Each year, the International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development (R&D) Conference, held in coordination with the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, NASA, and the American Astronautical Society, highlights individuals who have pushed the boundaries of space-based research through the presentation of research awards. This week, we are spotlighting awardees in the category of “compelling results.” Today’s spotlight is on Dr. Simon Gilroy of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for compelling results in the field of plant science.
Find out about new research opportunities onboard the ISS National Laboratory, including recent Requests for Proposals in the areas of Advanced Materials and Industrial Biomedicine. See how you can leverage the unique space environment to advance your research and development.
In preparation for a series of spaceflight projects, Dr. Simon Gilroy and his team found that in the model plant Arabidopsis, when herbivorous (caterpillars) and mechanical (cutting the leaf) damage is administered, stress from the damage triggers the release of glutamate, which functions as a “wound signal.” This signal alerts neighboring leaves of the damage and jump-starts defense mechanisms in the plant. The team’s results were published in Science and featured in many media outlets, including The New York Times. A better understanding of plant responses to stresses could not only help scientists determine which plants might best handle the stresses involved in long-duration spaceflight missions but could also help improve plant growth on Earth.
Learn more in these related resources:
- Biological Research in Canisters-19
- Plants communicate distress using their own kind of nervous system
- When Plants Sense Danger, They Cry Out With Calcium
You can also learn more about the groundbreaking research taking place on our nation's only orbiting laboratory in Upward, the official magazine of the ISS National Laboratory! Visit Upward.ISSNationalLab.org to view the latest issue.