Insights into the Survival Capabilities of Cryomyces antarcticus Hydrated Colonies after Exposure to Fe Particle Radiation

Pacelli Claudia, Cassaro Alessia, Loke M. Siong, Aureli Lorenzo, Moeller Ralf, Fujimori Akira, Shuryak Igor, Onofri Silvano
2021 Journal of Fungi  
The modern concept of the evolution of Mars assumes that life could potentially have originated on the planet Mars, possibly during the end of the late heavy bombardment, and could then be transferred to other planets. Since then, physical and chemical conditions on Mars changed and now strongly limit the presence of terrestrial-like life forms. These adverse conditions include scarcity of liquid water (although brine solutions may exist), low temperature and atmospheric pressure, and cosmic
more » ... iation. Ionizing radiation is very important among these life-constraining factors because it damages DNA and other cellular components, particularly in liquid conditions where radiation-induced reactive oxidants diffuse freely. Here, we investigated the impact of high doses (up to 2 kGy) of densely-ionizing (197.6 keV/µm), space-relevant iron ions (corresponding on the irradiation that reach the uppermost layer of the Mars subsurface) on the survival of an extremophilic terrestrial organism—Cryomyces antarcticus—in liquid medium and under atmospheric conditions, through different techniques. Results showed that it survived in a metabolically active state when subjected to high doses of Fe ions and was able to repair eventual DNA damages. It implies that some terrestrial life forms can withstand prolonged exposure to space-relevant ion radiation.
doi:10.3390/jof7070495 fatcat:xh3jz3mm6rctxaytw74seorqqu