2007 Volume 21 Issue 3 Pages 48-55
In 2008, the 'Cell Wall' experiment is scheduled to be launched and conducted on the International Space Station with the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS). The main aim of this in-orbit plant science experiment is to elucidate the effect of gravitational conditions on supporting tissue formation in plants, thereby gaining new insight into the molecular mechanisms by which plants adapted to the land environment. In this first space experiment with in-orbit control experiments, we will specifically aim to elucidate the expression profiles of several candidate genes encoding proteins that are involved in the construction and restructuring of the secondary cell wall in the stem of Arabidopsis thaliana grown both in microgravity and 1G conditions. This review article deals with biological background pertinent to the 'Cell Wall' experiment, the anticipated experimental procedures to be used, together with a perspective of how this space experiment will extend our knowledge in both pure and applied life sciences.