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Adv Space Res. 1986;6(12):135-8.

Genetic and physiological damage induced by cosmic radiation on dry plant seeds during space flight.

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  • 1Botanisches Institut, J.W. Goethe-Universitat, Frankfurt Am Main, FRG.


Total evaluation of cosmic radiation effect with or without discrimination of individualized HZE-ion effects in dry Arabidopsis seeds flown for 10 days on STS-9, yielded significant evidence for radiation damage in space. They depend on the biological criteria tested (seed germination, morphogenesis, embryo lethality, mutation rate) which stand for early, physiological and late genetic effects. They are also related to the radiation shielding environment in the space shuttle. Proceeding from these results three direct questions can be posed for present (LDEF-1) and future (ERA-1, D-2) experiments in space: What is the influence of cosmic radiation on cytogenetic repair and ontogenetic restitution processes? Does microgravity disorder the morphogenesis (i.e. growth and cell differentiation)? Is there an interaction between the effects of cosmic radiation and microgravity in eukaryotic plant systems?

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