Desiccation of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Materials

Denise Kölbl, Amir Blazevic, Mihaela Albu, Christoph Fasching, Tetyana Milojevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prokaryotes are among the most versatile organisms on Earth and their ability to adsorb metals for nutrient, energy, or protection purposes can be noted in many different environments on our planet. The extreme thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula is a metal-mobilizing archaeon capable of redox transformations during chemolithoautotrophic growth on diverse metal-bearing compounds. Examining the interfaces of this extreme metallophilic archaeon with various metal-bearing substrates of terrestrial and extraterrestrial origin, we have detected its selective preservation after desiccation. Cultivated on specific metal-bearing materials, e.g., tungsten-bearing scheelite, tungsten-bearing polyoxometalate, multimetallic waste products, and the NWA 1172 meteorite, cells of M. sedula can be preserved after dehydration, and therefore can potentially serve as a microbial fingerprint of the presence and/or activity of metal-transforming microorganisms. Preservation of desiccated M. sedula cells reported in this study has a discriminatory character, depending on the content and nature of the metal-containing compound used for cultivation of this metallophilic microorganism. The achieved preservation of dehydrated M. sedula cells facilitates our survivability studies with this desiccated microorganism during future space exposure experiments and under simulated space environmental conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

Cite this