The study found that plants in lunar soil grow more slowly, and there are significant differences in genes

 Researchers are collecting Arabidopsis in lunar soil The picture is from Tyler Jones

Researchers are collecting Arabidopsis in lunar soil The picture is from Tyler Jones

Put the plants in the experiment into the tube for gene analysis The picture is from Tyler Jones

Relevant research results 5 month 12 Published on 《 Communications — biology 》.

University of Florida Robert Ferl And colleagues tested whether lunar soil can support plant life , They let Arabidopsis ( A flowering plant of Europe and Africa ) Grow in twelve soil samples , These soils were made by Apollo 11 Number 、12 Number and 17 Lunar mission collection .

Anna-Lisa Paul( Left ) and Rob Ferl( Right ) Operating in the laboratory The picture is from Tyler Jones

Rob Ferl Weighing lunar soil , These samples are from Apollo 11 Number 、12 Number and 17 Mission No. 1 has been sealed in the test tube since it was brought back . The picture is from Tyler Jones

Because the samples collected in each task come from different soil layers , Apollo 11 The sample of Apollo was exposed to the surface of the moon longer than Apollo 12 Number and 17 Sample number is longer . The researchers examined the relationship between these plants 、 As well as 16 Whether there are differences in growth and gene expression between Arabidopsis grown in volcanic ash samples of the earth ( The particle size and mineral composition of volcanic ash are similar to that of lunar soil ).

Researchers found that , Although seeds can grow in all soil environments , But plants in lunar soil grow more slowly than in volcanic ash , It takes longer to spread the leaves , There are more stagnant roots . Although the shape and color of some lunar soil plants are similar to those grown in volcanic ash , But others are stunted , Contains red melanin —— This is a typical sign of plant stress . Genetic analysis of three smaller, darker plants showed that they had more than 1000 A gene ( Mostly related to stress ) The expression level of is different from that of plants in volcanic ash .

To the first 16 Plants in the ash of Tianhuo mountain ( Left ) And the plants in the lunar soil ( Right ) There have been significant physiological differences The picture is from Tyler Jones

Besides , The researchers found that Apollo 11 Plants grown in sample No , Growing weaker than Apollo 12 Number and 17 Plants in sample No , Compared with plants in volcanic ash, plants express more different levels of genes . Apollo 11、12 and 17 The plants in the collected samples expressed 465、265 and 113 Different levels of genes . Among these genes 71% And salt 、 Metals are associated with stress caused by molecules containing reactive oxygen species .

Anna-Lisa Paul In the process of fine plant collection , For subsequent genetic analysis . The picture is from Tyler Jones

These findings indicate that , Although lunar soil can be used for planting , But it doesn't support plant growth as much as volcanic ash —— Especially those lunar soils that are more exposed to the surface of the moon . The researchers speculated that , Cosmic rays and solar wind destroy the lunar soil , And these lunar soils contain tiny iron particles , Or induce plant stress response , Damage its development .


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2022-05-14