The application mission of the sky capsule is progressing smoothly and the plants are growing well
At present, the seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana and rice in the general experimental module of life ecology in the Wentian cabin have successfully germinated. The Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings have grown many leaves, and the tall rice seedlings have grown to a height of about 30 cm. There are also dwarf rice. 5 to 6 cm tall and growing well.
What kind of equipment is needed to grow plants in space? In order to bring you an intuitive feeling, the reporter recently visited the research and development institution of the equipment, the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where there is a space green plant cultivation equipment of the same style as the Wentian capsule.
The reporter visited the “same style” plant cultivation equipment of the space station
Headquarters CCTV reporter Dou Yunyun:Such an experimental equipment around me is the exact same equipment used for Arabidopsis and rice cultivation on the space station. The seeds of rice and Arabidopsis are placed in such an experimental unit in the space station. , and then put it into such a device, and then carry out a planting, then such an experimental device can provide some of the environment and conditions required for the cultivation of rice and Arabidopsis.
Zhang Tao, head of the space life science instrument team at the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences:We have configured different cameras here. The camera above can monitor the growth of the entire plant, and the fluorescence camera below can give the plant some special fluorescence expression during the growth process. Then it reaches a certain stage, we pass Fluorescent light to excite it, to obtain fluorescent images, a result of its special expression can be obtained, which is also a result of research.
At the same time, we divided the entire large chamber into two temperature zones. One temperature zone has a lower temperature, such as a range of 21 degrees Celsius, and the other temperature zone may reach 30 degrees Celsius. These two temperature zones are actually They are suitable for different plant growth. For example, rice requires a higher temperature, and Arabidopsis requires a lower temperature. According to the needs of different plants for light sources, we can adjust the components of this light through instructions.
According to reports, the life ecology science experimental system uses various types of biological individuals such as plant seeds, seedlings, plants, and animals as experimental samples. In addition to rice and Arabidopsis, it will also carry out nematodes, fruit flies, and zebrafish. and other space growth experiments, the expected results will promote human understanding of the nature of life phenomena, reveal the impact of microgravity on the growth, development and aging of individual organisms, explore space radiation biology and the mechanism of the origin of life, and provide scientific evidence for astronaut health and protection .
It is expected to realize “seed-to-seed” cultivation of rice in space
In the past sixty years, scientists have carried out a lot of research on planting and cultivating plants in space, and have carried out more than 20 kinds of plant cultivation experiments in various space vehicles.
Only a few crops of rape, wheat and pea have completed seed-to-seed experiments in space. The significance of this space experiment on the China Space Station is to realize the cultivation experiment of the whole life cycle of rice “from seed to seed” for the first time under the conditions of space microgravity.
In the Center of Excellence and Innovation in Molecular Plant Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, there is such an instrument, which is specially designed to simulate the growth of plants in microgravity.
Zheng Huiqiong, researcher at the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Molecular Plant Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences:This is a gyrator. Its role is to simulate the microgravity effect in space, because the experimental opportunity in space is very precious after all. It takes a long time to do an experiment in the sky, so we built such an instrument on the ground to simulate, and lost it. The impact of the direction on plants in the future will provide a reference for us to design plants that are more suitable for space in the future. But gravity still exists on the ground after all, and it can only simulate part of the effect of space, so in the end, you have to understand the impact of the space environment on plants, and you have to go to space to do it, so this time we have plants in the sky capsule growth experiments.
Space Plant Growth Experiment Focuses on Three Scientific Issues
This project focuses on three key scientific questions: How does microgravity affect flowering? What is the molecular mechanism by which microgravity affects plant flowering? Can microgravity environments be used to control flowering in plants? Focusing on these three key scientific issues, by analyzing and comparing the role of microgravity in the flowering process of plants, the molecular basis of microgravity regulation of flowering and the expression changes of key genes are obtained, so as to provide theoretical guidance for future food cultivation in space.
Zheng Huiqiong, researcher at the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Molecular Plant Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences:The next step is to use the astronauts to sample in the glove box. We use it in two cases. One is in the flowering period. The leaves are collected and then analyzed after freezing. The changes of these genes and proteins in space follow For comparison on the ground, we also collected the mature seeds in the space for analysis, and analyzed the situation of the seeds. This time we hope to successfully receive the seeds of rice in the space, so that we will be the first in the world to complete the rice from seeds. Cultivation to the full life cycle of seeds.