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12:04 PM  April 3, 2019

Bacterium capable to survive on Mars was found in the Tomsk region

© с сайта ТГУBacterium capable to survive on Mars was found in the Tomsk region

TOMSK, Apr 3 – RIA Tomsk. Microbiologists of Tomsk State University (TSU) were the first in the world to discover a bacterium which could survive on Mars; the microorganism was found in thermal waters in the Verkhneketsk region, it can receive energy in the complete absence of light and oxygen, the press service of the university reports on Wednesday.

The genetic trail of the bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator ("the brave traveler") was found more than 10 years ago by American scientists in samples of mine waters at a depth of 1.5-3 kilometers. Since then, scientists from different countries have been looking for this bacterium – their interest was attracted by the fact that the microorganism can live in the absence of light and oxygen. In theory, this method makes possible life in space, for example, on Mars, writes the press service.

"TSU microbiologists were able to isolate Desulforudi saudaxviator – it was found in the underground waters of a thermal spring located in the Verkhneketsk district of the Tomsk region. In search of a "wanderer" TSU scientists were helped by the accumulated earlier practical experience in isolating of complex sulfate-reducing bacteria", – is said in the report.

© сайт Томского государственного университета
It is specified that scientists first discovered DNA of the "bacteria-wanderer" in samples, and then were able to isolate it and investigate it. It turned out that the survivable microorganism is divided every 28 hours (previously it was assumed that once a thousand years). It also turned out that the bacterium is almost omnivorous, but it receives the most energy from hydrogen.

Also, scientists have suggested that the characteristics of its structure help the Desulforudis audaxviator to travel around the world – in the structure of the bacteria were identified the smallest bubbles, similar to the swim bladder in fish. Microbiologists suggest that the bacterium can move through the air.

The DNA of the "Tomsk" bacterium is almost identical to that found 10 years ago by American scientists in South Africa. "It shouldn’t be like that, it’s a mystery which we can't solve yet. <...> Explaining of this genetic similarity – is a matter of the future, something scientists still have to work on", – the press-service quotes the head of the Department of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology of TSU Biological Institute Olga Karnachuk.

© с сайта ТГУ
The bacterium capable to survive on Mars was found in the Tomsk region



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