Presentation Type

Poster

Subjects

Reduced gravity environments -- Physilogical effect, Bacteria -- Motility -- Effect of reduced gravity environments on, Chemotaxis, Digital holographic microscopy

Department

Physics

Advisor

Jay Nadeau

Student Level

Doctoral

Abstract

Astronauts, along with bacteria, experience the weightless environment on the International Space Station. This weightless environment has become known as microgravity. Because it is difficult to conduct experiments in space, simulated microgravity devices were developed for use on Earth. These devices replicate specific characteristics of the microgravity environment including low fluid shear, lack of sedimentation and low turbulence. Understanding how microbes might change when exposed to this environment is important as astronauts experience depressed immune functions and, in some cases, virulence in microbes has been shown to increase after exposure to microgravity. Changes in microbial motility are important as these can indicate possible changes in chemotaxis (movement towards a chemical gradient) or biofilm formation, an indicator of virulence in certain bacteria. The aim of this study was to determine whether Vibrio alginolyticus, a Gram-negative bacterium with a single polar flagellum, exhibited changes in motility after exposure to simulated microgravity. This was done by manually processing datasets using digital holographic microscopy which allows visualization of microbes in three dimensions over time periods as long as ninety seconds. The motility of Vibrio was characterized with this microscopy technique. Analysis shows the importance of considering microbial location in 3D volumes, in particular by a surface. Finally, when comparing simulated microgravity exposure against normal gravity controls, the motility phenotype wasn't changed. This study indicates that if motility is impacted by spaceflight and simulated microgravity, it was not in evidence from these experiments.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35423

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Quantifying the motility of Vibrio alginolyticus after simulated microgravity using digital holographic analysis

Astronauts, along with bacteria, experience the weightless environment on the International Space Station. This weightless environment has become known as microgravity. Because it is difficult to conduct experiments in space, simulated microgravity devices were developed for use on Earth. These devices replicate specific characteristics of the microgravity environment including low fluid shear, lack of sedimentation and low turbulence. Understanding how microbes might change when exposed to this environment is important as astronauts experience depressed immune functions and, in some cases, virulence in microbes has been shown to increase after exposure to microgravity. Changes in microbial motility are important as these can indicate possible changes in chemotaxis (movement towards a chemical gradient) or biofilm formation, an indicator of virulence in certain bacteria. The aim of this study was to determine whether Vibrio alginolyticus, a Gram-negative bacterium with a single polar flagellum, exhibited changes in motility after exposure to simulated microgravity. This was done by manually processing datasets using digital holographic microscopy which allows visualization of microbes in three dimensions over time periods as long as ninety seconds. The motility of Vibrio was characterized with this microscopy technique. Analysis shows the importance of considering microbial location in 3D volumes, in particular by a surface. Finally, when comparing simulated microgravity exposure against normal gravity controls, the motility phenotype wasn't changed. This study indicates that if motility is impacted by spaceflight and simulated microgravity, it was not in evidence from these experiments.

Please provide feedback:

2021 SRS Acres Poster Feedback Form