Haploid deletion strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that determine survival during space flight

Kelly Johanson, Patricia L. Allen, Romer A. Gonzalez-Villalobos, Jacqueline Nesbit, Cheryl Nickerson, Kerstin Höner zu Bentrup, James W. Wilson, Rajee Ramamurthy, Riccardo D'Elia, Kenneth E. Muse, Jeffrey Hammond, Jake Freeman, Louis S. Stodieck, Timothy G. Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


This study identifies genes that determine survival during a space flight, using the model eukaryotic organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Select strains of a haploid yeast deletion series grew during storage in distilled water in space, but not in ground based static or clinorotation controls. The survival advantages in space in distilled water include a 133-fold advantage for the deletion of PEX19, a chaperone and import receptor for newly- synthesized class I peroxisomal membrane proteins, to 77-40 fold for deletion strains lacking elements of aerobic respiration, isocitrate metabolism, and mitochondrial electron transport. Following automated addition of rich growth media, the space flight was associated with a marked survival advantage of strains with deletions in catalytically active genes including hydrolases, oxidoreductases and transferases. When compared to static controls, space flight was associated with a marked survival disadvantage of deletion strains lacking transporter, antioxidant and catalytic activity. This study identifies yeast deletion strains with a survival advantage during storage in distilled water and space flight, and amplifies our understanding of the genes critical for survival in space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-471
Number of pages12
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number4-7 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007



  • Deletion series
  • Space flight
  • Suspension culture
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

Cite this

Johanson, K., L. Allen, P., Gonzalez-Villalobos, R. A., Nesbit, J., Nickerson, C., Höner zu Bentrup, K., Wilson, J. W., Ramamurthy, R., D'Elia, R., Muse, K. E., Hammond, J., Freeman, J., Stodieck, L. S., & Hammond, T. G. (2007). Haploid deletion strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that determine survival during space flight. Acta Astronautica, 60(4-7 SPEC. ISS.), 460-471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2006.09.011