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You are here: N-USOC / Research in Space / Experiments / Skip Navigation LinksSEEDLING GROWTH 3
Seedling Growth 3
9/1/2016 by Carina Helle Berg
The Seedling Growth experiment series consists of 3 experiments that are designed by Dr John Z. Kiss, University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA and Dr F. Javier Medina, Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, CSIC, Spain.
The experiments aim to study light and gravity signalling in plants and their effects on cell growth and proliferation. This knowledge is valuable for developing an effective use of plants in life support systems in space, including on the Moon and Mars. It also has a strong relevance for improving crop species on earth to obtain increased production and sustainability.
Seedling Growth-3 is the third experiment in the Seedling Growth series. In Seedling Growth-3 specifically, the scientists aim to study how light and gravity together control plant growth and development. There is also a focus of the effects of red light and how the phytochrome activation by red light affects the cell cycle and ribosome biogenesis under gravitational stress. Furthermore, the red light effects on alteration of auxin transport and perception is investigated.
An additional objective is to study whether reorganization of cell activities in microgravity/low gravity conditions cause a relocation of essential molecular components of the cell.
The experiment will be conducted with different genotypes of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in experimental unique containers placed in the EMCS on the International Space Station. The experiment containers contain white, blue and red lights that can be controlled from ground to expose the plants to different kinds of light. By using the two centrifuges in the EMCS, it is possible to carry out the experiment in microgravity and fractional gravity along with the 1-g control within the same space environment. For Seedling Growth-3, the samples will be subjected to 1g, 0,3g and 0g. Following a six day time course in the EMCS, the samples will be either frozen or chemically fixed and returned to the investigators for analysis. Additionally, images will be taken throughout the whole experiment and downloaded real time.
Experiment name: Seedling Growth-3
Facility: EMCS
Test subject: Arabidopsis thaliana
Experiment duration: 2 runs x 6 days
Growth substrate: Filter paper
Water source: Internal EUE water
Principle Investigators: F. Javier Medina and John Z. Kiss
Payload Developers: NASA Ames Research Center and NTE Sener
Launch vehicle: SpaxeX-11
Performance: February-March 2017
Related articles:
Vandenbrink J.P., R. Herranz, F.J. Medina, R.E. Edelmann, J.Z. Kiss. 2016. A novel blue-light phototropic response is revealed in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana in microgravity. Planta 244:in press.
Vandenbrink J.P., J.Z. Kiss. 2016. Space, the final frontier: a critical review of recent experiments performed in microgravity. Plant Science 243:115–119.
Kiss J.Z. 2015. Conducting plant experiments in space. Methods in Molecular Biology 1309: 255-283.
Vandenbrink J.P., J.Z. Kiss, R. Herranz, F.J. Medina. 2014. Light and gravity signals synergize in modulating plant development. Frontiers in Plant Science 5:563.
Kiss J.Z., G. Aanes, M. Schiefloe, L.H.F. Coelho, K.D.L. Millar, R.E. Edelmann. 2014.Changes in operational procedures to improve spaceflight experiments in plant biology in the European Modular Cultivation System. Advances in Space Research 53: 818–827.     
Kiss J.Z. 2014. Plant biology in reduced gravity on the Moon and Mars. Plant Biology 16(S1):12–17.