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Title: Assessing the cleanliness of surfaces: Innovative molecular approaches vs. standard spore assays

Assessing the cleanliness of surfaces: Innovative molecular approaches vs. standard spore assays A bacterial spore assay and a molecular DNA microarray method were compared for their ability to assess relative cleanliness in the context of bacterial abundance and diversity on spacecraft surfaces. Colony counts derived from the NASA standard spore assay were extremely low for spacecraft surfaces. However, the PhyloChip generation 3 (G3) DNA microarray resolved the genetic signatures of a highly diverse suite of microorganisms in the very same sample set. Samples completely devoid of cultivable spores were shown to harbor the DNA of more than 100 distinct microbial phylotypes. Furthermore, samples with higher numbers of cultivable spores did not necessarily give rise to a greater microbial diversity upon analysis with the DNA microarray. The findings of this study clearly demonstrated that there is not a statistically significant correlation between the cultivable spore counts obtained from a sample and the degree of bacterial diversity present. Based on these results, it can be stated that validated state-of-the-art molecular techniques, such as DNA microarrays, can be utilized in parallel with classical culture-based methods to further describe the cleanliness of spacecraft surfaces.
Authors: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 1048255
Report Number(s):LBNL-4946E
Journal ID: ISSN 0099-2240; TRN: US201216%%837
DOE Contract Number:DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:Journal Article
Resource Relation:Journal Name: Applied Environmental Microbiology; Journal Volume: 77; Journal Issue: 15; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2011
Research Org:Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:Earth Sciences Division
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; ABUNDANCE; BACTERIAL SPORES; DNA; GENETICS; MICROORGANISMS; NASA; SPORES