April 21, 2020  |  

Decreased metabolism and increased tolerance to extreme environments in Staphylococcus warneri during long-term spaceflight.

Authors: Bai, Po and Zhang, Bin and Zhao, Xian and Li, Diangeng and Yu, Yi and Zhang, Xuelin and Huang, Bing and Liu, Changting

Many studies have shown that the space environment can affect bacteria by causing a range of mutations. However, to date, few studies have explored the effects of long-term spaceflight (>1 month) on bacteria. In this study, a Staphylococcus warneri strain that was isolated from the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and had experienced a spaceflight (15 days) was carried into space again. After a 64-day flight, combined phenotypic, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses were performed to compare the influence of the two spaceflights on this bacterium. Compared with short-term spaceflight, long-term spaceflight increased the biofilm formation ability of S. warneri and the cell wall resistance to external environmental stress but reduced the sensitivity to chemical stimulation. Further analysis showed that these changes might be associated with the significantly upregulated gene expression of the phosphotransferase system, which regulates the metabolism of sugars, including glucose, mannose, fructose, and cellobiose. The mutation of S. warneri caused by the 15-day spaceflight was limited at the phenotype and gene level after cultivation on the ground. After 79 days of spaceflight, significant changes in S. warneri were observed. The phosphotransferase system of S. warneri was upregulated by long-term space stimulation, which resulted in a series of changes in the cell wall, biofilm, and chemical sensitivity, thus enhancing the resistance and adaptability of the bacterium to the external environment. © 2019 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Journal: MicrobiologyOpen
DOI: 10.1002/mbo3.917
Year: 2019

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