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Light signals counteract alterations caused by simulated microgravity in proliferating plant cells

Abstract : Premise: Light and gravity are fundamental cues for plant development. Our understanding of the effects of light stimuli on plants in space, without gravity, is key to providing conditions for plants to acclimate to the environment. Here we tested the hypothesis that the alterations caused by the absence of gravity in root meristematic cells can be counteracted by light. Methods: Seedlings of wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and two mutants of the essential nucleolar protein nucleolin (nuc1, nuc2) were grown in simulated microgravity, either under a white light photoperiod or under continuous darkness. Key variables of cell proliferation (cell cycle regulation), cell growth (ribosome biogenesis), and auxin transport were measured in the root meristem using in situ cellular markers and transcriptomic methods and compared with those of a 1 g control. Results: The incorporation of a photoperiod regime was sufficient to attenuate or suppress the effects caused by gravitational stress at the cellular level in the root meristem. In all cases, values for variables recorded from samples receiving light stimuli in simulated microgravity were closer to values from the controls than values from samples grown in darkness. Differential sensitivities were obtained for the two nucleolin mutants. Conclusions: Light signals may totally or partially replace gravity signals, significantly improving plant growth and development in microgravity. Despite that, molecular alterations are still compatible with the expected acclimation mechanisms, which need to be better understood. The differential sensitivity of nuc1 and nuc2 mutants to gravitational stress points to new strategies to produce more resilient plants to travel with humans in new extraterrestrial endeavors.
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https://hal-univ-perp.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03346107
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 10:00:46 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 17, 2021 - 3:34:03 AM

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Aránzazu Manzano, Veronica Pereda‐loth, Anne Bures, Julio Sáez‐vásquez, Raúl Herranz, et al.. Light signals counteract alterations caused by simulated microgravity in proliferating plant cells. American Journal of Botany, Botanical Society of America, inPress, ⟨10.1002/ajb2.1728⟩. ⟨hal-03346107⟩

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