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Article

From Spaceflight to Mars g-Levels: Adaptive Response of A. Thaliana Seedlings in a Reduced Gravity Environment Is Enhanced by Red-Light Photostimulation

1
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas (CSIC), Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
School of Biological Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272, USA
3
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020899
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 10 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 18 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Signaling in Model Plants 2.0)
The response of plants to the spaceflight environment and microgravity is still not well understood, although research has increased in this area. Even less is known about plants’ response to partial or reduced gravity levels. In the absence of the directional cues provided by the gravity vector, the plant is especially perceptive to other cues such as light. Here, we investigate the response of Arabidopsis thaliana 6-day-old seedlings to microgravity and the Mars partial gravity level during spaceflight, as well as the effects of red-light photostimulation by determining meristematic cell growth and proliferation. These experiments involve microscopic techniques together with transcriptomic studies. We demonstrate that microgravity and partial gravity trigger differential responses. The microgravity environment activates hormonal routes responsible for proliferation/growth and upregulates plastid/mitochondrial-encoded transcripts, even in the dark. In contrast, the Mars gravity level inhibits these routes and activates responses to stress factors to restore cell growth parameters only when red photostimulation is provided. This response is accompanied by upregulation of numerous transcription factors such as the environmental acclimation-related WRKY-domain family. In the long term, these discoveries can be applied in the design of bioregenerative life support systems and space farming. View Full-Text
Keywords: microgravity; partial gravity; transcription factors; gene expression; root meristem microgravity; partial gravity; transcription factors; gene expression; root meristem
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MDPI and ACS Style

Villacampa, A.; Ciska, M.; Manzano, A.; Vandenbrink, J.P.; Kiss, J.Z.; Herranz, R.; Medina, F.J. From Spaceflight to Mars g-Levels: Adaptive Response of A. Thaliana Seedlings in a Reduced Gravity Environment Is Enhanced by Red-Light Photostimulation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 899. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020899

AMA Style

Villacampa A, Ciska M, Manzano A, Vandenbrink JP, Kiss JZ, Herranz R, Medina FJ. From Spaceflight to Mars g-Levels: Adaptive Response of A. Thaliana Seedlings in a Reduced Gravity Environment Is Enhanced by Red-Light Photostimulation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(2):899. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020899

Chicago/Turabian Style

Villacampa, Alicia, Malgorzata Ciska, Aránzazu Manzano, Joshua P. Vandenbrink, John Z. Kiss, Raúl Herranz, and F. J. Medina. 2021. "From Spaceflight to Mars g-Levels: Adaptive Response of A. Thaliana Seedlings in a Reduced Gravity Environment Is Enhanced by Red-Light Photostimulation" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 2: 899. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020899

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