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Appl Microbiol. 1964 May; 12(3): 215–218.
PMCID: PMC1058102

Survival of Microorganisms in a Simulated Martian Environment

I. Bacillus subtilis var. globigii


Survival of Bacillus subtilis var. globigii in a simulated Martian environment was demonstrated. Previous contact with the simulated Martian soil or atmosphere reduced germination or outgrowth of unheated spores, or both. Inoculation into simulated Martian soil and then flushing with a simulated Martian atmosphere were lethal to both vegetative cells and spores. After one diurnal temperature cycle (26 to -60 C), the majority of of cells present were spores. No further effect of the diurnal cycle on survival was noted in any of the experimental samples.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Curran HR, Evans FR. The Importance of Enrichments in the Cultivation of Bacterial Spores Previously Exposed to Lethal Agencies. J Bacteriol. 1937 Aug;34(2):179–189. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • FINLEY N, FIELDS ML. Heat activation and heat-induced dormancy of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores. Appl Microbiol. 1962 May;10:231–236. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • LEDERBERG J, COWIE DB. Moondust; the study of this covering layer by space vehicles may offer clues to the biochemical origin of life. Science. 1958 Jun 27;127(3313):1473–1475. [PubMed]
  • PHILLIPS CR, HOFFMAN RK. Sterilization of interplanetary vehicles. Science. 1960 Oct 14;132(3433):991–995. [PubMed]
  • POWELL JF, HUNTER JR. Spore germination in the genus bacillus: the modification of germination requirements as a result of preheating. J Gen Microbiol. 1955 Aug;13(1):59–67. [PubMed]
  • Sagan C. BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION OF THE MOON. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1960 Apr;46(4):396–402. [PubMed]

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