Optimization of plant mineral nutrition under growth-limiting conditions in a lunar greenhouse

1Zaets, IYe., 1Voznyuk, TM, 1Kovalchuk, MV, 2Rogutskyy, I, 3Lukashov, DV, 3Mytrokhyn, OV, 4Mashkovska, SP, 5Foing, BH, 1Kozyrovska, NA
1Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
2Institute of Physics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine
3Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
4M.M. Gryshko National Botanic Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
5ESA/ESTEC/SRE-S, postbus 299 NL-2200 AG, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Kosm. nauka tehnol. 2006, 12 ;(5-6):036-041
Publication Language: English
It may be assumed that the first plants in a lunar base will play a main role in forming a protosoil of acceptable fertility needed for purposively growing second generation plants like wheat, rice, tulips, etc. The residues of the first-generation plants could be composted and transformed by microorganisms into a soil-like substrate within a loop of regenerative life support system. The lunar regolith may be used as a substrate for plant growth at the very beginning of a mission to reduce its cost. The use of microbial communities for priming plants will allow one to facilitate adaptation to stressful conditions and to support the plant development under growth limiting conditions. Well-defined plant-associated bacteria were used for growing three cultivars to colonize French marigold (Tagetes patula L.) in anorthosite, a substrate of low bioavailability, analogous to a lunar rock. The consortium was composed of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and the bacterium Paenibacillus sp. IMBG156 which stimulated seed germination, better plant development, and finally, the flowering of inoculated tagetes. In contrast, control plants grew poorly in the anorthosite and practically did not survive until flowering. Analysis of bacterial community composition showed that all species colonized plant roots, however, the rate of colonization depended on the allelopatic characteristics of marigold varieties. Bacteria of consortium were able to liberate some elements (Ca, Fe, Mn, Si, Ni, Cu, Zn) from substrate anorthosite. Plant colonization by mixed culture of bacterial strains resulted in the increase of accumulation of K, Mg, Mn by the plant and in the lowering of the level of toxic metal accumulation. It was assumed that a rationally assembled consortium of bacterial strains promoted germination of marigold seeds and supported the plant development under growth limiting conditions by means of bioleaching plant essential nutritional elements and by protecting the plant against hyperaccumulation of some toxic metals.
Keywords: egolith, microbial communities, mineral nutrition
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