Denitrification by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Under Simulated Engineered Martian Conditions


S. D. Hart; P. A. Currier; D. J. Thomas (2000), JBIS53, 357-359

Refcode: 2000.53.357
Keywords: Mars, astrobiology, microbiology, biological assays, denitrification.

The growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in denitrifying medium was observed for 14 days in the presence of a martian soil analog (JSC Mars-1) and elevated CO2 levels. A four-way test was conducted comparing growth of experimental samples to growth in the presence of inert silica (“Earth soil”) and normal terrestrial atmosphere. The combination of 50 mL of fluorescence-denitrification medium and 10 grams of soil additive simulated an aquatic environment, which was contained in sealed culture bottles. Nitrite assays of the media (to test for consumption during denitrification), gas sampling from the bottles to observe nitrogen production, and colony counts to quantify growth rate were all performed at 0, 7 and 14 days after inoculation. Supplemental tests performed included nitrate assays (to confirm the occurrence of denitrification) and culture fluorescence (as a non-invasive growth test). Growth and denitrification took place under all conditions, and no significant differences were observed between samples. These data indicate that the presence of simulated martian regolith and elevated CO2 have little or no effect on the growth of or denitrification by P. aeruginosa at the concentrations used.