Scientists found an underground bacterium that could live on Mars


TSU microbiologists were the first in the world to isolate Desulforudis audaxviator from deep underground waters. Translated from Latin, its name means “a brave traveler”. Scientists from different countries have hunted for this bacterium for over 10 years. The increased interest by researchers is because the microorganism receives energy in the absence of light and oxygen. Theoretically, this method makes life possible in space, for example, on Mars. The results of their studies are published in the highly ranked journal ISME of the publishing group Nature.

- The existence of Desulforudis audaxviator, living deep underground, became known more than 10 years ago,- says Olga Karnachuk, head of the TSU Department of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology and lead author - Its genetic trail was found by American scientists, in the DNA of a microorganism in the mine waters of a gold mine located in South Africa. Sampling was carried out at a depth of 1.5 to 3 kilometers, where there is neither light nor oxygen. Not so long ago, it was believed that life in these conditions is impossible because without light there is no photosynthesis underlying all food chains. But it turned out that this assumption is wrong.

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