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Gene Expression in Space - Characterization of the genetic expression mechanism which is at the base of the effect of space conditions on the increase in the virulence of pathogenic bacteria

Prof. Ohad Gal-Mor, Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer

The bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica (S. enterica) is a leading cause of foodborne diseases and a common source of human and animal infections. Previous studies have shown that growing bacteria at the outer space significantly enhances their virulence, however the underlying mechanisms remains unknown.

Here, the propose was to use the AX1 mission and grow S. enterica cultures in space. Besides following the kinetic of bacterial growth under microgravity conditions, our aim was to stabilize their RNA and determine their entire transcriptome using cutting-edge RNA-sequencing techniques. Comparison between the growth rate and the expression of all Salmonella genes between space and ground synchronically grown cultures will provide advanced understanding about the effect of space on Salmonella growth and its global gene expression.

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