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Seedling growth and development on space shuttleYoung pine seedlings, and mung bean and oat seeds were flown on shuttle flights, STS-3 and STS-51F, in March, 1982 and July/August, 1985, respectively. The plant growth units built to support the two experiments functioned mechanically as anticipated and provided the necessary support data. Pine seedlings exposed to the microgravity environment of the space shuttle for 8 days continued to grow at a rate similar to ground controls. Pine stems in flight seedlings, however, averaged 10 to 12% less lignin than controls. Flight mung beans grew slower than control beans and their stems contained about 25% less lignin than control seedlings. Reduced mung bean growth in microgravity was partly due to slower germination rate. Lignin also was reduced in flight oats as compared to controls. Oats and mung beans exhibited upward growing roots which were not observed in control seedlings. Chlorophyll A/B ratios were lower in flight tissues than controls. The sealed PGCs exhibited large variations in atmospheric gas composition but the changes were similar between flight and ground controls. Ethylene was present in low concentrations in all chambers.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Cowles, J.
(Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, Virginia, U, United States)
Lemay, R.
(University of Houston, Houston, Texas US, United States)
Jahns, G.
(University of Houston, Houston, Texas US, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Life sciences and space research 25 (3): Natural and artificial ecosystems; Meeting F4 of the COSPAR Plenary Meeting, 29th, Washington, DC, Aug. 28-Sep. 5, 1992 . A95-93759
Volume: 14
Issue: 11
ISSN: 0273-1177
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
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