Plant hormone makes space farming possible

Researchers are finding ways to make space farming possible in the companionship of farmers but they were not successful in growing vegetables because of the insufficient nutrients on the surface of Mars and Moon as well. Researchers and scientists were finding ways to come over this problem and after their a lot of struggle they found out a hormone named “strigolactone”, which can be used to make nutrients sufficient for vegetables to grow, this hormone was discovered by the team of biologists of the University of Zurich.

The weather conditions of Moon and Mars are really a barrier for vegetables to grow and the biggest challenge for scientist but this hormone discovered by the team and it can provide symbiosis between the plant roots as it will help in growing process.

ISS astronauts brought a zinnia flower

Image Credit: NASA

The scientists of the teams of NASA, Space X and Blue Origin have noticed that if they want to grow a plant like earth then it will be better to try it first on the Moon and still it will be really costly to move the fertilizers there. Researchers have also found out that the fungal hyphae give plant roots more water, nitrogen, phosphates which can also be helpful for their survival; they have also studied more ways which can be helpful. Mycorrhiza is one of the processes which are focused by the scientists and they have also used a model organism for studying plants.

Microgravity is one of the problems as mycorrhiza’s symbiosis but still it is the way through which plants can survive in the toughest conditions of space. The challenges of space farming make if more interesting and seeks more attention of the scientists and researchers.

The scientists of the University of Zurich, after their work of many years, they are hoping to grow gardens on the surface of the Moon and Mars and in the opinion of ISS’s Astronomers it will be a great step forward if it works.

Journal Reference:

Guowei Liu, Daniel Bollier, Christian Gübeli, Noemi Peter, Peter Arnold, Marcel Egli, Lorenzo Borghi. Simulated microgravity and the antagonistic influence of strigolactone on plant nutrient uptake in low nutrient conditions. npj Microgravity, 2018; 4 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41526-018-0054-z