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Plant Gravity Perception
1/25/2018 by Carina Helle Berg
Plant Gravity Perception
Dr Scot Chris Wolverton, of Wesleyan Ohio University in the US, has designed the experiment called Plant Gravity Perception (PGP): Plant growth is characterized by plasticity, allowing environmental cues like light and gravity to play a significant role in determining the overall form of the plant body. Statolith sedimentation in specialized cells represents one way that plants perceive gravity. Plants lacking functional statoliths, such as the pgm-1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, show reduced but consistent gravity responses, suggesting the presence of a non-statolith sensory system. The PGP experiment seeks to investigate plant gravity perception systems by comparing growth responses to fractional gravity in roots either having or lacking functional statoliths of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana by taking advantage of the unique microgravity environment of Earth orbit in the EMCS on the ISS. 
 
Facts
Experiment name: Plant Gravity Perception
Facility: EMCS
Test subject: Arabidopsis thaliana
Experiment duration: 3 runs x 5 days
Growth substrate: Filter paper
Water source: Internal EUE water
Principle Investigator: Dr Scot Chris Wolverton
Payload Developers: NASA Ames Research Center