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Humans take their microbes into space

A recent study sampled the microbe diversity that can survive in the International Space Station (ISS). The study revealed that humans take their microbes with them into space. Molecular and culture-based methods allowed the assessment of microbial communities on ISS surfaces. Bacterial and fungal DNA was detected using amplicon sequencing. The study revealed a diverse population of bacteria and fungi on ISS environmental surfaces and the dominant organisms were associated with the human microbiome.


ISS

Table 1 lists primer pairs used by the study useful for the detection of pathogens present in the human microbiome.

Table 1: Primers for PCR amplification and sequencing

Primers

Sequences

 

 

16S rRNA gene

 

Forward

5′-AGA GTT TGA TCC TGG CTC AG-3′

27F

Reverse

5′-GGT TAC CTT GTT ACG ACT T-3′

1492R

 

Partial 16S rRNA gene

 

Forward

5′-CGG TGA ATA CGT TCY CGG-3′

1369F

Reverse

5′-GGW TAC CTT GTT ACG ACT T-3′

1492R

 

ITS region

 

Forward

5′-TTG GTC ATT TAG AGG AAG TAA-3′

ITS1F

Reverse

5′-GGT CCG TGT TTC AAG ACG-3′

Tw13

Forward

5′-GTC CCT GCC CTT TGT ACA CAC-3′

NS91

Reverse

5′-ACC TTG TTA CGA CTT TTA CTT CCT C-3′

ITS51

 

Bacterial diversity can be assessed by analyzing the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene coding sequence.

 

 

Analysis of Bacterial Diversity

 

 

The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene coding sequence can be used for this.

 

Forward

5′-CAG CMG CCG CGG TAA-3′

A519F (S-D-Arch-0519-a-S-15)

Reverse

5′-TAC NVG GGT ATC TAA TCC-3′

802R (S-D-Bact-0785-b-A-18)

 

Analysis of Fungal Diversity

 

 

The ITS1 region between 18S and 5.8S rRNA coding sequences can be used.

 

Forward

5′-TAG AGG AAG TAA AAG TCG TAA-3′

ITS1-F_KYO2

Reverse

5′-TTY RCT RCG TTC TTC ATC-3′

ITS2_KYO2

 

Expected amplicon length distribution is 271 ± 90 bp for Ascomycota, 284 ± 42 bp for Basidiomycota, and 216 ± 94 bp for non-Dikarya species.

 


Reference

Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra, Urbaniak, Camilla, Mohan, Ganesh Babu Malli, Stepanov, Victor G., Tran, Quyen, Wood, Jason M., Minich, Jeremiah, McDonald, Daniel, Mayer, Teresa, Knight, Rob, Karouia, Fathi, Fox, George E., Venkateswaran, Kasthuri, (2019); Characterization of the total and viable bacterial and fungal communities associated with the International Space Station surfaces. Microbiome 2019 7:50.


 

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