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GRAVI-1
10/18/2012 by Carina Helle Berg
Gravi-1 was the second experiment to be performed in the EMCS onboard the ISS. The experiment was launched on 12A.1 and was operated in the EMCS early 2007.
The scientific objectives of the GRAVI-1 experiment was to subject lentil (Lens culinaris var. anicia seedling roots to centrifugal acceleration levels from 4 X 10-4 g to 10-2 g in microgravity in order to determine the threshold of acceleration the roots respond to. The seedling roots were stimulated by means of a centrifuge for several hours and the gravitropic response (root curvature) was followed by time-lapse photography and video observation during the centrifugation. From this it was possible to determine precisely the threshold acceleration, at which the root responded to the gravity stimulus.
 
Gravi cultivation chambersGravi.jpg
The Gravi experiment unique equipment is developed by EADS Astrium, Germany. The hardware design includes a central handler in the middle of the EC to which two cultivation chambers and a fixation chamber can be mounted. The cultivation chambers are designed to hold seeds on both the front side and the back side of the cultivation chambers. For both the Gravi 1 experiment and the upcoming Gravi 2 experiment the cultivation chambers hold lentil seeds which will be hydrated before insertion onto the EMCS rotors where they will be cultivated for 30 hours. The studies focus on the lentil root behavior in various levels of gravity.

Facts
Experiment name: Gravi
Facility: EMCS
Test subject: Lens Culinaris
Experiment duration: 2 runs x 30 hours
Growth substrate: Felt
Water source: Manually hydrated via syringe
Principle Investigator: Dominique Driss-Ecole
Payload Developer: EADS Astrium
Launch vehicle: 12A.1
Performance: Jan 2007

Related articles:
Dominique Driss-Ecole, Valerie Legue, Eugenie Carnero-Diaz and Gerald Perbal, Gravisensitivity and automorphogenesis of lentil seedling roots grown on board the International Space Station, Physiologia Plantarum 134: 191–201. 2008
 
Gerald Perbal, From ROOTS to GRAVI-1: Twenty Five Years for Understanding How Plants Sense Gravity, Microgravity Sci. Technol (2009) 21:3–10, DOI 10.1007/s12217-008-9064-x
 
Point of Contact:
Principal Investigator: Dr Dominique Driss-Ecole, dominique.driss@free.fr


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