Hypobaria and hypoxia affects phytochemical production, gas exchange, and growth of lettuce Academic Article uri icon


  • Hypobaria (low total atmospheric pressure) is essential in sustainable, energy-efficient plant production systems for long-term space exploration and human habitation on the Moon and Mars. There are also critical engineering, safety, and materials handling advantages of growing plants under hypobaria, including reduced atmospheric leakage from extraterrestrial base environments. The potential for producing crops under hypobaria and manipulating hypoxia (low oxygen stress) to increase health-promoting bioactive compounds is not well characterized. Here we showed that hypobaric-grown lettuce plants (25 kPa 25% of normal pressure) exposed to hypoxia (6 kPa pO2 29% of normal pO2) during the final 3 d of the production cycle had enhanced antioxidant activity, increased synthesis of anthocyananins, phenolics, and carotenoids without reduction of photosynthesis or plant biomass. Net photosynthetic rate (P N) was not affected by total pressure. However, 10 d of hypoxia reduced P N, dark respiration rate (R D), P N/R D ratio, and plant biomass. Growing plants under hypobaria and manipulating hypoxia during crop production to enhance health-promoting bioactive compounds is important for the health and well-being of astronauts exposed to space radiation and other stresses during long-term habitation. 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 13.35

author list (cited authors)

  • He, C., Jacobo-Velazquez, D. A., Cisneros-Zevallos, L., & Davies, F. T.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • He, C||Jacobo-Velázquez, DA||Cisneros-Zevallos, L||Davies, FT

publication date

  • June 2013