Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars

  • Amer F. Al Soudi (a1), Omar Farhat (a1), Fei Chen (a2), Benton C. Clark (a3) and Mark A. Schneegurt (a1)...
Abstract

The Phoenix lander at Mars polar cap found appreciable levels of (per)chlorate salts, a mixture of perchlorate and chlorate salts of Ca, Fe, Mg and Na at levels of ~0.6% in regolith. These salts are highly hygroscopic and can form saturated brines through deliquescence, likely producing aqueous solutions with very low freezing points on Mars. To support planetary protection efforts, we have measured bacterial growth tolerance to (per)chlorate salts. Existing bacterial isolates from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma (NaCl-rich) and Hot Lake in Washington (MgSO4-rich) were tested in high concentrations of Mg, K and Na salts of chlorate and perchlorate. Strong growth was observed with nearly all of these salinotolerant isolates at 1% (~0.1 M) (per)chlorate salts, similar to concentrations observed in bulk soils on Mars. Growth in perchlorate salts was observed at concentrations of at least 10% (~1.0 M). Greater tolerance was observed for chlorate salts, where growth was observed to 2.75 M (>25%). Tolerance to K salts was greatest, followed by Mg salts and then Na salts. Tolerances varied among isolates, even among those within the same phylogenetic clade. Tolerant bacteria included genera that also are found in spacecraft assembly facilities. Substantial microbial tolerance to (per)chlorate salts is a concern for planetary protection since tolerant microbes contaminating spacecraft would have a greater chance for survival and proliferation, despite the harsh chemical conditions found near the surface of Mars.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Bacterial growth tolerance to concentrations of chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
e-mail: mark.schneegurt@wichita.edu
References
Hide All
Al Soudi, A., Farhat, O., Chen, F., Clark, B.C. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2016). Bacterial growth tolerance to chlorate and perchlorate salts relevant to Mars. In The 116th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Abstract No. FR-027.
Bardiya, N. & Bae, J.-H. (2005). Bioremediation potential of a perchlorate-enriched sewage sludge consortium. Chemosphere 58, 8390.
Carlström, C.I., Loutey, D.E., Wang, O., Engelbrektson, A., Clark, I., Lucas, L.N., Somasekhar, P.Y. & Coates, J.D. (2015). Phenotypic and genotypic description of Sedimenticola selenatireducens strain CUZ, a marine (per)chlorate-respiring Gammaproteobacterium, and its close relative the chlorate-respiring Sedimenticola strain NSS. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81, 27172726.
Caton, T.M., Witte, L.R., Ngyuen, H.D., Buchheim, J.A., Buchheim, M.A. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2004). Halotolerant aerobic heterotrophic bacteria from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma. Microb. Ecol. 48, 449462.
Chen, Q., Liu, Z., Peng, Q., Huang, K., He, J., Zhang, L., Li, W. & Chen, Y. (2010). Diversity of halophilic and halotolerant bacteria isolated from non-saline soil collected from Xiaoxi National Natural Reserve, Hunan Province. Acta Microbiol. Sin. 50, 14521459. [Chinese].
Chevrier, V.F., Hanley, J. & Altheide, T.S. (2009). Stability of perchlorate hydrates and their liquid solutions at the Phoenix landing site, Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L10202.
Clark, B.C. & Kounaves, S.P. (2015). Evidence for the distribution of perchlorates on Mars. Int. J. Astrobiol. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1473550415000385.
Coates, J.D. & Achenbach, L.A. (2004). Microbial perchlorate reduction: rocket-fueled metabolism. Nat. Rev. 2, 569580.
Coates, J.D., Michaelidou, U., Bruce, R.A., O'Connor, S.M., Crespi, J.N. & Achenbach, L.A. (1999). Ubiquity and diversity of dissimilatory (per)chlorate-reducing bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65, 52345241.
Crisler, J.D., Newville, T.M., Chen, F., Clark, B.C. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2012). Bacterial growth at the high concentrations of magnesium sulfate found in Martian soils. Astrobiology 12, 98106.
Crisler, J.D., Mai, T.T., Ahmad, Z., Chen, F., Clark, B.C. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2013a). Bacterial growth at high concentrations of deliquescent salts potentially relevant to Mars. In The 145th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science. Trans. KS Acad. Sci. 116, 71.
Crisler, J.D., Mai, T.T., Ahmad, Z., Chen, F., Clark, B.C. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2013b). Bacterial growth in deliquescent lithium and perchlorate salts potentially relevant to Mars. In The 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Abstract No. 1053.
Davila, A.F. et al. (2010). Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars. Astrobiology 10, 617628.
Durand, M.J. (1938). Recherches sur l’élimination des perchlorates, sur leur répartition dans les organes et sur leur toxicité. Bull. Soc. Chim. Biol. 20, 423433. [French].
Echigo, A., Hino, M., Fukushima, T., Mizuki, T., Kamekura, M. & Usami, R. (2005). Endospores of halophilic bacteria of the family Bacillaceae isolated from non-saline Japanese soil may be transported by Kosa event (Asian dust storm). Saline Syst. 1, 8. doi: 10.1186/1746-1448-1-8.
