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The “Root” experiment of the “Cervantes” Spanish Soyuz Mission: Cell proliferation and nucleolar activity alterations in Arabidopsis roots germinated in real or simulated microgravity

AuthorsMatía, Isabel ; González-Camacho, Fernando ; Marco, Roberto ; Kiss, John Z.; Gasset, Gilbert; Loon, J. van; Medina, F. Javier
Issue DateSep-2007
CitationMicrogravity Science and Technology 19(5-6): 128-132 (2007)
AbstractIn an experiment conducted in the “Cervantes” Spanish Soyuz Mission, a 10-day flight to the International Space Station, Arabidopsis seeds were germinated, seedlings grew for 4 days at 22ºC, and they were fixed in flight with paraformaldehyde. A ground 1 g control experiment was replicated, and an additional experiment in simulated microgravity, using a Random Positioning Machine, was performed in the same conditions. Structural, morphometric and immunocytochemical data were compared. Glutaraldehyde-fixed seedlings similarly grown in the Space Shuttle (STS-84 Mission) were also used for ultrastructural and morphometric studies. Seedlings grown for 4 days in real or simulated weightlessness showed a longer size than the ground 1 g control. Root meristematic cells showed an enhanced proliferating rate, but ribosome biogenesis was reduced, as inferred from the nucleolar size and from the levels of the nucleolar protein nucleolin. This could be the consequence of the acceleration of the cell cycle, with shortening of its phases. Weightlessness induces stress in the plant, influencing cellular processes decisive for development and morphogenesis. This stress may endanger the plant and would require the action of compensating specialized defence mechanisms
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02919467
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