The paper is wetted with 5—10 ml of sterile demineralized water, depending on the filter paper used. Under dry conditions thicker paper or two layers should be used.
The transcriptome is the level to which all the genes in an organism are being switched on or off and measuring this pattern of gene expression is a major goal for the science we will be conducting in space. The plants will be growing in the Veggie Facility, a plant growth chamber that uses LED-based lighting to be able to grow plants for many weeks.
Indeed, the Veggie was recently used by NASA scientists to grow lettuce to a size that the astronauts could harvest their own fresh salad. In addition, we have an opportunity to observe these plants using a light microscope on board the Space Station in the Light Microscopy Module LMMmore on this element below.
Once on orbit, the Dragon should berth with the ISS about two days later and the astronauts should be unpacking our plates and getting ready for the experiment just a few days after that. The timing is perfect.
We have been down to Johnson Space Center on a couple of occasions to train astronauts about how to perform our experiment and before the recent launch delays we were in the unlikely position of having our work scheduled for the tiny period when one trained astronaut Randy Bresnik had finished his mission and come back down and our other trained astronaut Scott Tingle had yet to fly up.
Now, with a December 12th launch, the timing and astronaut schedules have realigned and we are thrilled to have Scott Tingle as our researcher on orbit.
The mechanism behind this effect is very likely to be that in microgravity, buoyancy-driven convection the mixing of gasses driven by warm gas rising does not occur.
On Earth such convection mixes gasses around plants and animals and so when respiring organisms use up oxygen it is resupplied by the convective mixing of the air. In space, this does not occur and so organisms can use up their local oxygen, greatly limiting how much they then have available to continue growth.
We have previously found that on Earth, a molecular pump found on the internal vacuole membrane of plant cells is involved in low oxygen hypoxic signaling. When plants lack this pump, called CAX2, the plant switches on its hypoxic response all the time. This helps plants survive for a few days under conditions such as when the area they are growing in becomes flooded.
In the plants lacking CAX2, this response is always present and the prediction is these plants which are pre-adapted to hypoxia will grow better in space. Shawn Stephens One other characteristic of plants grown in space seems to be an increase in oxidative stress.
This is the kind of damage to human biology that high antioxidant diets are trying to combat. One major source of oxidative signals and damage is an enzyme called RBOHD, thus we are also flying plants which lack this protein to see how much it contributes to the changes seen in spaceflight.
Then, in order to prevent the seeds from just germinating, we use a special far-red light irradiation rig designed and built by Caleb Fitzgerald, one of the undergraduate engineers working in the lab. The far-red light switches on the dormancy program of the seeds and, providing we keep the seeds in the dark, they maintain dormancy for several weeks.
So, we wrap the plates with seeds exposed to the far-red light in foil and pack them for flight. After the trip to orbit, the packages are opened by the astronauts and placed in the Veggie hardware, where the lights of the growth system reverse the dormancy and trigger germination. After 8 days, the astronauts harvest the plants into special tubes called Kennedy Fixation Tubes KFT that allow us to mix the plants with a liquid fixative designed to stop any biology.
After we receive the frozen samples back in Madison, we will process them and use a technique called RNAseq to measure the levels of all genes in the plant, its transcriptome.
We are hoping that by comparison of the mutants to the normal i. We have also engineered these plants with a visual reporter a green fluorescent protein for the RBOHD gene that will allow us to look down the microscope at the fixed, returned plants and see to a cellular level where this gene had become active, giving us a map of responsiveness across the plant body to help put our gene level data in context.
Lastly, while on orbit, we will take advantage of an opportunity to put some of our samples into the LMM. This is a microscope on board the ISS that will allow us to remotely image our plant samples. The plants for this element of the work are engineered with two reporters hooked up to green fluorescent protein.
These reporters will let us literally see the stress responses to spaceflight play out in real time on orbit. This experiment is called BRIC So, what exactly will we be investigating during our second foray to the ISS?
Just as the lack of weight on board the International Space Station causes astronauts to lose bone mass, the weightless environment causes plants to lose their supporting structures.
The reason the plants are stronger on Earth is that they sense the mechanical forces generated by their own weight and lay down support materials in response to these signals. As astronaut Don Pettit who grew the famous Space Zucchini!
Braam very generously shared these mutants with us and so we now have plants that have this master mechanical response trigger always on or off. The other half of our BRIC experiment is called GeneLAB, an exciting new program in NASA where data from experiments on the International Space Station is rapidly released to the entire research community to allow as many people as possible to study the dataset for insight into how spaceflight affects biology.
So the question we want to answer is, do the different ecotypes used by researchers respond differently to spaceflight? If they do, which ecotype you use for your experiment might be critically important!
The way to test this possibility would be to grow different ecotypes on the Space Station and compare them to the same ecotypes grown under the same conditions on Earth. The ecotypes are all named after where they were found and collected, so the ones we will use are named Ws Wassilewskija, collected in BelarusCvi from the Cape Verdi Islands and Ler Landsberg erecta, orginally from Poland.
As with TOAST II, we will look at the growth of the plants and then look at the patterns of genes that are switched on and off in each ecotype in response to growing in space.Experiment with Fast Growing Plants You can learn a lot about how plants grow and the scientific method by conducting experiments with plants!
The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati Reading Road Cincinnati, OH [email protected] PLANT-GROWTH EXPERIMENT Brief Version of the Case Study Problem Formulation Experiment Design Data Collection Displaying Data Two-Way ANOVA Summary Problem Formulation In the following study, you will be involved in the experiment of growing a plant of your choice.
Let’s grow plants in space. BRIC TOAST II & GeneLAB Experiment, The Gilroy Lab has been again fortunate to secure NASA funding for a second experiment studying the growth of Arabidopsis plants in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS).
seed jar science experiment: things to look for This type of activity makes a great Spring STEM project for multiple ages. Get your magnifying glass out and check out all the angles of the seeds. As always, I am excited to be back for another Saturday Science.
We love experiments for kids! Science is such a staple in our house and guides the rest of our lessons for the week.
This week, I thought it would be fun to share some old science fun we had before we ever started homeschooling. This experiment is one we did when Legoman was in .
Using two of the same type of plants, equal in height, experiment with the amount of light received each day and how it affects the growth of each plant. One plant can be placed in front of a south-facing window, which will receive the most light per day.