Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2018

Presentation information

[EE] Evening Poster

B (Biogeosciences) » B-AO Astrobiology & the Origin of Life

[B-AO01] Astrobiology

Tue. May 22, 2018 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall7, Makuhari Messe)

convener:Hikaru Yabuta(Hiroshima University, Department of Earth and Planetary Systems Science), Seiji Sugita(Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science Sciece, The University of Tokyo), Misato Fukagawa(名古屋大学, 共同), Fujishima Kosuke(Tokyo Institute of Technology, Earth-Life Science Institute)

[BAO01-P03] Effect of Minerals on Amino Acids Formation in Environments Simulating Parent Bodies of Meteorites

*Walaa Elmasry1, Shusuke Misawa1, Jun Matsukuma1, Yoko Kebukawa1, Kensei Kobayashi1 (1.Yokohama National University)

Keywords:Meteorite, Formaldehyde, Minerals, Amino acids

The origin of life on Earth is not yet understood. Extraterrestrial organic compounds are considered as a key for understanding prebiotic organic synthesis in the early Earth. Several pathways have been proposed for the formation of extraterrestrial organic matters. Recently, Cody et al. [1] proposed the hypothesis that IOM and refractory organics in comets could be produced through the condensation of interstellar H2CO via formose reaction after planetesimal accretion, in the presence of liquid water in the early solar system. Additional hydrothermal experiments showed that ammonia enhanced the yields of organic matter [2] and produced amino acids [3]. The mineral surfaces could have been strongly involved throughout the process of synthesis of organic matter to contribute promoting prebiotic reactions. Pearson et al. [4] found that the meteoritic organic matter is strongly associated with clay minerals suggesting that clay mineral may have had an important catalytic role in chemical evolution in the early solar system.
In our present research, we are studying possible role that minerals such as montmorillonite clay and olivine could have played in the processes for the amino acid productions in water-bearing planetesimals.

First we synthesized organic compounds using a mixture of water, formaldehyde and ammonia (H2O, H2CO, NH3) in a ratio of 100:5:5 and 100:7:1 by simulating primordial materials in comets and asteroids, in order to compare between two ratios. Adding some minerals (10 g/L) to these solutions to study their effects on the formation of amino acids. Aqueous solutions were heated in oven under various temperatures (100 - 150°C). The resulting products were then acid hydrolyzed (6M HCl, 110°C, 24h), desalted, and subjected to amino acid analysis by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

After acid hydrolysis, amino acids including glycine, alanine and beta-alanine were detected, while a little or no amino acids were detected without acid hydrolysis. Our preliminary results showed that the yields of amino acids were enhanced with the presence of minerals. These results suggested that the associated minerals were act as catalysts to produce amino acid precursors during aqueous activities in the planetesimals.

[1] Cody et al. (2011) PNAS 108, 19171-19176.
[2] Kebukawa et al. (2013) ApJ 771, 19.
[3] Kebukawa et al. (2017) Science Advances 3, e1602093.
[4] Pearson et al. (2002) Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37, 1829-1833.