Mitch Messmer's Master's Thesis Defense Presentation
- Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
- WebEx Virtual Presentaion
In the field of Astrobiology, new technologies are being implemented in the search for extraterrestrial life. Interpreting results from new analytical techniques may require additional information about microbial properties. A catalogue of identifying characteristics, called biosignatures was created for bacterial and algal isolates from Greenland and Antarctic by measuring substrate utilization, UV/Vis absorbance, FTIR absorbance, and Raman spectroscopy. Organisms were chosen from environments that are analogous to Martian glacier systems. The spectral properties of these polar isolates could serve as a reference for interpreting results from Raman spectroscopy data from NASA’s Perseverance rover. Substrate utilization was evaluated using EcoPlates on an Omnilog plate reader (Biolog, California, U.S.A.). UV/Vis measurements were conducted for bacterial pigment extractions and whole cells. FTIR analysis was performed for dried bacterial isolates. Samples were PFA preserved and analyzed through Raman spectroscopy with a 532 nm laser. These analytical techniques proved effective at identifying cell properties that could serve as biosignatures for identifying microbial life.
- Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering