PLANT CELLULAR BIOLOGY
Dr. James A. Guikema
Dr. Jan Leach
Dr. Mike Keck
Food production on Earth is severely compromised by the infection of bacteria and viruses on crop plants. Preliminary evidence suggests that microgravity may have a significant impact upon infections in food plants, by influencing both the infecting bacterium and the host plant. In microgravity, bacterial growth rates have been observed to be enhanced, and the bacteria themselves appear less responsive to antibiotics. On Earth, plants are able to resist the spread of bacterial infection by peroxidase-induced polymerization of lignin and proteins onto the walls of the xylem. This impact of pathogenesis is particularly relevant to gravitational biology studies as studies have shown that in microgravity, cell wall deposition is reduced.
The objectives of this research are to:
Audra Chambers, part of SUROP program, developed assays to understand effects of microgravity on plant defense responses.
Olena Neduhka, Kiev, Ukraine, used the TEM to observe tissues from CUE project.
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