PH-01:  An Integrated Omics Guided Approach to Lignification and Gravitational Responses: The Final Frontier (Plant Habitat-01) - 12.13.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The space environment is stressful for all living organisms. Understanding how plants respond will help crews on future missions successfully grow plants for food and oxygen generation. The PH-01: An Integrated Omics Guided Approach to Lignification and Gravitational Responses: The Final Frontier (Plant Habitat-01) investigation comprehensively compares differences in genetics, metabolism, photosynthesis, and gravity sensing between plants grown in space and on Earth. Results from this investigation provide key insights on major changes occurring in plants exposed to microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Norman Lewis, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Plant Habitat-1

Principal Investigator(s)
Norman Lewis, Ph.D., Washington State University, WA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Laurence B. Davin, Ph.D., Washington State University, WA, United States
David T. Hanson, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, NM, United States
Mary S. Lipton, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, WA, United States
Richard T. Sayre, Ph.D., New Mexico Consortium, NM, United States
Shawn Starkenburg, Ph.D., Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, United States

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, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration


Expeditions Assigned
Information Pending

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

The PH-01: An Integrated Omics Guided Approach to Lignification and Gravitational Responses: The Final Frontier (Plant Habitat-01) (APH-01) research team's overarching hypothesis on the International Space Station (ISS) investigation is that a comprehensive and integrative multi-omics study of Arabidopsis lines, having different structural lignin contents and photosynthetic efficiencies, will provide new holistic insights at the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome levels. These data will help further establish as to how plants respond to and/or adapt to the microgravity environment; and provide the needed baseline reference points for further exploiting the space environment for plants, whether for fundamental research, long duration missions or human colonization away from earth. Success identifies gene/metabolic networks, mechanisms, and/or pathways differentially modulated at 1 g (Earth gravity) and on exposure to microgravity. This multi-omics study using Arabidopsis, under both 1 g and microgravity conditions (spaceflight), spans phenomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics strategies.
 
Research impacts:
  1. How an integrated omics analysis provides new insights into global effects on plant biological processes at both 1g and in microgravity.
  2. How modulating lignin and carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCM) levels differentially affect carbon assimilation/re-allocation, photosynthesis and Water Use Efficiency (WUE).
  3. How modulating lignin and CCM levels differentially affect secondary and primary metabolite levels.
  4. How system-wide modification in the transcriptome occurs through a common transcriptional regulatory mechanism, and how transcriptome/proteome "discrepancies" result from over simplification of transcript analyses.
  5. How differential alterations in lignin and CCM levels can often be attributed to overall distinct changes in protein expression and phosphorylation patterns in a defined set of proteins.

Description

PH-01: An Integrated Omics Guided Approach to Lignification and Gravitational Responses: The Final Frontier (Plant Habitat-01) is a multi-omics study using the model plant Arabidopsis under both 1g and in microgravity conditions (spaceflight). The approach spans comprehensive phenomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics strategies. It incisively and uniquely melds this pioneering approach via deployment of an integrated computational biology (ICB) approach. Plant lines include wild type and various mutants. The latter, generated by the research team, have different cell wall reinforcing lignin amounts through manipulation of the multigene family encoding arogenate dehydratases, as well as others enhanced in carbon assimilation capacity, and combinations thereof. This investigation provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate how plants function in altered gravity environments.
 
The research team for Plant Habitat-01 is very well positioned for incisive spaceflight and definition stage (1g) studies. Specifically, the team studies Arabidopsis lines at 1g, and on exposure to microgravity—varying both cell wall reinforcing lignin and carbon assimilation levels. Effects on photosynthesis, carbon (C) allocation, WUE, vascular plant growth/development, vasculature performance; auxin transport, and gravitational adaptations are to be determined from the investigation.
 
The overarching hypothesis is that a comprehensive interrogation (integrative omics) allows study of these phenomena in a truly unprecedented way. Studies identify gene/metabolic networks, mechanisms and/or pathways, and adaptations that are differentially modulated, i.e. through using various omics (phenomics, transcriptomics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and ICB) approaches.
 
