Journal Article

Growth in Microgravity Increases Susceptibility of Soybean to a Fungal Pathogen

Marietta Ryba-White, Olena Nedukha, Emmanuel Hilaire, James A. Guikema, Elizabeth Kordyum and Jan E. Leach

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 42, issue 6, pages 657-664
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pce082
Growth in Microgravity Increases Susceptibility of Soybean to a Fungal Pathogen

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The influence of microgravity on the susceptibility of soybean roots to Phytophthora sojae was studied during the Space Shuttle Mission STS-87. Seedlings of soybean cultivar Williams 82 grown in spaceflight or at unit gravity were untreated or inoculated with the soybean root rot pathogen P. sojae. At 3, 6 and 7 d after launch while still in microgravity, seedlings were photographed and then fixed for subsequent microscopic analysis. Post-landing analysis of the seedlings revealed that at harvest day 7 the length of untreated roots did not differ between flight and ground samples. However, the flight-grown roots infected with P. sojae showed more disease symptoms (percentage of brown and macerated areas) and the root tissues were more extensively colonized relative to the ground controls exposed to the fungus. Ethylene levels were higher in spaceflight when compared to ground samples. These data suggest that soybean seedlings grown in microgravity are more susceptible to colonization by a fungal pathogen relative to ground controls.

Keywords: Key words: Ethylene — Microgravity — Phytophthora sojae — Williams 82.; Abbreviations: BRIC, Biological Research in Canister; CELSS, Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems; CUE, Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment; KFT, Kennedy Fixation Tube; KSC, Kennedy Space Center; OES, Orbiter Environmental Simulator; SOYPAT, soybean pathology; TEM, transmission electron microscopy.

Journal Article.  5461 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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