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Ferulate Experiment Completed

Last Updated: June 4, 2010

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

Regulation by Gravity of Ferulate Formation in Cell Walls of Rice Seedlings (Ferulate)*, which has been performed using the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) in Kibo, was concluded.

*Principal Investigator (PI): Kazuyuki Wakabayashi, Associate Professor of Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University

Samples (caryopses of Koshihikari rice) were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on the STS-133 mission (aboard the space shuttle Atlantis) on May 15, 2010.

The culture dishes in which the caryopses are planted, were inserted in the CBEF to cuture the caryopses for six days in space. It began at 5:55 p.m. on May 27, and the culture was completed at 10:26 a.m. on June 2.
During the culture period, the samples on Day4, Day5 and Day6 were collected. Control experiments were also performed in the microgravity compartment and the 1G compartment of the CBEF using the same procedures.

The Ferulate experiment focuses on ferulic acid (FA) and diferulic acid (DFA), which act as "reinforcing structure" for the cell wall of gramineous plant. The Ferulate investigates levels of enzyme activities and gene expression that are related to metabolisms of DFA and FA under microgravity.
When the samples are returned to the ground, the team will analyze strength of cell wall structures, level of enzyme activities and gene expression, which are related to the systhesis of DFA and FA.

Regulation by Gravity of Ferulate Formation in Cell Walls of Rice Seedlings (Ferulate)

Special Message from Principal Investigator (PI)

Our experiment was performed just as scheduled. All the samples were safely stored in the station's freezer. Once we received the samples, we will try to clarify the role of gravity on the cell wall structures of the rice plant. I am grateful to all those who have been assisting our project.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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