Threshold Acceleration for Gravisensing - 2 (Gravi-2) - 07.29.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
The aim of this experiment is to subject lentil seedling roots to different centrifugal acceleration levels in microgravity, in order to determine the threshold of acceleration the roots respond to. The seedling roots are stimulated by means of a centrifuge for several hours, and the gravitropic response (root curvature) is followed by time-lapse photography or video observation during this centrifugation; making it possible to determine precisely the threshold acceleration at which the root responds to the gravity stimulus. After the stimulation period, the roots are chemically fixed in glutaraldhyde, formaldehyde, and RNALater to determine the movement of amyloplasts under the influence of the stimulation.
Science Results for Everyone
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014
Previous ISS Missions
Any research in plant biology will help for future long-range space missions where plants are planned to be an essential part of a bio-regenerative life support systems. The use of plants to provide a reliable oxygen, food and water source could reduce the resupply requirements for the International Space Station (ISS), and provide sustainable sources, such as fresh food, necessary to make long-duration missions more feasible. However, before plants can be effectively utilized for space exploration missions, a better understanding of their physiological behavior under weightlessness is essential.
The experiment will allow scientists to better understand the role gravity plays in plant growth and development, in particular the mechanisms by which a plant root perceives and responds to a change in the direction of the gravity vector. Any advances made to plant cultivation techniques in weightlessness could also improve our knowledge of such processes on Earth.
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