectly altering the extracellular environment, not action on the cells directly (15). Is interplanetary transport of microorganisms by natural processes feasible? However, a small percentage of meteorites could travel within a few months or years between Earth and Mars or vice versa, as model calculations have shown (164a). Experiments in the ESA Biorack facility (26) aboard Spacelab IML-1 (STS-42; 22 to 30 January 1992) with the temperature-conditional repair mutant Saccharomyces cerevisiae rad 54-3 provided further support for this hypothesis (208). Due to space requirements and load limits, there is limited space in this closed system to form a high‐density population. The microbes in the soil are responsible for decaying the dead organisms and thus clearing them from the surface of the earth. The objective was to simulate meteorite entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The development of guidelines for bioload measurements, sterilization procedures, and planetary protection control represent additional upcoming paramount tasks for microbiologists. Last Published: 7/7/2016. However, single bacterial spores, as suggested by the original panspermia hypothesis (4), would be killed within a few minutes by the energetic solar UV radiation (110). Bioproduction of pharmaceutical compounds on orbit. Better collection of data in vivo during the flight without affecting the desired measured outcome is needed in order to fully understand the immune response process. These factors, combined with the potential for immunosuppression suspected to occur in astronauts due to various spaceflight stressors, present increasing health-related concerns as human space missions become extended in duration and, more importantly, in distance from Earth (134). We have used chemical graft polymerization to obtain space materials with enhanced antimicrobial and bactericidal properties. (195) further described the presence of bacteria, fungi, and other organisms living in liquid condensate found trapped behind instrument panels aboard the MIR space station. In another approach to simulate hypervelocity entry of meteoroids from space, sounding rockets have been used, with granite samples permeated with spores of B. subtilis WN511 attached to various sites on the rocket surface (63). kanglensis 1747-64, was performed in 2002 aboard an unmanned Chinese vehicle, Shenzhou III. During this mission, a radiation dose of 48.7 mGy was received by the upper, sun-exposed layer, and 36.8 mGy was received by the bottom, dark layer (Table 1). (66) examined the effect of simulated microgravity on production of rapamycin by Streptomyces hygroscopicus and reported decreased dry cell weight, with growth occurring in pellet form, and inhibition of rapamycin production. The exposure tray, partitioned in four square quartz-covered compartments, was accommodated in the cargo bay of SL1 and mounted on the cold plate of the pallet (Fig. Using space simulation facilities, Moeller et al. Use of a lunar outpost as an operational test bed is one possibility for validating the inclusion and verifying the performance of a biologically based life support system intended for a future Mars habitat. EXPOSE-E facility mounted on the EuTeF platform of the European Columbus module of the ISS. (Courtesy of ESA.). Monitoring the phenotypes of microflora and the selection of appropriate antibiotics according to the actual results of antibiotic susceptibility tests on spacecraft may help decrease the risk of infection. Spores of B. subtilis strains defective in major SASPs (α/β-type SASPs) that largely protect the spore DNA and of strains deficient in NHEJ DNA repair were significantly more sensitive to the applied shock pressure than were wild-type spores. In addition, with the expansion of the scope of human space exploration, space microbes may be contaminated by mutated microbes in the space station, and after the spacecraft returns to Earth, these microbe variations may result in the invasion of new species. Although the ISS potable water was not found to contain cultivable microbes, molecular techniques did retrieve DNA sequences of numerous opportunistic pathogens. The interaction between these microorganisms and the host may be critical in health and disease. The periplasm (the space between the inner and outer membranes) of E. coli makes up 20–40% of the cell volume. From 1977 to 1978, she was visiting invstigator at the Scripps Clinics in La Jolla, CA. Interestingly, the increase was attributed to enhanced specific productivity, as fungal biomasses were not significantly different between the flight and ground cultures. In spores that were UV irradiated in vacuum, two additional thymine decomposition products, namely, the cis-syn and trans-syn cyclobutane thymine dimers, as well as DNA-protein cross-linking, were found (106, 107, 150) in addition to the spore photoproduct. In a related endeavor, Brown et al. A review of the literature from the decades that followed, however, reveals that a variety of differences in microbial growth and behavior have in fact been observed as a result of spaceflight, with the results presumably attributable to some aspect of weightlessness (132, 146, 186, 200, 257). Since under these terrestrial spaceflight analog conditions gravity remains a constant influence, the near-motionless state of the cell relative to the surrounding medium achieved from continuous reorientation is thought to be the primary factor causing the altered responses. Spacecraft, whether robotic orbiters, entry probes, or landers, can unintentionally introduce terrestrial microorganisms to the planet or moon of concern. In contrast, culture-independent, rapid enumeration techniques revealed the presence of many Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms, including actinomycetes and fungi. These changes in S. aureus were correlated with a large increase in the thickness of the cell wall following in‐flight growth in the absence of antibiotic, similar to the increases in cell wall thickness observed in vancomycin intermediate‐resistant S. aureus (Hamilton‐Miller and Shah, 1999). Results are from Biostack III on the Apollo Soyuz test project (ASTP). Given the apparent hostility of the environment, Earth's atmosphere just above the surface contains a variety of airborne microorganisms that are thought to originate from the soil, lakes, oceans (20, 75, 82, 127, 196, 204, 221, 271), animals (21), plants (151), sewage treatment plants (1, 168, 182), animal renderings (237), solid waste recovery systems (145), wastewater spray irrigation sites (25), and fermentation and other biotechnological processes (36, 43). Outer space as a test bed for assessing limits for survival of microorganisms. However, a slow-growing, heat-resistant bacterium, identified as Microbispora sp., was recovered from the experiment hardware. She has published more than 60 papers in refereed journals and is editor of two books on astrobiology and coauthor of a book on the search for life in the solar system. We have organized a true virtual location, a space where you will be able to: Follow the live streaming of the congress, listen to experts and opinion makers and be informed about latest trends and technological breakthroughs in sterility and aseptic processing NOTE: We request your email address only to inform the recipient that it was you who recommended this article, and that it is not junk mail. Past NASA Space Biology Program research has shown that exposure to spaceflight conditions causes some microorganisms to become more virulent, or infectious, as they adapt and acclimate to this new environment, creating a potential risk to crew health. Increased growth rate and amikacin resistance of Salmonella enteritidis after one‐month spaceflight on China’s Shenzhou‐11 spacecraft. To investigate potential phenotypic changes for bacteria grown in space, Escherichia coli was cultured onboard the International Space Station with matched controls on Earth. Therefore, the synergistic effects of microgravity and radiation in biological systems that have been observed in several instances, e.g., embryonic systems (reviewed in references 92 and 93), can probably not be explained by a disturbance of intracellular repair in microgravity. Interestingly, the σs protein concentration in clinorotated cells was found to be 30% lower during exponential phase and 100% higher during stationary phase. Further multimicroscopic analyses revealed no detectable ultrastructural changes in most of the algal and fungal cells of the lichens. Morse and Jackson (177) described the potential for resistant strains to develop in a spacecraft water reclamation system as a result. The distances that airborne organisms may travel have been analyzed for mid-latitudes, modeled (e.g., 138, 148, 149), and found to range from a few km to thousands of km. Standard Microbiological laboratories are essential to do these investigations. Facilities for exposing microorganisms to outer space. and Halo-G), in conidia of Aspergillus ochraceus, in spores of B. subtilis, and in the plasmid pBR322, which were exposed to the full spectrum of extraterrestrial solar UV (>110 nm or >170 nm) during various space missions (56, 107, 158). Studies of microbial secondary metabolism in response to spaceflight and simulated microgravity (SMG) have yielded conflicting results, and no consensus on future antibiotic production in the space environment has been reached (Demain and Fang, 2001; Gao et al., 2011). Much current research is focused on differential gene expression in an attempt to correlate responses to weightlessness (or simulated weightlessness) to specific genes being up- or downregulated. Although such impacts are very energetic, a certain fraction of ejecta are not heated above 100°C. We can also obtain more useful secondary metabolites from microorganisms, such as antibiotics, food, health products, and other factors. Can we use the space environment to simulate certain planetary environments to model and test the habitability of those planets? (146) reported that significantly greater concentrations of various antibiotics were needed to inhibit in vitro bacterial growth in space. The EXPOSE-E facility was launched with STS 122 on 7 February 2008 and mounted by extravehicular activity to the European Columbus Module of the ISS as part of the European Technology Facility (EuTeF) platform (6). In 2013, a strain of Lysobacter enzymogenes sent into space via the Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou X for approximately 15 days exhibited an increase in the production of the endoproteinase Lys‐C of up to 40.2%, with perfect stability. Spores of B. subtilis 168 in the biological dosimeter “biofilm” were also used on board the MIR station for quantifying the exposure of cosmonauts to harmful extraterrestrial UV radiation during “sunbathing” at a quartz window, as well as for assessing the sufficiency of this UV radiation for internal vitamin D production by the cosmonauts (218). Between 1999 and 2002, Streptomyces fradiae was carried onboard the spacecraft Shenzhou I, Shenzhou III and Shenzhou IV for space breeding research studies. XII Future Promise. We now know that Martian meteorites were ejected from Mars as a result of impacts of km-sized asteroids or comets. More than 250 species of bacteria were detected in the Mir space station 15 years after its launch. Similarly, Hensle reported that Acinetobacter baumannii exhibited no apparent changes in resistance toamikacin, ampicillin/sulbactam, azithromycin, ceftazidime, gatifloxacin, gentamicin, imipenem, meropenem, minocycline, ticarcillin/clavulanic acid, tigecycline, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole after culture in LSMMG (Hensley, 2010). Spaceflight-induced alterations in S. enterica serovar Typhimurium virulence were characterized for cultures grown in nutrient-rich media and compared to growth in nutrient-limited media in order to examine physiological and virulence responses to varying nutritional status. Smaller increases in the MICs of oxacillin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol against Staphylococcus aureus were also observed (Tixador et al., 1985a,b). IL‐2 and INF‐γ) and immunoglobulin proteins (e.g. This mutagenic effect by space vacuum, which has since been confirmed in other space and laboratory experiments, is probably based on a unique molecular signature of tandem double-base changes at restricted sites in the DNA (181). Microorganisms exhibit high adaptability to extreme environments of outer space via phenotypic and genetic changes. Antimicrobial materials include those that are intrinsically antimicrobial in their original structure or are antimicrobial after chemical modification or the introduction of antimicrobial agents (Little et al., 1994). Outlook and Future DirectionsWith international plans being formulated for solar system exploration, either using robotic probes or with human crews, microbiologists are confronted with exciting new opportunities and challenging demands. China began performing space experiments on Shenzhou II in 2001 and has gradually accumulated experience in the effects of the space environment on microorganisms. In this EUV range, the spectral efficiency for inactivation sharply increases with increasing energy of the photons (99). 3), both of which are particularly hazardous to biomolecules, most notably nucleic acids and proteins, which have peak irradiance absorptions at 260 and 280 nm, respectively (Fig. During the massive recovery effort, live organisms were recovered (241). Furthermore, it was found that protein stability was decreased under clinorotation during exponential growth, with a slight decrease persisting into the stationary phase. Repair of radiation induced genetic damage under microgravity.
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