5 February 2002 Azolla-anabaena-bacteria system as a natural microcosm
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Abstract
Azolla is an aquatic fern that contains a permanent endosymbiotic prokaryotic community (cyanobacteria and bacteria) inside of the cavity in the leaf dorsal lobe of the pteridophyte. This is a unique situation and can be seen as a microcosm inside of an organism and also can be considered a good example of a living model for biological and environmental studies. These symbionts are specific of this symbiosis and lives immobilized in a mucilaginous fibrillar network, which fills part of the cavity. The symbionts works as immobilized organisms in a natural system that can be used as a model for biotechnological research and in biologically based life support systems. The nature and the complexity of this system is simultaneously a reference and a challenge for the research in the communication between the two levels of nature organization (microcosm and mesocosm), and can also be used as a reference for the design of new environmental engineered symbiotic systems that include man as a prelude to life in space.
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Francisco J. Carrapico, Francisco J. Carrapico, } "Azolla-anabaena-bacteria system as a natural microcosm", Proc. SPIE 4495, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IV, (5 February 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454763; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.454763
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