The aim of this study was to analyze tolerance to heavy ions in desiccated animals of the eutardigrade Richtersius coronifer and the bdelloid rotifer Mniobia russeola within the STARLIFE project. Both species were exposed to iron (Fe) and helium (He) ions at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) in Chiba, Japan, and to X-rays at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. Results show no effect of Fe and He on viability up to 7 days post-rehydration in both R. coronifer and M. russeola, while X-rays tended to reduce viability in R. coronifer at the highest doses. Mean egg production rate tended to decline with higher doses in R. coronifer for all radiation types, but the pattern was not statistically confirmed. In M. russeola, there was no such tendency for a dose response in egg production rate. These results confirm the previously reported high tolerance to high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation in tardigrades and show for the first time that bdelloid rotifers are also very tolerant to high-LET radiation. These animal phyla represent the most desiccation- and radiation-tolerant animals on Earth and provide excellent eukaryotic models for astrobiological research.
- Zoologi (10608)