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Proceedings Paper

Utilization of alternate chirality enantiomers in microbial communities
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Paper Abstract

Our previous study of chirality led to interesting findings for some anaerobic extremophiles: the ability to metabolize substrates with alternate chirality enantiomers of amino acids and sugars. We have subsequently found that not just separate microbial species or strains but entire microbial communities have this ability. The functional division within a microbial community on proteo- and sugarlytic links was also reflected in a microbial diet with L-sugars and D-amino acids. Several questions are addressed in this paper. Why and when was this feature developed in a microbial world? Was it a secondary de novo adaptation in a bacterial world? Or is this a piece of genetic information that has been left in modern genomes as an atavism? Is it limited exclusively to prokaryotes, or does this ability also occur in eukaryotes? In this article, we have used a broader approach to study this phenomenon using anaerobic extremophilic strains from our laboratory collection. A series of experiments were performed on physiologically different groups of extremophilic anaerobes (pure and enrichment cultures). The following characteristics were studied: 1) the ability to grow on alternate chirality enantiomers - L-sugars and D- amino acids; 2) Growthinhibitory effect of alternate chirality enantiomers; 3) Stickland reaction with alternate chirality amino acids. The results of this research are presented in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2010
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7819, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII, 78190P (7 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.862232
Show Author Affiliations
Elena V. Pikuta, National Space Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)
NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard B. Hoover, National Space Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)
NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7819:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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