Surviving Mars – from a microbiological point of view

This seminar is part of the EAI on-line seminars

By Kristina Beblo-Vranesevic, Radiation Biology Department, DLR, Germany

29 March 2022, 16:00 CEST

Mars analogue environments are some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Their unique combination of multiples extremes (e.g. high salinity, anoxia, and low nutrient availability) make them a valuable source of new polyextremophilic microbes in general and for exploring the limits of life. These are seen as vital sources of information for Astrobiology, with implications for planetary protection and the search for life outside our planet.

Mars, especially the surface, is still considered very hostile to life. Nevertheless, there are probably geological niches where the occurrence of life is conceivable. Current knowledge on the capability of (facultative) anaerobic microbes as single strains or in communities to withstand Martian conditions is still very sparse.

Here, results will be shown on the survivability of different microorganisms, isolated from Mars analogue environments after exposure to Mars relevant stress factors (like desiccation, (non)-ionizing radiation, exposure to perchlorates under anoxic conditions).