Overall objectives:
  1. Establish multi 'omics' effects of modulating lignin and CCM levels at 1g and in spaceflight.
  2. Compare/contrast data, using an ICB approach, to better define and understand gravity sensing and responses.
  3. When lignin and CCM levels are varied, determine if threshold/induction parameters are modified or changed.
  4. Address distinct hypotheses for the various teams, and integrate, dissect and incisively analyze them holistically in a manner previously not possible.
Hypotheses:  It is considered that the prescribed ICB approach may transform omics analysis through advanced instrumentation and analytical tools. Each hypothesis draws upon the most advanced technologies available. The hypotheses are:
  1. Modulating lignin and CCM levels differentially affects carbon assimilation/re-allocation, photosynthesis and WUE (Team 1).
  2. Modulating lignin and CCM levels differentially affects secondary and primary metabolite levels (metabolomics) (Team 2).
  3. System-wide modification in the transcriptome occurs through a common transcriptional regulatory mechanism, and transcriptome/proteome "discrepancies" result from over simplification of transcript analyses (Team 3).
  4. Differential alterations in lignin and CCM levels can often be attributed to overall distinct changes in protein expression and phosphorylation patterns in a defined set of proteins (Team 4).
  5. Integrated omics analysis provides urgently needed new insights into global effects on plant biological processes at both 1g and in microgravity (Teams 1-4).
Outcomes:
  1. The research team seeks to utilize (or design) computational tools/mathematical algorithms for integration and correlation of high resolution phenotype measurements (phenomics) with "low" resolution global subcellular system measurements (transcriptomics, etc.) through 'nth' dimensional analysis.
  2. The study aligns with Research Emphasis 1 and 3, and decadal survey elements in Cell, Microbial and Molecular Biology (CM1VI-3, CMM-5), Organisms and Comparative Biology (OCB 2-5), Developmental Biology (DEV-4), and Plant and Microbial Biology, chapter 4 (P2).
  3. Data generation is seamlessly integrated with various web-based platforms to handle, disseminate and inter-actively utilize through iPlant and OpenMSI, and thus are made available to NASA as well as being a community resource.

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Applications

Space Applications

Like people, plants experience a wide range of physical and physiological changes in microgravity. This investigation studies system-wide changes in the model plant Arabidopsis to determine how microgravity affects photosynthesis, formation of their cell walls, growth/development, and gene function. The ISS APH provides a laboratory for the comprehensive study of plant metabolism, transcription, protein production and much more. So understanding these changes greatly benefits efforts to grow plants on future missions, whether for further exploiting the space environment, for fundamental research, long duration missions, or human colonization away from earth.

Earth Applications
The Plant Habitat-01 investigation provides unprecedented new insight into the molecular activities of plants. The investigation also gathers more information on the basic biological processes that enable photosynthesis, biomass production particularly building their cell walls, and storing and using water on Earth, and in microgravity. Results could provide a greater knowledge of basic plant science, benefiting agriculture and all people on Earth. The study will provide base-line or reference multi-omics big data for NASA and the academy.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Plant Habitat-01 (PH-01) requires the use of the Plant Habitat Facility (PHF), the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) for plant thinning and harvests, Glacier at -160°C and MELFI for plant sample fixation. The crew uses tools and supplies from the PH-01 PH Maintenance Kit and Harvest Kit. The crew obtains water from the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) to add into the PHF prior to experiment initiation.
 
After adding water to PHF, 2 science carriers with Arabidopsis seeds are inserted sequentially into the PWF. For each science carrier, 10 days after insertion, the plants are thinned to 1 plant at each of the 48 locations. By 4 weeks after insertion, half the plants are harvested, and placed in Glacier. Then, approximately 2 weeks later, the rest of the plants are harvested and placed in Glacier. After completion of the second science carrier grow out, the PHF is cleaned and de-serviced.
  1. Addition of water from PWD into PHF.
  2. Insertion of Science Carrier #1 in PHF.
  3. Day 10 Plant thinning utilizing MWA and PH-01 Tool Set.
  4. A 4-week plant harvest (#1) utilizing MWA, PH-01 Harvest Kit; Glacier insertion.
  5. A 6-week plant harvest (#2) utilizing MWA, PH-01  Harvest Kit, Glacier insertion.
  6. Insertion of Science carrier #2 in PHF.
  7. Day 10 plant thinning utilizing MWA and PH-01 Tool Set.
  8. A 4-week plant harvest (#1) utilizing MWA, PH-01 Harvest Kit, Glacier insertion.
  9. A 6-week plant harvest (#2) utilizing MWA, PH-01 Harvest Kit, Glacier insertion.
  10. PHF cleaning and de-servicing using PH Maintenance Kit.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

CategoryReference
Plant and Microbial Biology P2

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Sayre web page
The Washington magazine had an article entitled: “Space Farming”

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Imagery