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Plants, plant pathogens, and microgravity--a deadly trioPlants grown in spaceflight conditions are more susceptible to colonization by plant pathogens. The underlying causes for this enhanced susceptibility are not known. Possibly the formation of structural barriers and the activation of plant defense response components are impaired in spaceflight conditions. Either condition would result from altered gene expression of the plant. Because of the tools available, past studies focused on a few physiological responses or biochemical pathways. With recent advances in genomics research, new tools, including microarray technologies, are available to examine the global impact of growth in the spacecraft on the plant's gene expression profile. In ground-based studies, we have developed cDNA subtraction libraries of rice that are enriched for genes induced during pathogen infection and the defense response. Arrays of these genes are being used to dissect plant defense response pathways in a model system involving wild-type rice plants and lesion mimic mutants. The lesion mimic mutants are ideal experimental tools because they erratically develop defense response-like lesions in the absence of pathogens. The gene expression profiles from these ground-based studies will provide the molecular basis for understanding the biochemical and physiological impacts of spaceflight on plant growth, development and disease defense responses. This, in turn, will allow the development of strategies to manage plant disease for life in the space environment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Leach, J. E.
(Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506-5502, United States)
Ryba-White, M.
Sun, Q.
Wu, C. J.
Hilaire, E.
Gartner, C.
Nedukha, O.
Kordyum, E.
Keck, M.
Leung, H.
Guikema, J. A.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: Gravitational and space biology bulletin : publication of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
Volume: 14
Issue: 2
ISSN: 1089-988X
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Plant Biology
STS-87 Shuttle Project
short duration
Non-NASA Center
NASA Experiment Number 9600003
Flight Experiment
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