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Genotypic & phenotypic diversity of microbial isolates from the Mars Exploration Rovers

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dc.contributor.advisor Benardini, James Nick en_US Arora-Williams, Keith 2014-01-08T18:13:31Z 2014-01-08T18:13:31Z 2012-09-09
dc.identifier.citation NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Amgen Scholar Program, Pasadena, California, September 9, 2012 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 13-0137
dc.description.abstract Mars-bound rovers such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) endure strict planetary protection implementation campaigns to assess bioburden. The objective of this study is to identify cultivable microorganisms isolated by the NASA Standard Assay from spacecraft during pre-launch and evaluate their potential to survive conditions on the Martian surface. Of approximately 350 isolates collected from the MER spacecraft archive, 171 microorganisms were reconstituted for characterization via 16S rRNA fingerprinting. Alignment of 16S sequences revealed high levels of sequence similarity to spore-forming species, overwhelmingly of the genera Bacillus (73.7%) and Paenibacillus (14.0%). Samples underwent phenotype characterization employing multiple carbon sources and ion concentrations in an automated microarray format using the Omnilog system. Working and stock cultures were prepared to address the immediate needs for day-to-day culture utilization and long-term preservation, respectively. Results from this study produced details about the microbes that contaminate surfaces of spacecraft, as well as a preliminary evaluation of a rapid biochemical ID method that also provides a phenotypic assessment of contaminants. The overall outcome of this study will benefit emerging cleaning and sterilization technologies for preventing forward contamination that could negatively impact future life detection or sample return missions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012 en_US
dc.subject planetary protection en_US
dc.subject Mars Exploration Rovers en_US
dc.title Genotypic & phenotypic diversity of microbial isolates from the Mars Exploration Rovers en_US
dc.type Student Report en_US

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