The long-term autonomous existence of man in extraterrestrial conditions is associated with the need to cultivate plants—the only affordable and effective means for both providing oxygen and CO2
utilization, and providing one of the most habitual and energetically valuable products: plant food. In this study, we analyzed the results of the space odyssey of wheat and compared the morphological features of parental grains harvested from soil grown wheat plants, the grains obtained from plants grown in a specialized device for plant cultivation—the “Lada” space greenhouses during space flight in the ISS, and the grains obtained from plants in the same device on Earth. The seeds obtained under various conditions were studied using scanning electron microscopy. We studied the mutual location of the surface layers of the kernel cover tissues, the structural features of the tube and cross cells of the fruit coat (pericarp), and the birsh hairs of the kernels. It was found that the grains obtained under wheat plants cultivation on board of the ISS in near space had some specific differences from the parental, original grains, and the grains obtained from plants grown in the “Lada” greenhouse in ground conditions. These changes were manifested in a shortening of the birsh hairs, and a change in the size and relative arrangement of the cells of the kernel coat. We suggest that such changes are a manifestation of the sensitivity of the cytoskeleton reorganization systems and water exchange to the influence of particular physical conditions of space flight (microgravity, increased doses of radiation, etc.). Thus, the revealed changes did not hinder the wheat grains production “from seed to seed”, which allows the cultivation of this crop in stable life support systems in near earth orbit.
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