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Cell Signaling in Undifferentiated Cells - Perceiving the Environment without Specialized Tissues (NNX12AK80G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Plant biology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Arabidopsis thaliana Species: Mouse-ear cress Strain: Col-0

The goal of this proposal is to explore the mechanism by which undifferentiated cells, cells presumably lacking the specializations typical of gravity response mechanisms, perceive the novel environment of spaceflight. We used undifferentiated callus cells from Arabidopsis to reveal unique gene expression patterns in response to true spaceflight as part of the BRIC-16 experiment in 2010. We followed up with examination of the response of these cells to a variety of terrestrial environments and stimuli, including spaceflight analogs such as clinorotation, hyper-g centrifugation, and parabolic flight. The present proposal moves beyond phenomenon observation to address specific hypotheses derived from these initial spaceflight and ground experiments. In BRIC-16 biologically replicated DNA microarray and RNA digital transcript profiling revealed several hundred genes in seedlings and cell cultures that are significantly affected by launch and spaceflight. While the response in intact Arabidopsis seedlings was significant but moderate in intensity, the response of undifferentiated cell cultures was dramatic, intense, and in completely different gene sets than in the intact seedlings. That undifferentiated plants cells uniquely perceive gravity raises powerful questions of gravity perception and response, and sets the stage for hypothesis-driven experimentation directed toward understanding this perception and response.

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ARG1 Functions in the Physiological Adaptation of Undifferentiated Plant Cells to Spaceflight. [DOI]

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
SpaceX-2 03/01/2013 03/26/2013 25 days
STS-131 04/05/2010 04/20/2010 15 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Kennedy Space Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Martha Del Alto
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2011 Space Biology NNH11Z