Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science
Committee Member/Second Reader
Committee Member/Third Reader
Committee Member/Fourth Reader
Methanogens, some of Earth’s most primitive prokaryotic organisms, are candidates for possible life forms capable of inhabiting Mars. Specifically, four different species (Methanobacterium formicicum, Methanococcus maripaludis, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanothermobacter wolfeii) were analyzed for their tolerance to the presence of illite clay. Illite is a crystalline mineral that has been identified from regions of Mars’s surface. Results indicated that all four species grew with some success in the illite at different concentrations. This experimentation with methanogens’ abilities to survive and reproduce in the presence of illite allows for a more accurate understanding of the potential capability of microbial growth in Martian conditions.
Methanogenesis, Martian atmosphere, hydrogenotrophy, anaerobic, prokaryotic, archaea
Kern, Chandler, "Methanogens, Plausible Extraterrestrial Life Forms on Mars, and their Tolerance to Increasing Concentrations of Illite Clay" (2018). Biological Sciences Undergraduate Honors Theses. 25.
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