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Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions
Citation key Jänchen2014
Author J. Jänchen and A. Bauermeister and N. Feyh and J.-P. de Vera and P. Rettberg and H.-C. Flemming and U. Szewzyk
Pages 163 - 168
Year 2014
ISSN 0032-0633
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.06.011
Journal Planetary and Space Science
Volume 98
Note Planetary evolution and life
Abstract Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.
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Head of Chair

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Szewzyk
sec. BH 6-1
Room BH-N 604
Tel +49 30 314 73 461

Secretariat

Bärbel Minx
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Room BH-N 603
Tel +49 30 314 73 460

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Adress Chair of Environmental Microbiology

Environmental Microbiology
Institute of Environmental Technology
Faculty Faculty of Process Sciences
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Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1
10587 Berlin
Tel +49 30 314 73 460
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