(Polca) - 05.13.15

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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Polca will study the Brassica napus (rape seed) plant on the ISS to determine root gravitropism (root curvature).
Science Results for Everyone
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Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)

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Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
October 2008 - April 2009

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Polca will grow Brassica napus plants on board the ISS in experiment containers in the Kubik centrifuge/incubator.

  • Following incubation and centrifugation inside the Kubik, Polca samples will be fixed and returned to Earth for examination by investigators to determine the gravitropism (root curvature) and calcium distribution in microgravity.

The aim of this study is to understand the signal transduction mechanism of Brassica napusroot gravitropism during change of polarity of the root statocyte. More specifically, the following objectives are proposed:

  • Determine calcium distribution in statocytes in 1g, microgravity and during 1g greater than microgravity or microgravity greater than 1.g transition

  • Determine calmodulin localization in statocytes in 1g, microgravity and during 1g greater than microgravity or microgravity greater than 1g transition

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Space Applications
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Earth Applications
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Operational Requirements
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Operational Protocols
Seeds in experiment containers (ECs) are launched dry at ambient temperature (+4 degrees C to +30 degrees C). While on orbit, installation of ECs in Kubik centrifuge/incubator, and automated activation by hydration of seeds at +22 degrees C (+20 degrees C to +25 degrees C). Incubation of ECs during 44-hours, with sequence of automated events/crew activities: Hydration, incubation, ECs exchange between centrifuge and static positions, incubation (10minutes/-0min, +5min) then automatic fixation, 2 hour re-incubation and wash steps. After fixation and wash, ECs should preferably be maintained at +6 degrees C, but can be kept for at least 24-hours at ambient temperature. During Soyuz download phase the experiment can be maintained at ambient temperature (+4 degrees C to +30 degrees C range) for at least 24-hours. Transport of samples from landing site to the investigators laboratory at +4 degrees C, +6 degrees C is preferred (+4 degrees C to +8 degrees C). Review Cycle Status: MSci Draft

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Results/More Information

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Related Websites

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