Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos

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The Gram-negative soil micro-organism Myxobacter sp. AL-1 possesses at least five extracellular cellulases, the production of which is regulated by the growth cycle. We cloned the complete gene for one of these cellulases, termed cel9, which encoded a 67-kDa modular family 9 endoglycohydrolase, which was produced during the stationary phase of growth and(More)
An important but untested aspect of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microbes situated on or within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through Earth's atmosphere. The use of high-altitude sounding rockets to test this notion was explored. Granite samples permeated with spores of Bacillus subtilis strain WN511 were attached to the(More)
Upon UV irradiation, Bacillus subtilis spore DNA accumulates the novel thymine dimer 5-thyminyl-5,6-dihydrothymine. Spores can repair this "spore photoproduct" (SP) upon germination either by the uvr-mediated general excision repair pathway or by the SP-specific spl pathway, which involves in situ monomerization of SP to two thymines by an enzyme named SP(More)
In response to UV irradiation, Bacillus subtilis spore DNA accumulates the unique thymine dimer 5-thyminyl-5,6-dihydrothymine, or spore photoproduct (SP). SP is broken down into monomers during spore germination by the product of the spl gene which has been proposed to encode the enzyme SP lyase. The wild-type spl gene was cloned by complementation of a(More)
FOR LITHOPANSPERMIA. W. L. Nicholson, P. Fajardo-Cavazos, F. Langenhorst, and H. J. Melosh, University of Florida, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899; Institut für Geowissenschaften, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Burgweg 11, D-07749 Jena, Germany;(More)
In terms of resistance to extreme environmental stresses, the bacterial spore represents a pinnacle of evolution. Spores are highly resistant to a wide variety of physical stresses such as: wet and dry heat, UV and gamma radiation, oxidizing agents, chemicals, and extremes of both vacuum and ultrahigh hydrostatic pressure. Some of the molecular mechanisms(More)
The levels of mRNAs from genes (sspA, B and E) which code for major small, acid-soluble, spore proteins of Bacillus subtilis have been determined, as well as the levels of mRNAs from ssp-lacZ gene fusions. Increasing the gene dosage of ssp-lacZ fusions resulted in parallel increases in both the ssp-lacZ mRNA level and the rate of b-galactosidase(More)
Endospore-forming bacteria (Bacillus and Clostridium spp.) are highly ultraviolet (UV) resistant and repair UV-induced DNA damage in part using the spore-specific DNA repair enzyme spore photoproduct (SP) lyase. SP lyase in all known sporeformers contains four conserved cysteine residues; three absolutely conserved residues are located at the “Radical SAM”(More)
Prelaunch planetary protection protocols on spacecraft are designed to reduce the numbers and diversity of viable bioloads on surfaces in order to mitigate the forward contamination of planetary surfaces. In addition, there is a growing appreciation that prelaunch spacecraft cleaning protocols will be required to reduce the levels of biogenic signature(More)
Bacterial spores are considered good candidates for endolithic life-forms that could survive interplanetary transport by natural impact processes, i.e., lithopanspermia. Organisms within rock can only embark on an interplanetary journey if they survive ejection from the surface of the donor planet and the associated extremes of compressional shock, heating,(More)