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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39220

Title: Survival of spacecraft-associated microorganisms under simulated Martian UV irradiation
Authors: Newcombe, David A.
Schuerger, Andrew C.
Benardini, James N.
Dickinson, Danielle
Tanner, Roger
Venkateswaran, Kasthuri
Keywords: Microbial species
Bacillus
plantery protection
Issue Date: Dec-2005
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Citation: Applied and Environmental Microbiology,Vol. 71, No. 12, 8147-8156
Abstract: Spore-forming microbes recovered from spacecraft surfaces and assembly facilities were exposed to simulated Martian UV irradiation. The effects of UVA (315 to 400 nm), UVA_B (280 to 400 nm), and the full UV spectrum (200 to 400 nm) on the survival of microorganisms were studied at UV intensities expected to strike the surfaces of Mars. Microbial species isolated from the surfaces of several spacecraft, including Mars Odyssey, X-2000 (avionics), and the International Space Station, and their assembly facilities were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Forty-three Bacillus spore lines were screened, and 19 isolates showed resistance to UVC irradiation (200 to 280 nm) after exposure to 1,000 J m_2 of UVC irradiation at 254 nm using a low-pressure mercury lamp. Spores of Bacillus species isolated from spacecraft-associated surfaces were more resistant than a standard dosimetric strain, Bacillus subtilis 168. In addition, the exposure time required for UVA_B irradiation to reduce the viable spore numbers by 90% was 35-fold longer than the exposure time required for the full UV spectrum to do this, confirming that UVC is the primary biocidal bandwidth. Among the Bacillus species tested, spores of a Bacillus pumilus strain showed the greatest resistance to all three UV bandwidths, as well as the total spectrum. The resistance to simulated Mars UV irradiation was strain specific; B. pumilus SAFR-032 exhibited greater resistance than all other strains tested. The isolation of organisms like B. pumilus SAFR-032 and the greater survival of this organism (sixfold) than of the standard dosimetric strains should be considered when the anitation capabilities of UV irradiation are determined.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/39220
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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