Taking plants off-planet – how do they grow in zero gravity?

Anna-Lisa Paul And Robert Ferl, The Conversation

Already they’ve given us some surprises about growing in zero gravity – and shaken up some of our thinking about how plants grow on Earth. A typical experiment begins on Earth in our lab with the planting of dormant Arabidopsis seeds in Petri plates containing a nutrient gel. Credit: Anna-Lisa Paul, CC BY We found a number of genes involved in making and remodeling cell walls are expressed differently in space-grown plants. These patterns of genes and proteins tell a story – in microgravity, plants respond by loosening their cell walls, along with creating new ways to sense their environment. Explore further What happens to plant growth when you remove gravity?

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