ASGSB 2003 Annual Meeting Abstracts


EFFECTS OF ETHANOL ON THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF RADISHES.  M.V. Liga1, I. Eraso2, and G.W. Stutte21Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson.  2Dynamac Corporation, Kennedy Space Center, FL.

   Radishes are a salad type crop that is being considered as a food source for astronauts on short to medium duration spaceflight missions.  The atmosphere onboard spacecraft such as the International Space Station contains volatile organic compounds (VOC) that may affect plant growth and development.   Ethanol and other alcohols are primary VOC contaminants.  Microgravity has also been observed to significantly affect plant growth and development.  The objective of this research is to determine the effects of ethanol on the growth and development of Raphanus sativus L. cv. Cherry Belle, Cherry Bomb, and Sora.  The effects of ethanol exposure can then be differentiated from the effects of microgravity.  The radishes were grown in Oasis foam substrate in closed controlled environment plant growth chambers and were subjected to chronic exposure of three different concentrations of ethanol through a closed gas exchange system.  The growth and development of the radishes was analyzed by measuring the biomass, root and shoot size, chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and photosynthesis rate.  High concentrations of ethanol were observed to have significant effects on the radishes growth and development.   

(Supported by NASA’s 2003 Spaceflight and Life Sciences Training Program)


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