The reproductive success of plants is often dependent on their flowering time being adapted to the terrestrial environment, in which gravity remain constant. Whether plants can follow the same rule to determine their flowering time under microgravity in space is unknown. Although numerous attempts have been made to grow a plant through a complete life cycle in space, apparently no published information exists concerning the flowering control of plants under microgravity in space. Here, we focused on two aspects. Firstly the environmental and intrinsic factors under microgravity related to flowering control. Secondly, the plant-derived regulators are involved in flowering control under microgravity condition. The potential environmental and intrinsic factors affect plant flowering under microgravity may include light, biological circadian clock as well as long-distance signaling, while the plant-derived flowering regulators in response to microgravity could include gibberellic acid, ethylene, microRNA and sugar. The results we have obtained from the space experiments on board the Chinese recoverable satellites (the SJ-8 and the SJ-10) and the experiment on the Chinese space lab TG-2 are also introduced. We conclude by suggesting that long-term space experiments from successive generations and a systematic analysis of regulatory networks at the molecular level is needed to understand the mechanism of plant flowering control under microgravity conditions in space.
Microgravity - Science and Technology – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018