Evaluation of the Resistance of Chroococcidiopsis spp. to Sparsely and Densely Ionizing Irradiation

Condensed Matter journal club

Evaluation of the Resistance of Chroococcidiopsis spp. to Sparsely and Densely Ionizing Irradiation

  • Event time: 11:30am until 12:30pm
  • Event date: 7th April 2017
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: 2511

Event details

Studying the resistance of cyanobacteria to ionizing radiation provides relevant information regarding astrobiology-related topics including the search for life on Mars, lithopanspermia, and biological life-support systems. Here, we report on the resistance of desert cyanobacteria of the genus Chroococcidiopsis, which were exposed (as part of the STARLIFE series of experiments) in both hydrated and dried states to ionizing radiation with different linear energy transfer values (0.2 to 200 keV/mm). Irradiation with up to 1 kGy of He or Si ions, 2 kGy of Fe ions, 5 kGy of X-rays, or 11.59 kGy of gamma rays (Co-60) did not eradicate Chroococcidiopsis populations, nor did it induce detectable damage to DNA or plasma membranes. The relevance of these results for astrobiology is briefly discussed.

Event resources