Scientists succeed in growing plants on lunar soil
We all know that the soil properties of the earth and the moon are very different. Scientists have managed to breed plants that grew on lunar soil.
Section scientist at the University of Florida have succeeded in growing plants with soil Month for the first time. This achievement could have significant implications for future long-term space missions that require astronauts to have access to their own food sources.
To conduct the experiment, persuaded the scientists NASA Lend samples of lunar regolith collected from various locations on the moon during the three Apollo missions spanning the past five decades. Then the scientists placed the Arabidopsis plant in a tiny sample of nutrient-poor lunar regolith and waited to see if anything happened.
Reported by digital trends (13/5) Green shoots began to appear in just two days. However, about the sixth day it became clear that the plant was not as fertile as if it had been planted in soil. For example, plants in regolith grow slower and have stunted roots, and some have stunted leaves and display reddish pigmentation.
On day 20, just before the plants began to flower, the team harvested the plants, grafted them and examined RNA (ribonucleic acid), the origin of nucleic acids present in all living cells and sharing structural similarities with DNA.
The results confirmed that the plants experienced stress and responded in a similar way to how Arabidopsis was observed growing in other harsh environments, such as soils rich in salt or heavy metals.
The scientists also found that the quality of the lunar soil varied, with one sample in particular producing poorer growth yields than the other two. The team now plans to use the same regolith to sow more seeds to see if the plants have any effect on lunar material.
The study comes as NASA advances the Artemis program, which envisions bringing humans back to the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo missions some 50 years ago, with the possibility of a longer-term mission to Mars.