Use of Reduced Gravity Simulators for Plant Biological Studies. Chapter uri icon


  • Simulated microgravity and partial gravity research on Earth is a necessary complement to space research in real microgravity due to limitations of access to spaceflight. However, the use of ground-based facilities for reduced gravity simulation is far from simple. Microgravity simulation usually results in the need to consider secondary effects that appear in the generation of altered gravity. These secondary effects may interfere with gravity alteration in the changes observed in the biological processes under study. In addition to microgravity simulation, ground-based facilities are also capable of generating hypergravity or fractional gravity conditions whose effects on biological systems are worth being tested and compared with the results of microgravity exposure. Multiple technologies (2D clinorotation, random positioning machines, magnetic levitators, or centrifuges) and experimental hardware (different containers and substrates for seedlings or cell cultures) are available for these studies. Experimental requirements should be collectively and carefully considered in defining the optimal experimental design, taking into account that some environmental parameters, or life-support conditions, could be difficult to be provided in certain facilities. Using simulation facilities will allow us to anticipate, modify, or redefine the findings provided by the scarce available spaceflight opportunities.

author list (cited authors)

  • Herranz, R., Valbuena, M. A., Manzano, A., Kamal, K. Y., Villacampa, A., Ciska, M., van Loon, J., & Medina, F. J.

complete list of authors

  • Herranz, Raúl||Valbuena, Miguel A||Manzano, Aránzazu||Kamal, Khaled Y||Villacampa, Alicia||Ciska, Malgorzata||van Loon, Jack JWA||Medina, F Javier

Book Title

  • Plant Gravitropism

publication date

  • January 2022