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Moon plants |  Science Press Agency

Moon plants | Science Press Agency

Using small amounts of this dust collected in the past by astronauts on three of the Apollo missions, botanists and geneticists wanted to test the thing with a plant that didn’t really require soil quality: Arab Thalius (Arabidopsis thaliana), often referred to as “road grass”. It’s tough, has a relatively small genome, and has been used in all kinds of lab experiments for decades.

University of Florida researchers So they planted Seeds in 3 parts each 4 grams of lunar soil. They did the same with the volcanic center, which was very terrestrial. Provide water. They compared for 20 days. Volcanic ash is often used as a basis for comparison to lunar soil.

In less than 60 hours, sprouted seeds In all types of soil. However, after a few days, the roots in the lunar soil were more dwarfed than those in the volcanic soil. After a few days, it turned out that the leaves of the lunar soil became smaller and showed darker pigmentation. At the end of the experiment, the “moon” plants showed more activity in the parts of their genetic makeup associated with adapting to more difficult conditions. The ‘stress response’ – this idea also exists in botany – was to be expected, in soils very poor in carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.

however, deduce The three researchers in the journal Communication biologythe conclusion seems to be that It will already be possible A potential lunar colony to grow something there. However, it may take more than an ordinary greenhouse to get a decent meal. It remains to prove what it will look like with a more nutritious plant than Arabite …

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Photo: University of Florida