Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Standard

Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. / Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Goul, Michael; Rasmussen, Martin; Moeller, Ralf; Nørnberg, Per; Jensen, Svend Knak; Finster, Kai.

2017. Abstract from EGU 2017, Wien, Austria.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Harvard

Bak, EN, Goul, M, Rasmussen, M, Moeller, R, Nørnberg, P, Jensen, SK & Finster, K 2017, 'Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars', EGU 2017, Wien, Austria, 24/04/2017 - 27/04/2017.

APA

Bak, E. N., Goul, M., Rasmussen, M., Moeller, R., Nørnberg, P., Jensen, S. K., & Finster, K. (2017). Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. Abstract from EGU 2017, Wien, Austria.

CBE

Bak EN, Goul M, Rasmussen M, Moeller R, Nørnberg P, Jensen SK, Finster K. 2017. Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. Abstract from EGU 2017, Wien, Austria.

MLA

Bak, Ebbe Norskov et al. Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. EGU 2017, 24 Apr 2017, Wien, Austria, Conference abstract for conference, 2017.

Vancouver

Bak EN, Goul M, Rasmussen M, Moeller R, Nørnberg P, Jensen SK et al. Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. 2017. Abstract from EGU 2017, Wien, Austria.

Author

Bak, Ebbe Norskov ; Goul, Michael ; Rasmussen, Martin ; Moeller, Ralf ; Nørnberg, Per ; Jensen, Svend Knak ; Finster, Kai. / Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars. Abstract from EGU 2017, Wien, Austria.

Bibtex

@conference{88d42fffabf54731a6cfcb93f591ddbf,
title = "Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars",
abstract = "The Martian surface is a hostile environment characterized by low water availability, low atmospheric pressure and high UV and ionizing radiation. Furthermore, wind-driven saltation leads to abrasion of silicates with a production of reactive surface sites and, through triboelectric charging, a release of electrical discharges with a concomitant production of reactive oxygen species. While the effects of low water availability, low pressure and radiation have been extensively studied in relation to the habitability of the Martian surface and the preservation of organic biosignatures, the effects of wind-driven saltation have hitherto been ignored. In this study, we have investigated the effect of exposing bacteria to wind-abraded silicates and directly to wind-driven saltation on Mars in controlled laboratory simulation experiments. Wind-driven saltation was simulated by tumbling mineral samples in a Mars-like atmosphere in sealed quartz ampoules. The effects on bacterial survival and structure were evaluated by colony forming unit counts in combination with scanning electron microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and life/dead-staining with flow cytometry. The viability of vegetative cells of P. putida, B. subtilis and D. radiodurans in aqueous suspensions was reduced by more than 99% by exposure to abraded basalt, while the viability of B. subtilis endospores was unaffected. B. subtilis mutants lacking different spore components were likewise highly resistant to the exposure to abraded basalt, which indicates that the resistance of spores is not associated with any specific spore component. We found a significant but reduced effect of abraded quartz and we suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates is induced by a production of reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radicals produced by Fenton-like reactions in the presence of transition metals. Direct exposure to simulated saltation had a dramatic effect on both D. radiodurans cells and B. subtilis spore with a more than 99.9% decrease in survival after 17 days. The high susceptibility of the usually multi-resistant D. radiodurans cells and B. sublitis spores to the effects of wind-driven saltation indicates that wind abraded silicates as well as direct exposure to saltation represent a considerable stress for microorganisms at the Martian surface, which may have limited the chance of indigenous life, could limit the risk of forward contamination and may have degraded potential organic biosignatures. ",
author = "Bak, {Ebbe Norskov} and Michael Goul and Martin Rasmussen and Ralf Moeller and Per N{\o}rnberg and Jensen, {Svend Knak} and Kai Finster",
year = "2017",
month = apr,
day = "24",
language = "English",
note = "null ; Conference date: 24-04-2017 Through 27-04-2017",

