Biological Research in Canisters-22 (BRIC-22) - 01.10.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Like any other organism, plants respond to physical stress, which affects gene expression and can cause illnesses or other problems. Previous investigations have shown certain proteins regulate genetic activity in a way that protects plants from the extended physical stress of spaceflight. Biological Research In Canisters-22 (BRIC-22) studies 8 different variants of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) to determine the genetic regulation of stress responses.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Federica Brandizzi, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: BRIC-22

Principal Investigator(s)
Federica Brandizzi, Michigan State University - Plant Research Laboratory, East Lansing, MI, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Research Office - Space Life and Physical Sciences (NASA Research-SLPS)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
51/52

Previous Missions
BRIC-PDFU hardware previously flew on STS-87, STS-107, STS-131, STS-135, SpaceX-2, SpaceX-3, SpaceX-4, SpaceX-5, and SpaceX-6.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

The Biological Research in Canisters-22 (BRIC-22) investigation is focused on expanding upon the BRIC-18-2 study of the regulation of stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana under microgravity conditions. The AtIRE1 protein has been identified as a master regulator of transcription that, with additional gene regulators, protects plants from extended space-flight stress. BRIC-22 expands upon this knowledge and characterizes gene regulatory routes that operate in parallel to AtIRE1 during space-flight stress.

Description

The objective of Biological Research in Canisters-22 (BRIC-22) is to determine which genes are activated in parallel to AtIRE1, a master regulator of transcription, in microgravity conditions. Eight different backgrounds of Arabidopsis thaliana are grown aboard the International Space Station (ISS), frozen on-orbit, and then returned to Earth and thawed for analysis. Specimens are to be run on an Agilent Bioanalyzer to inspect the quality of the RNA. Specimens with acceptable RNA quality are then processed for RNA Sequencing (RNASeq) analysis at Michigan State University using an Illumina TruSeq RNA Preparation Kit, and the Ovation Universal RNA-Seq System from NuGEN. The expression of marker genes will be confirmed by quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).

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Applications

Space Applications
Some plants appear to use a molecular mechanism to sense and overcome stress, and this investigation determines how this works. Understanding how plants deal with physical difficulties can enable development of crops that are more tolerant of the stressful conditions of spaceflight, improving space agriculture efforts for future missions.

Earth Applications
Organisms across the plant and animal kingdoms are known to sense and respond to stress in similar ways, at least on a molecular level. Results from this investigation have important implications for the general understanding of stress, and how it affects organisms’ health. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of stress response improves stress management efforts for humans in space, and on Earth.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

The BRIC-22 is a crossover flight. Specimens are launched and returned on the same flight, and have the following operational requirements: late stow of experiment at L-24 hours in a double cold bag (DCB). Actuation must be performed by the crew at DCB + 14 days. Three hours after actuation, specimens are inserted in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for on-orbit freezing prior to DCB packing in preparation for return to Earth.

The BRIC-22 payload is stowed in a DCB for ascent to ISS on the Space-X Dragon Vehicle. The experiment is actuated 14 days after DCB unpack. A rod is removed from the Rod Kit and inserted into the BRIC-PDFU Actuator Tool. The Actuator Tool is then attached to the BRIC-PDFU canister, beginning with position 1, and used to mechanically force a chemical fixative into the Petri dishes. The process is repeated until all PDFUs are actuated in all four canisters. Three hours after actuation has been completed, all canisters are transferred to MELFI for freezing at -80°C.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Dr. Brandizzi - MSU-DOE Faculty Directory

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Imagery

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BRIC Canister.

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BRIC Actuator Tool and Rod.

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Actuation of BRIC Canister.

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NASA Image: ISS052E079043 - Astronaut Jack Fischer during actuation of four BRIC-22 canisters in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (JPM). BRIC-22 studies eight different variants of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) to determine the genetic regulation of stress responses.

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NASA Image: ISS052E079049 - Astronaut Jack Fischer during actuation of four BRIC-22 canisters in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (JPM). BRIC-22 studies eight different variants of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) to determine the genetic regulation of stress responses.

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NASA Image: ISS052E079058 - Astronaut Jack Fischer during actuation of four BRIC-22 canisters in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (JPM). BRIC-22 studies eight different variants of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) to determine the genetic regulation of stress responses.

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