Combined Impact of Magnetic Force and Spaceflight Conditions on Escherichia Coli Physiology

Pavel A. Domnin, Vladislav A. Parfenov, Alexey S. Kononikhin, Stanislav V. Petrov, Nataliya V. Shevlyagina, Anastasia Yu Arkhipova, Elizaveta V. Koudan, Elizaveta K. Nezhurina, Alexander G. Brzhozovskiy, Anna E. Bugrova, Anastasia M. Moysenovich, Alexandr A. Levin, Pavel A. Karalkin, Frederico Das Pereira, Vladimir G. Zhukhovitsky, Elena S. Lobakova, Vladimir A. Mironov, Evgeny N. Nikolaev, Yusef D. Khesuani, Svetlana A. Ermolaeva

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in bacterial physiology caused by the combined action of the magnetic force and microgravity were studied in Escherichia coli grown using a specially developed device aboard the International Space Station. The morphology and metabolism of E. coli grown under spaceflight (SF) or combined spaceflight and magnetic force (SF + MF) conditions were compared with ground cultivated bacteria grown under standard (control) or magnetic force (MF) conditions. SF, SF + MF, and MF conditions provided the up-regulation of Ag43 auto-transporter and cell auto-aggregation. The magnetic force caused visible clustering of non-sedimenting bacteria that formed matrix-containing aggregates under SF + MF and MF conditions. Cell auto-aggregation was accompanied by up-regulation of glyoxylate shunt enzymes and Vitamin B12 transporter BtuB. Under SF and SF + MF but not MF conditions nutrition and oxygen limitations were manifested by the down-regulation of glycolysis and TCA enzymes and the up-regulation of methylglyoxal bypass. Bacteria grown under combined SF + MF conditions demonstrated superior up-regulation of enzymes of the methylglyoxal bypass and down-regulation of glycolysis and TCA enzymes compared to SF conditions, suggesting that the magnetic force strengthened the effects of microgravity on the bacterial metabolism. This strengthening appeared to be due to magnetic force-dependent bacterial clustering within a small volume that reinforced the effects of the microgravity-driven absence of convectional flows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1837
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Bacterial metabolism
  • Glyoxylate shunt
  • Magnetic force
  • Methylglyoxal bypass
  • Space flight


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