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Effect of microgravity on stress ethylene and carbon dioxide production in sweet clover (Melilotus alba L.)The study of higher plant growth and development in the microgravity (micro-g) environment continues to be a challenge. This is in part a result of the available flight qualified hardware with restrictive closed gas environments. This point is underscored by considering that gas exchange of seedlings grown in microgravity may be further limited owing to a thicker layer of water wicked onto the roots and to the absence of convective mixing. We hypothesized that seedlings grown under such conditions will experience greater hypoxia in microgravity than at Earth gravity, and thus produce greater stress ethylene. We compared flight and ground samples of sweet clover seedlings grown in the Fluid Processing Apparatus (FPA) during STS-57 and found them to contain extremely high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and stress ethylene. There were time dependent increases for both gases, and seedling growth was greatly inhibited. We repeated these experiments aboard STS-60 using modified chambers which increased, by fifty fold, the air available to the developing seedlings. Sweet clover seed germination and subsequent seedling growth to eight days within the FPA modified with a gas permeable membrane is not compromised by the microgravity environment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gallegos, Gregory L.
(Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS United States)
Odom, William R.
(Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS United States)
Guikema, James A.
(Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Gravitational Physiology, Volume 2, No. 1
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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