Determine the effects of spaceflight, and nutritional status, on gene expression and virulence of three microbrial pathogens: Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans.
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Three Group Activation Packs (GAPS) were assigned to each of 4 microbial projects: (1) S. typhimurium in rich media (2) S. typhimurium in minimal media (3) P. aeruginosa in rich media, and (4) C. albicans in rich media. The thermal and radiation profiles of the flight samples were collected by two temperature loggers and two radiation area monitors (RAMs), respectively. Synchronous ground controls (12 GAPs) were loaded at the same time and in the same configuration as the flight samples. Asynchronous ground controls, using the recorded temperature flight data were performed at the PI lab post-flight utilizing a Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV). FPAs were loaded with flight reagents (terminators an growth media) and static cultures and installed into the GAPs at approximately launch minus (L-5) days. The loaded GAPs were handed over for a late load into the orbiter to ensure that the healthiest static cultures in stasis medium were utilized for the space flight experiment.
Data showed that Salmonella typhimurium grown in rich LB media in spaceflight displayed increased virulence, biofilm-like formation, and global alterations in global gene expression, as compared to synchronous ground controls. It was hypothesized that media ion concentrations could be manipulated to prevent/turn off the enhanced Salmonella virulence imparted during spaceflight (tested on STS-123). A total of 167 genes in the flight S. typhimurium were expressed differently to those in the ground controls. Sixty-four of these genes are involved in the expression of Hfq (a protein that binds to mRNA) suggesting that Hfq is involved in regulating some of the Salmonella responses to space flight.
Wilson JW, Ott CM, Quick L, Davis R, Höner zu Bentrup K, Crabbé A, Richter E, Sarker S, Barrila J, Porwollik S, Cheng P, McClelland M, Tsaprailis G, Radabaugh T, Hunt A, Shah M, Nelman-Gonzalez M, Hing S, Parra M, Dumars P, Norwood K, Bober R, Devich J, Ruggles A, CdeBaca A, Narayan S, Benjamin J, Goulart C, Rupert M, Catella L, Schurr MJ, Buchanan K, Morici L, McCracken J, Porter MD, Pierson DL, Smith SM, Mergeay M, Leys N, Stefanyshyn-Piper HM, Gorie D, Nickerson CA. Media ion composition controls regulatory and virulence response of Salmonella in spaceflight. PLoS ONE. 2008;3(12):e3923.
Wilson JW, Ott CM, Hoener zu Bentrup K, Ramamurthy R, Quick L, Porwollik S, Cheng P, McClelland M, Tsaprailise G, Radabaugh T, Hunt A, Fernandez D, Richter E, Shah M, Kilcoyne M, Joshi L, Nelman-Gonzalez M, Hing S, Parra M, Dumars P, Norwood K, Bober R, Devich J, Ruggles A, Goulart C, Rupert M, Stodieck L, Stafford P, Catella L, Schurr MJ, Buchanan Morici L, McCracken J, Allen P, Baker-Coleman C, Hammond T, Vogel J, Nelson R, Pierson DL, Stefanyshyn-Piper HM, Nickerson CA. "Space flight alters bacterial gene expression and virulence and reveals a role for global regulator Hfq." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 9;104(41):16299-304.
Crabbé A, Schurr MJ, Monsieurs P, Morici L, Schurr J, Wilson JW, Ott CM, Tsaprailis G, Pierson DL, Stefanyshyn-Piper H, Nickerson CA. Transcriptional and proteomic response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 to spaceflight conditions involves Hfq regulation and reveals a role for oxygen. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Feb;77(4):1221-30.
Crabbe, A., Pyke, B., Monsierus, P., Van Houdt, R., Nickerson, C.A., Leys, N., and P. Cornelis. Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to low shear modeled microgravity involves AlgU regulation. Environ. Microbiol. 2010 Jun;12(6):1545-64.
Crabbé A, Nielsen-Preiss SM, Woolley CM, Barrila J, Buchanan K, McCracken J, Inglis DO, Searles SC, Nelman-Gonzalez MA, Ott CM, Wilson JW, Pierson DL, Stefanyshyn-Piper HM, Hyman LE, Nickerson CA. Spaceflight enhances cell aggregation and random budding in Candida albicans. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 4;8(12):e80677.
Sarker S, Ott CM, Barrila J, Nickerson CA. Discovery of Spaceflight-regulated Virulence Mechanisms in Salmonella and other Microbial Pathogens: Novel Approaches to Commercial Vaccine Development. Gravitational and Space Biology, 2010 Sep;23(2):75-78.