Exposure of phage T7 to simulated space environment: The effect of vacuum and UV-C radiation

Márton Hegedüs, Gáspár Kovács, Károly Módos, Györgyi Rontó, Helmut Lammer, Corinna Panitz, Andrea Fekete

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The experiment "Phage and Uracil Response" (PUR) will be accommodated in the EXPOSE facility of the International Space Station (ISS). Its objective is to examine and quantify the effect of specific space conditions 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 selected space conditions: high vacuum (10-4 to 10-6 Pa) and UV-C radiation (254 nm) alone and in combination. Characteristic changes in the absorption spectrum, in the electrophoretic pattern of DNA/phage and the decrease of the amount of PCR products have been detected indicating the damage of isolated and intraphage T7 DNA. Intraphage DNA is more sensitive to simulated space parameters than isolated T7 DNA in thin layers as well. We obtained substantial evidence that DNA lesions accumulate throughout exposure, and 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. 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006



  • Bacteriophage
  • DNA
  • Damage
  • QPCR
  • Space simulation
  • Thin layer
  • UV radiation
  • Vacuum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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