Growth regulation mechanisms in higher plants under microgravity conditions - changes in cell wall metabolism.

T. Hoson, S. Kamisaka, K. Wakabayashi, K. Soga, A. Tabuchi, H. Tokumoto, K. Okamura, Y. Nakamura, R. Mori, E. Tanimoto, G. Takeba, K. Nishitani, R. Izumi, N. Ishioka, S. Kamigaichi, S. Aizawa, I. Yoshizaki, T. Shimazu, K. Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


During Space Shuttle STS-95 mission, we cultivated seedlings of rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Koshihikari and cv. Tan-ginbozu) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L. cv. Columbia and cv. etr1-1) for 68.5, 91.5, and 136 hr on board, and then analyzed changes in the nature of their cell walls, growth, and morphogenesis under microgravity conditions. In space, elongation growth of both rice coleoptiles and Arabidopsis hypocotyls was stimulated. Also, the increase in the cell wall extensibility, especially that in the irreversible extensibility, was observed for such materials. The analyses of the amounts, the structure, and the physicochemical properties of the cell wall constituents indicated that the decreases in levels and molecular masses of cell wall polysaccharides were induced under microgravity conditions, which appeared to contribute to the increase in the wall extensibility. The activity of certain wall enzymes responsible for the metabolic turnover of the wall polysaccharides was increased in space. By the space flight, we also confirmed the occurrence of automorphogenesis of both seedlings under microgravity conditions; rice coleoptiles showed an adaxial bending, whereas Arabidopsis hypocotyls elongated in random directions. Furthermore, it was shown that spontaneous curvatures of rice coleoptiles in space were brought about uneven modifications of cell wall properties between the convex and the concave sides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-96
Number of pages22
JournalBiological sciences in space = Uchū seibutsu kagaku
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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