Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators, CsPINs, Responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber (CsPINs) - 08.20.14

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The Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators (CsPINs) Responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber investigation uses cucumber seedlings to analyze gravity’s effect on plants. The investigation examines the formation of small horizontal “pegs” in cucumber plants, which develop near the transition between the plant’s root and stem. Gravity plays a role in where the peg forms. The investigation examines how plants sense gravity, and how gravity affects plant hormone transportation, plant growth and root development, all of which are important for plant cultivation in space.
 

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The following content was provided by Hideyuki Takahashi, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Hideyuki Takahashi, Ph.D., Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Akira Higashibata, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Nobuharu Fujii, Ph.D., Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • Yutaka Miyazawa, Ph.D., Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • Genji Kamata, AES, Japan
  • Hiroe Kobayashi, Ph.D., Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan

  • Developer(s)
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, , Japan

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2011 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned
    27/28,29/30,39/40

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Plants sense gravity as an environmental signal and, use it for governing their morphology and growth orientation. It has been found that the change in auxin efflux facilitators, CsPINs, play an important role in the regulation of gravity-dependent redistribution of auxin, and thereby controls gravimorphogenesis (peg formation) in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings. Moreover, it has been found that gravitropism interferes with hydrotropism in cucumber roots, in which also the change in auxin efflux facilitators may also play a role. In this space experiment, cucumber seedlings are used to analyze the effect of gravity on the expressions of CsPINs, and unravel their contributions to peg formation. At the same time, hydrotropism from gravitropism in roots is differentiated and compared the expression of CsPINs to figure out the interacting mechanism between the two tropisms. Dry cucumber seeds are launched, and imbibed and grown under either microgravity, or 1G conditions, in the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) of ISS. Immediately after the experiment, seedlings are fixed using RNAlater, and refrigerated until recovery on earth. Investigations of morphology and the expressions of CsPINs are done as post-flight analyses.

    • Auxin efflux facilitators, CsPINs, play an important role in the regulation of gravity-dependent redistribution of auxin and thereby control gravimorphogenesis, or how gravity affects plant growth.

    • Investigators could analyze the effect of gravity on the expressions of CsPINs, and try to better understand their contributions to peg formation.

    • The investigation seeks to develop new techniques for controlling plant growth via regulation of auxin transport, morphogenesis, and root hydrotropism (new tools/methods for plant cultivation in space).

     

    Description

    The expression pattern of auxin efflux facilitator, CsPIN1, changes in response to gravity. This could be responsible for auxin reduction, and thereby suppression of peg formation on the upper side of the transition zone in cucumber seedlings.


    The expression pattern of CsPIN5 changes in response to moisture gradient and gravity, which could be responsible for auxin redistribution in hydrotropically and gravitropically responding roots of cucumber seedlings.


    Using microgravity environment, the investigation seeks to verify that gravity and moisture gradient induce the changes in expression patterns of CsPINs proteins.
     

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    CsPINS enables new techniques for studying how plants sense gravity and determine which direction to grow. Auxin is a type of plant hormone involved in the formation of pegs in cucumber seedlings, which are a gravity-related physical trait, that develop between the plant’s roots and its stem. Understanding how plants sense gravity could enable new genetically modified variants that can grow in microgravity.
     

    Earth Applications

    CsPINS provides fundamental insight into the genetic expression and environmental sensing of plants. Improved understanding of plants’ environmental response could have implications for agriculture. The investigation also establishes a framework for a life-support system cultivating plants in space and on the ground.
     

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    Run3: Cucumber seeds are incubated 18 hours +/- 1 hour under micro gravity condition, then incubated 4 hours, or 8 hours under micro gravity, or 1G artificial condition . After  incubation, samples are videotaped using a G1 camcorder, and chemically fixed  using RNAlater, and placed in Chemical Fixation Chambers. The Chemical Fixation Chambers containing the samples are stored at +2 oC in MELFI, and recovered on earth at +4 oC.

    Operational Protocols

    Run3: 5 chambers which contains 7 cucumber seeds each incubate 18 hours +/- 1 hour under micro gravity, 1 chamber is removed and fixed, and the 4 other chambers are incubated under micro gravity . After  incubation, the samples are videotaped using a G1 camcorder, and chemically fixed by RNAlater. After fixation of the samples, the Chemical Fixation Chambers, containing the samples, are kept at +2 oC in MELFI and recovered at +4 oC on earth.

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    Results/More Information

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    image Peg formation in cucumber seedlings, image courtesy of JAXA.
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    image Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber (CsPINs). Image courtesy of JAXA.
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    image NASA Image: ISS027E017840 - NASA astronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 27 flight engineer, supports the Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber (CsPINs) experiment in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.
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    image A, D, G: Photos of seedlings grown in 1-g, horizontally B, E, H: Photos of seedlings grown in 1-g, vertically C, F, I: Photos of seedlings grown in microgravity. Significant nutational movement (wobbling) in ΒΌ g. Image courtesy of JAXA.
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    image Photo A: Seedling grown in 1-g, horizontally. Peg developed one side. Photo B: Seedling grown in 1-g, vertically. Peg developed both sides. Photo C: Seedlings grown in microgravity. Peg developed both sides. Images courtesy of JAXA.
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