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Plant Cell Physiol. 2002 Sep;43(9):1067-71.

Stimulation of elongation growth and cell wall loosening in rice coleoptiles under microgravity conditions in space.

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Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi-ku, Japan.


We analyzed the growth rate and the cell wall properties of coleoptiles of rice seedlings grown at 23.6 degrees C for 68.5, 91.5 and 136 h during the Space Shuttle STS-95 mission. In space, elongation growth of coleoptiles was stimulated and the cell wall extensibility increased. Also, the levels of the cell wall polysaccharides per unit length of coleoptiles and the relative content of the high molecular mass matrix polysaccharides decreased in space. These differences in the cell wall polysaccharides could be involved in increasing the cell wall extensibility, leading to growth stimulation of rice coleoptiles in space.

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