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Membrane Lipid Composition and Amino Acid Excretion Patterns of Methanothermococcus okinawensis Grown in the Presence of Inhibitors Detected in the Enceladian Plume

1
Archaea Physiology & Biotechnology Group, Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics Division, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, Universität Wien, 1010 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute for Geology, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Universität Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
3
Institute of Geosciences, Department of Organic Geochemistry, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, 24118 Kiel, Germany
4
Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography, Universität Wien, 1010 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
R.-S.T. and L.M.F.B. contributed equally to this work.
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Astrobiology)
Lipids and amino acids are regarded as important biomarkers for the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System. Such biomarkers may be used to trace methanogenic life on other planets or moons in the Solar System, such as Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. However, little is known about the environmental conditions shaping the synthesis of lipids and amino acids. Here, we present the lipid production and amino acid excretion patterns of the methanogenic archaeon Methanothermococcus okinawensis after exposing it to different multivariate concentrations of the inhibitors ammonium, formaldehyde, and methanol present in the Enceladian plume. M. okinawensis shows different patterns of lipid and amino acids excretion, depending on the amount of these inhibitors in the growth medium. While methanol did not show a significant impact on growth, lipid or amino acid production rates, ammonium and formaldehyde strongly affected these parameters. These findings are important for understanding the eco-physiology of methanogens on Earth and have implications for the use of biomarkers as possible signs of extraterrestrial life for future space missions in the Solar System. View Full-Text
Keywords: methanogens; Enceladus; lipids; amino acids; ammonia; formaldehyde; methanol methanogens; Enceladus; lipids; amino acids; ammonia; formaldehyde; methanol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taubner, R.-S.; Baumann, L.M.F.; Bauersachs, T.; Clifford, E.L.; Mähnert, B.; Reischl, B.; Seifert, R.; Peckmann, J.; Rittmann, S.K.-M.R.; Birgel, D. Membrane Lipid Composition and Amino Acid Excretion Patterns of Methanothermococcus okinawensis Grown in the Presence of Inhibitors Detected in the Enceladian Plume. Life 2019, 9, 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/life9040085

AMA Style

Taubner R-S, Baumann LMF, Bauersachs T, Clifford EL, Mähnert B, Reischl B, Seifert R, Peckmann J, Rittmann SK-MR, Birgel D. Membrane Lipid Composition and Amino Acid Excretion Patterns of Methanothermococcus okinawensis Grown in the Presence of Inhibitors Detected in the Enceladian Plume. Life. 2019; 9(4):85. https://doi.org/10.3390/life9040085

Chicago/Turabian Style

Taubner, Ruth-Sophie, Lydia M.F. Baumann, Thorsten Bauersachs, Elisabeth L. Clifford, Barbara Mähnert, Barbara Reischl, Richard Seifert, Jörn Peckmann, Simon K.-M.R. Rittmann, and Daniel Birgel. 2019. "Membrane Lipid Composition and Amino Acid Excretion Patterns of Methanothermococcus okinawensis Grown in the Presence of Inhibitors Detected in the Enceladian Plume" Life 9, no. 4: 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/life9040085

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