Tolerance and Growth of a Terrestrial Cyanobacterium, Nostoc sp. HK-01 Under Harsh Environments
MetadataShow full item record
Terrestrial cyanobacteria can be utilized for material circulation for a manned Mars mission, because of their photosynthetic ability, nitrogen fixation ability and tolerance to extraterrestrial environments. Dried colonies of a terrestrial cyanobacterium, Nostoc sp. HK-01, have high tolerances to vacuum, UV, gamma-rays, heavy particle beams and dry heat. Nostoc sp. HK-01 has several different types of cells in its life cycle. Akinete (dormant cell) is the cell type which has a tolerance to dry heat in Nostoc sp. HK-01. Nostoc sp. HK-01 would be able to survive under in extraterrestrial environments, and could easily be transported to Mars in its dormant state (akinete). Some functional substances which provide tolerance against heat exist in the akinete cells. Before we introduce Nostoc sp. HK-01 to Mars’ environments, we need to understand its growth in an environment with poor nutrition. We tested whether akinetes of HK-01 can grow using components of their dead cells or/and Martian regolith simulant. We will discuss the possibility that a colony of Nostoc sp. HK-01 can be grown in an environment with poor nutrition. Nostoc sp. HK-01 could contribute to soil formation from Martian regolith, so that plants could grow. Nostoc sp. HK-01 is a good candidate for an initial organism to introduce into the Martian environment.