Daniela Billi

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Daniela Billi is an Italian astrobiologist working at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She is known for her work on desert cyanobacteria of the genus Chroococcidiopsis.[1]

Work[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

Daniela Billi showed that desert cyanobacteria from the genus Chroococcidiopsis are highly resistant to extreme environmental conditions including desiccation,[2] ionizing radiation,[3]UV radiation,[4] and various factors encountered in extraterrestrial environments (see for example [5]).

Due to insights given by her and her colleagues' work, Chroococcidiopsis is considered as a model genus when studying the current or past habitability of Mars (see for example [6]).

She and her colleagues also suggested that Chrooccoccidiopsis could be used in manned missions on Mars for the production of resources for astronauts.[7] To move in this direction, she developed genetic engineering tools for those cyanobacteria.[8]

She is maintaining the Culture Collection of Organisms from Extreme Environments (CCMEE) established by Imre Friedmann.[9]

Involvement in space missions[edit | hide | edit source]

Billi is involved in the EXPOSE-R2 mission, an astrobiogy experiment currently exposed outside of the International Space Station. She is responsible for experiments involving Chroococcidiopsis as part of the two major EPOSE-R2 subprojects: Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX), and Biofilm Organisms Surfing Space (BOSS).[10][11]

References[edit | hide | edit source]

  1. Hardy Bacteria Thrive Under Hot Desert Rocks
  2. Billi, Daniela; Viaggiu, Emanuela; Cockell, Charles; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Onofri, Silvano (2011). "Damage Escape and Repair in Dried Chroococcidiopsis spp. from Hot and Cold Deserts Exposed to Simulated Space and Martian Conditions". Astrobiology. 11 (1): 65–73. Bibcode:2011AsBio..11...65B. doi:10.1089/ast.2009.0430. PMID 21294638. 
  3. Billi, Daniela; Friedman, E. Imre; Hofer, Kurt G.; Ocampo-Friedmann, Roseli (2000). "Ionizing-Radiation Resistance in the Desiccation-Tolerant Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 66 (4): 1489–92. doi:10.1128/AEM.66.4.1489-1492.2000. PMC 92012Freely accessible. 
  4. Baqué, Mickael; Viaggiu, Emanuela; Scalzi, Giuliano; Billi, Daniela (2012). "Endurance of the endolithic desert cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis under UVC radiation". Extremophiles. 17 (1): 161–169. doi:10.1007/s00792-012-0505-5. 
  5. Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Billi, Daniela. "Detection of Macromolecules in Desert Cyanobacteria Mixed with a Lunar Mineral Analogue After Space Simulations". ORIGINS OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION OF BIOSPHERES. 44 (3): 209–221. Bibcode:2014OLEB...44..209B. doi:10.1007/s11084-014-9367-4. PMC 4669540Freely accessible. 
  6. Grilli-Caiola, Maria; Billi, Daniela. "Chroococcidiopsis from Desert to Mars". Algae and Cyanobacteria in Extreme Environments: 553–568. 
  7. Verseux, Cyprien; Baqué, Mickael; Lehto, Kirsi; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Rothschild, Lynn J.; Billi, Daniela. "Sustainable life support on Mars – the potential roles of cyanobacteria". 
  8. Billi, Daniela (2010). "Genetic tools for desiccation- and radiation-tolerant cyanobacteria of the genus Chroococcidiopsis". Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology: 1517–1521. 
  9. Biology, FSU. "FSU - Biological Science - Dr. Imre Friedmann". www.bio.fsu.edu. 
  10. "Lanciati nello spazio gli "estremofili" per cercare vita su Marte: nel team c'è l'università di Tor Vergata". ilmessaggero.it. 
  11. "Batteri in orbita per simulare la sopravvivenza su Marte - Spazio & Astronomia - Scienza&Tecnica". ansa.it. 24 July 2014. 

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