D-Amino acids in endolithic communities

Affiliation(s)PI/CoPICollaborators
DEES Sun, Henry

Dr. Jeff Bada at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute
Dr. Chris McKay at the NASA Ames Research Center.

Project Description

This work investigates the accumulation of bacterial cell wall (peptidoglycan) remnants in endolithic communities. Peptidoglycans contain D-amino acids, so accumulation would be accompanied by an increase in rare enantiomers. This would challenge the conventional wisdom in astrobiology, that on earth living microbial communities contain only L-amino acids.

 

Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 2005 field camp.
Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 2005 field camp.