DNA damage under simulated extraterrestrial conditions in bacteriophage T7

A. Fekete, K. Módos, M. Hegedüs, G. Kovács, Gy Rontó, Á Péter, H. Lammer, C. Panitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The experiment "Phage and Uracil response" will be accommodated in the EXPOSE facility of the International Space Station. Its objective is to examine and quantify the effect of specific space conditions on nucleic acid models, especially on bacteriophage T7 and isolated T7 DNA thin films. In order to define the environmental and technical requirements of the EXPOSE, the samples were subjected to the experiment verification test (EVT). During EVT, the samples were exposed to vacuum (10 -4 -10 -6 Pa) and polychromatic UV-radiation (200-400 nm) in air, in inert atmosphere, as well as in simulated space vacuum. The effect of extreme temperature in vacuum and the influence of temperature fluctuations around 0 °C were also studied. The total intraphage/isolated DNA damage was determined by quantitative PCR using 555 and 3826 bp fragments of T7 DNA. The type of the damage was resolved using a combination of enzymatic probes and neutral and alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis; the structural/chemical effects were analyzed by spectroscopic and microscopical methods. We obtained substantial evidence that DNA lesions accumulate throughout exposure, but the amount of damage depends on the thickness of the layers. According to our preliminary results, the damages by exposure to conditions of dehydration and UV-irradiation are larger than the sum of vacuum alone, or radiation alone case, suggesting a synergistic action of space vacuum and UV radiation with DNA being the critical target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Astrobiology
  • Bacteriophage
  • DNA damage
  • DNA thin film
  • Phage thin layer
  • Solar UV radiation
  • Space vacuum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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