Microbial Tracking-1 is a three-part investigation that seeks to characterize airborne and surface-associated populations of microorganisms aboard the International Space Station. Conducting three separate sampling missions will allow the investigators to assess how the microbial communities aboard the station change over a period of months. The third part of the series, Microbial Tracking-1C, launched aboard SpaceX-8.
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Samples were collected from two different flights at the same ISS locations. Each sampling event collected 6 air and 8 surface samples: location number 3 (Node 3; ARED Foot platform), location number 6 (PMM, Port 1),er and location numb 8 (Node 2; Port crew quarters Bump-Out exterior aft wall) for a total of 16 ISS surface measurements.
Cultivable bacteria/fungi were carried out and their identification using molecular phylogeny. Antibiotic resistant pattern in cultivable Staphylococcus strains was carried out. Total and viable microbial burden analysis were carried out using molecular methods (adenosine triphosphate ATP assay for total and viable microbial burden, propidium monoazide PMA assay for total/viable bacterial burden and diversity, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction qPCR analyses). iTag Illumina-based sequencing was used for bacterial, archaeal, and fungal diversity. Metagenome sequencing for all kinds of microorganisms is under way. In an on-going Microbial Observatory experiment on the ISS, multiple BSL-2 bacterial isolates were isolated, identified, and whole genome sequenced (WGS). The genomic data enables the determination of the microgravity influence on pathogenicity and virulence in these microorganisms by comparison to type strains of the corresponding species.
Omics data is available from GeneLab's Data Repository at http://genelab.nasa.gov/data/ under accession numbers (GLDS-64, GLDS-65,GLDS-66, GLDS-67, GLDS-68, and GLDS-69).
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