NASA EPSCoR R3 Appendix D (BPS): Comparison of Stress-Inducible Sesquiterpene Lactone Profiles of Lettuce Cultivars Grown on the ISS and on Earth

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NASA EPSCoR R3 Appendix D (BPS): Comparison of stress-inducible sesquiterpene lactone profiles of lettuce cultivars grown on the ISS and on earth Project summary The Biological and Physical Sciences division within the Science Mission Directorate of NASA has identified the need for a better understanding of the sustainability and durability of plant propagation as a part of NASA’s Artemis and Gateway missions in anticipation of long duration human space travel to Mars. As described in appendix D of funding announcement NNH21ZHA002C, NASA is requesting proposals addressing crop plant responses to space travel exposure that include changes in their innate chemical composition. The extensive efforts of NASA Kennedy Space Center plant biology scientists in developing and deploying hardware (Veggie chambers) for growth of crop plants aboard the International Space Station, ISS, has now led to successful missions focused on documenting the growth of lettuce species, identification and quantitation of the bacteria and fungi associated with these ISS-grown plants, and an assessment of their contents associated with oxidative stress. These developments have resulted in unprecedented opportunities to explore more broadly the stress responses of ISS-grown lettuces, which will have significant implications for the reliability of deploying plants for the human nutritional needs necessary for long-term space exploration and extraterrestrial colonization. The primary objectives of the current application will be to establish a standardized protocol for qualitative and quantitative assessment of stress-inducible sesquiterpene lactones, which will then be applied to profiling the sesquiterpene lactones in lettuces grown on the ISS in comparison to matched earth-grown samples. The data generated will provide NASA with information essential to fully assess the biological safety of plants grown during space exploration and extraterrestrial colonization for human consumption. And, if new sesquiterpene lactone chemical entities are identified, opportunities for future therapeutical applications and screens will be availed. The team assembled for this project represents expertise in metabolomic profiling of plant natural products engaged with very experienced NASA Kennedy Space Center scientists addressing high priority objectives in pursuit of NASA missions for supporting long-term human space travel and exploration.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/23


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: $100,000.00


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