}

RIS

TY - ABST

T1 - Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars

AU - Bak, Ebbe Norskov

AU - Goul, Michael

AU - Rasmussen, Martin

AU - Moeller, Ralf

AU - Nørnberg, Per

AU - Jensen, Svend Knak

AU - Finster, Kai

PY - 2017/4/24

Y1 - 2017/4/24

N2 - The Martian surface is a hostile environment characterized by low water availability, low atmospheric pressure and high UV and ionizing radiation. Furthermore, wind-driven saltation leads to abrasion of silicates with a production of reactive surface sites and, through triboelectric charging, a release of electrical discharges with a concomitant production of reactive oxygen species. While the effects of low water availability, low pressure and radiation have been extensively studied in relation to the habitability of the Martian surface and the preservation of organic biosignatures, the effects of wind-driven saltation have hitherto been ignored. In this study, we have investigated the effect of exposing bacteria to wind-abraded silicates and directly to wind-driven saltation on Mars in controlled laboratory simulation experiments. Wind-driven saltation was simulated by tumbling mineral samples in a Mars-like atmosphere in sealed quartz ampoules. The effects on bacterial survival and structure were evaluated by colony forming unit counts in combination with scanning electron microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and life/dead-staining with flow cytometry. The viability of vegetative cells of P. putida, B. subtilis and D. radiodurans in aqueous suspensions was reduced by more than 99% by exposure to abraded basalt, while the viability of B. subtilis endospores was unaffected. B. subtilis mutants lacking different spore components were likewise highly resistant to the exposure to abraded basalt, which indicates that the resistance of spores is not associated with any specific spore component. We found a significant but reduced effect of abraded quartz and we suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates is induced by a production of reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radicals produced by Fenton-like reactions in the presence of transition metals. Direct exposure to simulated saltation had a dramatic effect on both D. radiodurans cells and B. subtilis spore with a more than 99.9% decrease in survival after 17 days. The high susceptibility of the usually multi-resistant D. radiodurans cells and B. sublitis spores to the effects of wind-driven saltation indicates that wind abraded silicates as well as direct exposure to saltation represent a considerable stress for microorganisms at the Martian surface, which may have limited the chance of indigenous life, could limit the risk of forward contamination and may have degraded potential organic biosignatures.

AB - The Martian surface is a hostile environment characterized by low water availability, low atmospheric pressure and high UV and ionizing radiation. Furthermore, wind-driven saltation leads to abrasion of silicates with a production of reactive surface sites and, through triboelectric charging, a release of electrical discharges with a concomitant production of reactive oxygen species. While the effects of low water availability, low pressure and radiation have been extensively studied in relation to the habitability of the Martian surface and the preservation of organic biosignatures, the effects of wind-driven saltation have hitherto been ignored. In this study, we have investigated the effect of exposing bacteria to wind-abraded silicates and directly to wind-driven saltation on Mars in controlled laboratory simulation experiments. Wind-driven saltation was simulated by tumbling mineral samples in a Mars-like atmosphere in sealed quartz ampoules. The effects on bacterial survival and structure were evaluated by colony forming unit counts in combination with scanning electron microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and life/dead-staining with flow cytometry. The viability of vegetative cells of P. putida, B. subtilis and D. radiodurans in aqueous suspensions was reduced by more than 99% by exposure to abraded basalt, while the viability of B. subtilis endospores was unaffected. B. subtilis mutants lacking different spore components were likewise highly resistant to the exposure to abraded basalt, which indicates that the resistance of spores is not associated with any specific spore component. We found a significant but reduced effect of abraded quartz and we suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates is induced by a production of reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radicals produced by Fenton-like reactions in the presence of transition metals. Direct exposure to simulated saltation had a dramatic effect on both D. radiodurans cells and B. subtilis spore with a more than 99.9% decrease in survival after 17 days. The high susceptibility of the usually multi-resistant D. radiodurans cells and B. sublitis spores to the effects of wind-driven saltation indicates that wind abraded silicates as well as direct exposure to saltation represent a considerable stress for microorganisms at the Martian surface, which may have limited the chance of indigenous life, could limit the risk of forward contamination and may have degraded potential organic biosignatures.

M3 - Conference abstract for conference

Y2 - 24 April 2017 through 27 April 2017

ER -