Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Travel News .




SPACE TRAVEL
Reproduction In Zero Gravity
by Staff Writers
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Mar 19, 2013


These are pollen grains attached to the stigma, the female organ of the plant. Credit: University of Montreal.

University of Montreal researchers found that changes in gravity affect the reproductive process in plants. Gravity modulates traffic on the intracellular "highways" that ensure the growth and functionality of the male reproductive organ in plants, the pollen tube.

"Just like during human reproduction, the sperm cells in plants are delivered to the egg by a cylindrical tool. Unlike the delivery tool in animals, the device used during plant sex consists of a single cell, and only two sperm cells are discharged during each delivery event," explained Professor Anja Geitmann of the university's Department of biology.

"Our findings offer new insight into how life evolved on Earth and are significant with regards to human health, as a traffic jam on these highways that also exist in human cells can cause cancer and illnesses such as Alzheimer's."

The interior of animal and plant cells is like a city, with factories-called organelles-dedicated to manufacturing, energy production and waste processing. A network of intracellular "highways" enables the communication between these factories and the delivery of cargo between them and between the inside of the cell and its external environment. Plant cells have a particularly busy highway system.

"Researchers already knew that humans, animals and plants have evolved in response to Earth's gravity, and that they are able to sense it," Geitmann explained.

"What we are still discovering is how the processes occurring within the cells of the human and plant bodies are affected by the more intense gravity, or hypergravity, that would be found on a large planet, or the microgravity that resembles the conditions on a space craft. Intracellular transport processes are particularly sensitive to disturbance, with dramatic consequences for cell functioning. How these processes are affected by a change in gravity is poorly understood."

The cells were placed into a large centrifuge, along with a camera attached to a microscope, enabling the researchers to track in real time how the cells develop in the intense gravity generated by the centrifuge.

"Thanks to the facilities at the European Space Agency, I was able to determine how hypergravity and simulated microgravity affect the intracellular trafficking in the rapidly growing pollen tube," explained Dr. Youssef Chebli, a researcher in Geitmann's lab.

"We chose pollen, the carrier of the male sperm cells, as our model because of its pivotal role in plant reproduction and agriculture and because of its extraordinarily rapid growth, meaning that we could observe the effects of the hypergravity within seconds."

The researchers stained specific structures within the cells, which revealed how the cellular components move around and how the cellular transport logistics responds to the changing gravity environment.

"We found that intracellular traffic flow is compromised under hyper-gravity conditions and that both hyper and microgravity affect the precisely coordinated construction of the cellular envelope in the growing cell," Chebli said.

"This allows us not only to understand general principles of the reproductive mechanism in plants but, more importantly, how the intracellular transport machinery in eukaryotic cells responds to altered gravity conditions. Our findings have implications for human health as similar effects are likely to occur in human cells such as neurons where long distance intracellular transport is crucial."

Chebli and Geitmann's study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

.


Related Links
University of Montreal
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE TRAVEL
Kennedy Engineers Designing Plant Habitat For ISS
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Feb 22, 2013
Some of the research on the International Space Station focuses on meeting the needs of long-term spaceflight to destinations such as asteroids or Mars. A group of engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is developing a plant habitat with a large growth chamber to learn the effects of long-duration microgravity exposure to plants in space. Through most of Kennedy's history, the ... read more


SPACE TRAVEL
Vega receives its upper stage as the next mission's two primary passengers land in French Guiana

Grasshopper Successfully Completes 80M Hover Slam

Musk: 'I'd like to die on Mars'

Ariane 5 vehicle for next ATV resupply mission in Kourou

SPACE TRAVEL
NASA Curiosity rover back online after memory glitch

Software glitch in NASA Mars rover

Panorama From NASA Mars Rover Shows Mount Sharp

Opportunity Departing South Soon

SPACE TRAVEL
Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Seeks Public Support To Retrieve Apollo Era Moon Images

China sets moon mission re-entry test

Lunar impacts created seas of molten rock

China to use modified rocket for moon landing mission

SPACE TRAVEL
'Vulcan' wins Pluto moon name vote

Public to vote on names for Pluto moons

The PI's Perspective: The Seven-Year Itch

New Horizons Gets a New Year's Workout

SPACE TRAVEL
Distant planetary system is a super-sized solar system

Water signature in distant planet shows clues to its formation

The Great Exoplanet Debate

Earth-sized planets in habitable zones are more common than previously thought

SPACE TRAVEL
Russia Delays New Soyuz Launch

Swiss firm aims for low-cost satellite service

J-2X Engine 'Goes the Distance' at Stennis

Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

SPACE TRAVEL
Shenzhou 10 - Next Stop: Jiuquan

China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years

China to launch new manned spacecraft

Woman expected again to join next China crew roster

SPACE TRAVEL
Sunset Comet

Long Awaited, Comet PanSTARRS Now Glows in the Twilight

Comet PANSTARRS Rises to the Occasion Mid-March

Earth to get another asteroid viewing




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement