Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Daytona Beach

Authors' Class Standing

Olivia Siu, Senior Mitch Villafania, Junior Lauryn Taylor, Senior Alyssa Mcmandon, Senior Alba Chavez, Faculty Hugo Castillo, Faculty

Lead Presenter's Name

Olivia Siu

Lead Presenter's College

DB College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Mentor Name

Alba Chavez

Abstract

Changes in environmental conditions represent a challenge for all terrestrial organisms, including the organisms involved in mutualistic associations (when both organisms obtain a benefit from each other). Changes in environment might include fluctuations in gravity and microgravity which represents a new frontier for space biology research. In this study we utilized Vibrio fischeri, a beneficial symbiotic bacterium of squids and monocentrid fishes. First, Vibrio fischeri was grown under gravity and microgravity conditions using two microgravity analogs: A Rotary Cell Culture System (RCCS) and a 2D clinostat design. After 48 hours of growth, we examined crucial phenotypic changes that might affect bacterial physiology and phenotypic changes involved in host colonization, mutualism and virulence. Phenotypes studied include cell growth, biofilm formation, cell colony morphology, susceptibility to toxic radicals and antibiotic resistance profiles. Our study demonstrates an increase of virulence-related phenotypes on strains grown under microgravity conditions compared to those grown under gravity conditions in both analog systems. This study will provide a window to the adaptative bacterial changes and responses in an effort to shed light on understanding microbiome changes and adaptations in space.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark, SURF, Research Abroad, Student Internal Grants, or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

No

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Effects of Microgravity on mutualistic bacteria

Changes in environmental conditions represent a challenge for all terrestrial organisms, including the organisms involved in mutualistic associations (when both organisms obtain a benefit from each other). Changes in environment might include fluctuations in gravity and microgravity which represents a new frontier for space biology research. In this study we utilized Vibrio fischeri, a beneficial symbiotic bacterium of squids and monocentrid fishes. First, Vibrio fischeri was grown under gravity and microgravity conditions using two microgravity analogs: A Rotary Cell Culture System (RCCS) and a 2D clinostat design. After 48 hours of growth, we examined crucial phenotypic changes that might affect bacterial physiology and phenotypic changes involved in host colonization, mutualism and virulence. Phenotypes studied include cell growth, biofilm formation, cell colony morphology, susceptibility to toxic radicals and antibiotic resistance profiles. Our study demonstrates an increase of virulence-related phenotypes on strains grown under microgravity conditions compared to those grown under gravity conditions in both analog systems. This study will provide a window to the adaptative bacterial changes and responses in an effort to shed light on understanding microbiome changes and adaptations in space.

 

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