EPA (2011). Drinking water: regulatory determination on perchlorate. Fed. Regist. 76, 77627767.
Ericksen, G.E. (1981). Geology and Origin of the Chilean Nitrate Deposits. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1188, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington.
Foster, T.L. & Winans, L. (1975). Psychrophilic microorganisms from areas associated with the Viking spacecraft. Appl. Microbiol. 30, 546550.
Glavin, D.P. et al. (2013). Evidence for perchlorates and the origin of chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by SAM at the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale crater. J. Geophys. Res. Planets 118, 19551973.
Gu, B., Dong, W., Brown, G.M. & Cole, D.R. (2003). Complete degradation of perchlorate in ferric chloride and hydrochloric acid under controlled temperature and pressure. Environ. Sci. Technol. 37, 22912295.
Hanley, J., Chevrier, V.F., Berget, D.J. & Adams, R.D. (2012). Chlorate salts and solutions on Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L08201.
Hecht, M.H. et al. (2009). Detection of perchlorate and the soluble chemistry of Martian soil at the Phoenix lander site. Science 325, 6467.
Herman, D.C. & Frankenberger, W.T. Jr. (1999). Bacterial reduction of perchlorate and nitrate in water. J. Environ. Qual. 28, 10181024.
Hooth, M.J., DeAngelo, A.B., George, M.H., Gaillard, E.T., Travlos, G.S., Boorman, G.A. & Wolf, D.C. (2001). Subchronic sodium chlorate exposure in drinking water results in a concentration-dependent increase in rat thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia. Toxicol. Pathol. 29, 250259.
Jackson, W.A. et al. (2015a). Global patterns and environmental controls of perchlorate and nitrate co-occurrence in arid and semi-arid environments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 164, 502522.
Jackson, W.A., Davila, A.F., Sears, D.W., Coates, J.D., McKay, C.P., Brundrett, M., Estrada, N. & Böhlke, J.K. (2015b). Widespread occurrence of (per)chlorate in the Solar System. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 430, 470476.
Kalkhoff, S.J., Stetson, S.J., Lund, K.D., Wanty, B.B. & Linder, G.L. (2010). Perchlorate data for streams and groundwater in selected areas of the United States, 2004. U.S. Geological Survey Data Ser. 495, 43 pp.
Kempf, M.J., Chen, F., Kern, R. & Venkateswaran, K. (2005). Recurrent isolation of hydrogen peroxide-resistant spores of Bacillus pumulis from a spacecraft assembly facility. Astrobiology 5, 391405.
Kilmer, B.R., Chambers, C.A., Akbar, R., Bhakta, S., Beck, A., Brimmerman, J., Lundin, H., DeVries, C., Kasten, L., Pringle-Johnson, B., Ruder, J.S. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2010). Isolation and characterization of halotolerant bacteria from inland oligohaline soils. In The 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Abstract No. 298.
Kilmer, B.R., Eberl, T.C., Cunderla, B., Chen, F., Clark, B.C. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2014). Molecular and phenetic characterization of the bacterial assemblage of Hot Lake, WA, an environment with high concentrations of magnesium sulphate, and its relevance to Mars. Int. J. Astrobiol. 13, 6980.
Kounaves, S.P. et al. (2010). Wet chemistry experiments on the 2007 Phoenix Mars Scout Lander mission: data analysis and results. J. Geophys. Res. 115, E00E10.
Kounaves, S.P., Carrier, B.L., O'Neil, G.D., Stroble, S.T. & Claire, M.W. (2014). Evidence of Martian perchlorate, chlorate, and nitrate in Mars meteorite EETA79001: implications for oxidants and organics. Icarus 229, 206213.
Kral, T.A., Goodhart, T.H., Harpool, J.D., Hearnsberger, C.E., McCracken, G.L. & McSpadden, S.W. (2016). Sensitivity and adaptability of methanogens to perchlorates: implications for life on Mars. Planet Space Sci. 120, 8795.
La Duc, M.T., Nicholson, W., Kern, R. & Venkateswaran, K. (2003). Microbial characterization of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft and its encapsulation facility. Environ. Microbiol. 5, 977985.
Link, L., Sawyer, J., Venkateswaran, K. & Nicholson, W. (2003). Extreme spore UV resistance of Bacillus pumulis isolates obtained from ultraclean spacecraft assembly facility. Microb. Ecol. 47, 159163.
Mai, T.T., Nosova, A.O. & Schneegurt, M.A. (2012). Bacterial growth in perchlorate salts at concentrations found in soils on Mars. In 144th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science . Trans. KS Acad. Sci. 115, 64.
Martín-Torres, F.J. et al. (2015). Transient liquid water and water activity at Gale crater on Mars. Nat. Geosci. 8, 357361.
Ming, D.W. et al. (2014). Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars. Science 343. doi: 10.1126/science.1245267.
Möhlmann, D. & Thomsen, K. (2011). Properties of cryobrines on Mars. Icarus 212, 123130.
Moissl, C., Bruckner, J.C. & Venkateswaran, K. (2008). Archaeal diversity analysis of spacecraft assembly clean rooms. ISME J. 2, 115119.
