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Characterization of growth and photosynthesis of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cultures under reduced atmospheric pressures and enhanced CO2 levels

  • Eira Kanervo (a1), Kirsi Lehto (a1), Kurt Ståhle (a1), Harry Lehto (a2) (a3) and Pirkko Mäenpää (a1)...

Abstract

Efficient life support systems are needed to maintain adequate oxygen, water and food for humans in extraterrestrial conditions. On the near-Earth missions, these are supplied by transport from the Earth, and by physical and chemical cleaning and recycling, but on long-term missions to far-away destinations, such as Mars, on-site production of the consumables may be required. Molecular oxygen and organic biomass can be most efficiently produced biologically, i.e. by photosynthesis. The conditions on Mars are distinctly harsh, and they strictly limit the growth and survival of any photosynthetic organisms to artificially maintained containments. For obtaining most economical growth conditions, minimal parameters need to be determined which still allow efficient growth of photosynthetic organisms. In this work we are testing how reduced air pressures (hypobaria) and increased CO2 concentrations, i.e. features typical for Martian conditions, affect the durability, growth and photosynthesis of laboratory strains of cyanobacteria, a group of prokaryotic organisms capable of plant-like photosynthesis. Our preliminary results show that air pressures down to 0.1 atm or CO2 concentrations up to 20% have no harmful effect on the photosynthetic oxygen production or growth rate of the cyanobacterial model species, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

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Characterization of growth and photosynthesis of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cultures under reduced atmospheric pressures and enhanced CO2 levels

  • Eira Kanervo (a1), Kirsi Lehto (a1), Kurt Ståhle (a1), Harry Lehto (a2) (a3) and Pirkko Mäenpää (a1)...

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