Gravitational effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth and biofilm formation

Authors
Kim, Wooseong
ORCID
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Other Contributors
Collins, Cynthia H.
Plawsky, Joel L., 1957-
Dordick, Jonathan S.
Barquera, Blanca L.
Issue Date
2013-08
Keywords
Chemical and biological engineering
Degree
PhD
Terms of Use
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Full Citation
Abstract
Understanding the effects of spaceflight on microbial communities is crucial for the success of long-term, manned space missions. Abundant biofilms were found in the Mir space station and were responsible for increasing corrosion and blocking a water purification system. They continue to be a challenge on the International Space Station. Health and safety hazards linked to the development of biofilms are also of great concern because of the decrease in immune function observed in space travelers. We sent Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen and a model organism for biofilm studies, into space during two Atlantis missions (STS-132 and STS-135). We observed that P. aeruginosa grown during spaceflight exhibited increased growth relative to normal gravity controls when low concentrations of phosphate in the media were combined with decreased oxygen availability. Although motility has been suggested to affect how microbes respond to microgravity, we observed that both wild type and the motility mutant responded similarly to the microgravity environment. We characterized biofilms formed during spaceflight.
Description
August 2013
School of Engineering
Department
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Publisher
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Relationships
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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