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Rotifer In SpacE: Bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga : a new eukaryotic extremophile model organism to study the impact of radiation and micro-gravity on biological processes.


PI: Karine Van Doninck

Bco-PI: Stéphane Lucas



Website: Rotifer In SpacE





Bdelloid rotifers are found all over the world, mostly in semi-terrestrial environments and appear to be extremely stress tolerant. Their desiccation tolerance at any stage of their life cycle is known to confer tolerance to a variety of stresses including high doses of radiation and freezing.

Bdelloid rotifers appear to survive such extreme conditions because of an efficient antioxidant and DNA repair mechanism.

Here we design simple experiments in order to answer the following key questions:

  1. How microgravity and space flight are affecting biological processes of A. vaga?
  2. What are the limits of bdelloids extreme resistance to radiation?
  3. What are the molecular mechanisms involved in protection and repair of damage induced by different radiation sources?
  4. Are microgravity and space flight affecting protection and repair mechanisms of A. vaga?

The RISE project is carried out under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) in the framework of the PRODEX Programme.