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Horneck G.,German Aerospace Center | Moeller R.,German Aerospace Center | Cadet J.,CEA Grenoble | Douki T.,CEA Grenoble | And 9 more authors.
Astrobiology | Year: 2012

Spore-forming bacteria are of particular concern in the context of planetary protection because their tough endospores may withstand certain sterilization procedures as well as the harsh environments of outer space or planetary surfaces. To test their hardiness on a hypothetical mission to Mars, spores of Bacillus subtilis 168 and Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 were exposed for 1.5 years to selected parameters of space in the experiment PROTECT during the EXPOSE-E mission on board the International Space Station. Mounted as dry layers on spacecraft-qualified aluminum coupons, the "trip to Mars" spores experienced space vacuum, cosmic and extraterrestrial solar radiation, and temperature fluctuations, whereas the "stay on Mars" spores were subjected to a simulated martian environment that included atmospheric pressure and composition, and UV and cosmic radiation. The survival of spores from both assays was determined after retrieval. It was clearly shown that solar extraterrestrial UV radiation (λ≥110nm) as well as the martian UV spectrum (λ≥200nm) was the most deleterious factor applied; in some samples only a few survivors were recovered from spores exposed in monolayers. Spores in multilayers survived better by several orders of magnitude. All other environmental parameters encountered by the "trip to Mars" or "stay on Mars" spores did little harm to the spores, which showed about 50% survival or more. The data demonstrate the high chance of survival of spores on a Mars mission, if protected against solar irradiation. These results will have implications for planetary protection considerations. Key Words: Planetary protection-Bacterial spores-Space experiment-Simulated Mars mission. Astrobiology 12, 445-456. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Hanafy M.S.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Hanafy M.S.,National Research Center of Egypt | Hanafy M.S.,Salman bin Abdulaziz University | El-Banna A.,Kafr El Sheikh University | And 3 more authors.
Plant Cell Reports | Year: 2013

Key message: We report for the first time that expression of potato PR10a gene in faba bean causes enhanced tolerance to drought and salinity. Grain legumes such as soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill), pea (Pisum sativum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) are staple sources of protein for human and animal nutrition. Among grain legumes, faba bean is particularly sensitive to abiotic stress (in particular osmotic stress due to lack of water or enhanced soil salinity) and often suffers from severe yield losses. Many stress responsive genes have been reported with an effect on improving stress tolerance in model plants. Pathogenesis-related proteins are expressed by all plants in response to pathogen infection and, in many cases, in response to abiotic stresses as well. The PR10a gene isolated from the potato cultivar Desiree was selected for this study due to its role in enhancing salt and/or drought tolerance in potato, and transferred into faba bean cultivar Tattoo by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation system based upon direct shoot regeneration after transformation of meristematic cells derived from embryo axes. The transgene was under the control of the constitutive mannopine synthase promoter (p-MAS) in a dicistronic binary vector, which also contained luciferase (Luc) gene as scorable marker linked by internal ribosome entry site elements. Fertile transgenic faba bean plants were recovered. Inheritance and expression of the foreign genes were demonstrated by PCR, RT-PCR, Southern blot and monitoring of Luciferase activity. Under drought condition, after withholding water for 3 weeks, the leaves of transgenic plants were still green, while non-transgenic plants (WT) wilted and turned brown. Twenty-four hours after re-watering, the leaves of transgenic plants remained green, while WT plants did not recover. Moreover, the transgenic lines displayed higher tolerance to NaCl stress. Our results suggested that introducing a novel PR10a gene into faba bean could be a promising approach to improve its drought and salt tolerance ability, and that MAS promoter is not only constitutive, but also wound-, auxin/cytokinin- as well as stress-inducible. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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