Published on January 25, 2008
Slide1: Growth of Methanogens on Basalt and Clay: Implications about life on Mars Edgar Siyakurima Wiley College Marshall, TX [email protected] 903-472-2588 Travis Altheide Dr. Tim Kral Department of Biological Sciences University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR The Viking Mars Landing July 20, 1976 11:53:56 The Mars Express Orbiter March 2004 Research Summary: Research Summary -Definition of methanogens -Places of habitat for methanogens on Earth -Previous research with methanogens -Objectives of the research -Laboratory experiment procedure -Methane gas chromatography results -Discussion of results and conclusion Slide3: Methanogens Methane producing anaerobic archaea Metabolic process: CO2 + 4H2 CH4 + 2H20 Thrive in: peat bogs muddy-lakes and swamps and wetlands guts of animals desert soils ocean floor vents Slide4: Microscopic Views Of Various Methanogens Slide5: Previous Research -methanogens grow on Mars soil simulant -they failed to grow in crushed basalt -methanogens survive in arid areas -the archea metabolized significantly at different pressures in the Andromeda chamber -can go up to 25 days without water Our Research: Our Research Objectives: -expanding on previous methanogens-in-basalt reseach -experimenting with a new substrate - clay Research Procedure: Research Procedure Outline -grow stock cultures of methanogens in suitable media -wash-off media several times using buffer -transfer ‘clean media-free’ methanogens into buffer -expose substrates (clay, basalt, glass beads and Mars soil simulant) and methanogens to CO2 in anaerobic chamber and then autoclave -inoculate methanogens-in-buffer into substrates -pressurize with hydrogen gas and then incubate at ideal optimum temperatures for each organism -take gas chromatography readings periodically for methane -transfer organisms showing stable and significant values into fresh substrates Pictorial Representation of Procedure: Pictorial Representation of Procedure Slide9: Research Procedure M. Barkeri 37oC M. Formicicum 37oC M. Wolfeii 54-56oC Substrates Clay Mars Soil Simulant Glass Beads Basalt Controls Gas Chromatography Readings: Gas Chromatography Readings Observations, Discussion and Conclusion: Observations, Discussion and Conclusion -Control results showed considerable adequacy in procedure -water absorption by clay may have affected results -use of a more sensitive gas chromatography later in the laboratory experiment also affected results -no concrete conclusions can be reached -more observation time required References: References -Kral, Tim A, Bekkum, Curtis R., Mckay,Christopher P.,2004, Growth of Methanogens on Mars soil simulant, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 34, 615-626. -Oliver, Heaven A., 2003. A Comparison of Methanogenic Growth on Various Soil Substrates. Masters Thesis.