Motzer, W.E. (2001). Perchlorate. Problems, detection, and solutions. Environ. Forensics 2, 301311.
Nuding, D.L. et al. (2014). Deliquescence and efflorescence of calcium perchlorate: an investigation of stable aqueous solutions relevant to Mars. Icarus 243, 420428.
Ojha, L., Wilhelm, M.B., Murchie, S.L., McEwen, A.S., Wray, J.J., Hanley, J., Massé, M. & Chojnacki, M. (2015). Spectral evidence for hydrated salts in recurring slope lineae on Mars. Nat. Geosci. 8, 828832.
Okeke, B.C., Giblin, T. & Frankenberger, W.T. Jr. (2002). Reduction of perchlorate and nitrate by salt tolerant bacteria. Environ. Pollut. 118, 357363.
Oren, A., Bardavid, R.E. & Mana, L. (2014). Perchlorate and halophilic prokaryotes: implications for possible halophilic life on Mars. Extremophiles 18, 7580.
Porazka, T., Kilmer, B.R., Wichita High School Northwest Team, Wichita Northeast Magnet High School Team & Schneegurt, M.A. (2011). Inland oligohaline soils as a habitat for culturable halotolerant bacteria. In 143rd Annual Meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science . Trans. KS Acad. Sci. 115, 170.
Puelo, J.R., Fields, N.D., Bergstrom, S.L., Oxborrow, G.S., Stabekis, P.D. & Koukol, R. (1977). Microbiological profiles of the Viking spacecraft. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 33, 379384.
Rajagopalan, S., Anderson, T.A., Fahlquist, L., Rainwater, K.A., Ridley, M. & Jackson, W.A. (2006). Widespread presence of naturally occurring perchlorate in high plains of Texas and New Mexico. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40, 31563162.
Rajagopalan, S., Anderson, T., Cox, S., Harvey, G., Cheng, Q. & Jackson, W.A. (2009). Perchlorate in wet deposition across North America. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43, 616622.
Rao, B., Anderson, T.A., Orris, G.J., Rainwater, K.A., Rajagopalan, S., Sandvig, R.M., Scanlon, B.R., Stonestrom, D.A., Walvoord, M.A. & Jackson, W.A. (2007). Widespread natural perchlorate in unsaturated zones in the Southwest United States. Environ. Sci. Technol. 41, 45224528.
Shcherbakova, V., Oshurkova, V. & Yoshimura, Y. (2015). The effects of perchlorates on the permafrost methanogens: implication for autotrophic life on Mars. Microorganisms 3, 518534.
Shete, A., Mukhopadhyaya, P.N., Acharya, A., Aich, B.A., Joshi, S. & Gholem, V.S. (2008). Aerobic reduction of perchlorate by bacteria isolated in Kerala, South India. J. Appl. Genet. 49, 425431.
Smith, P.N., Yu, L., McMurry, S.T. & Anderson, T.A. (2004). Perchlorate in water, soil, vegetation, and rodents collected from the Las Vegas Wash, Nevada, USA. Environ. Pollut. 132, 121127.
Stieglmeier, E., Wirth, R., Kminek, G. & Moissl-Eichinger, C. (2009). Cultivation of anaerobic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria from spacecraft-associated clean rooms. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75, 34833491.
Thombre, R.S., Oke, R.S., Dhar, S. & Shouche, Y. (2015). Survival of haloarchaea in high concentration of perchlorate – Significant requirement for survival on Mars. In The Astrobiology Science Conf., Chicago. Abstract No. 7080.
Urbansky, E.T. (1998). Perchlorate chemistry: implications for analysis and remediation. Bioremed. J. 2, 8195.
Urbansky, E.T. (2002). Perchlorate as an environmental contaminant. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 9, 187192.
Venkateswaran, K., Satomi, M., Chung, R., Koukol, R., Basic, C. & White, D. (2001). Molecular microbial diversity of a spacecraft assembly facility. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 24, 311320.
Venkateswaran, K., Kempf, M., Chen, F., Satomi, M., Nicholson, W. & Kern, R. (2003a). Bacillus nealsonii sp. nov., isolated from a spacecraft assembly facility, whose spores are gamma-radiation resistant. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 53, 165172.
Venkateswaran, K., Hattori, N., La Duc, M.T. & Kern, R. (2003b). ATP as a biomarker of viable microorganisms in clean-room facilities. J. Microbiol. Methods 52, 367377.
Wallace, W., Ward, T., Breen, A. & Attaway, H. (1996). Identification of an anaerobic bacterium which reduces perchlorate and chlorate as Wolinella succinogenes . J. Ind. Microbiol. 16, 6872.
Wallace, W., Beshear, S., Williams, D., Hospadar, S. & Owens, M. (1998). Perchlorate reduction by a mixed culture in an up-flow anaerobic fixed bed reactor. J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 20, 126131.
Zorzano, M.-P., Mateo-Martí, E., Prieto-Ballesteros, O., Osuna, S. & Renno, N. (2009). Stability of liquid saline water on present day Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L20201.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed