Use of microgravity simulators for plant biological studies. Academic Article uri icon


  • Simulated microgravity and partial gravity research on Earth is highly convenient for every space biology researcher due to limitations of access to spaceflight. However, the use of ground-based facilities for microgravity simulation is far from simple. Microgravity simulation usually results in the need to consider additional environmental parameters which appear as secondary effects in the generation of altered gravity. These secondary effects may interfere with gravity alteration in the changes observed in the biological processes under study. Furthermore, ground-based facilities are also capable of generating hypergravity or fractional gravity conditions, which are worth being tested and compared with the results of microgravity exposure. Multiple technologies (2D clinorotation, random positioning machines, magnetic levitators or centrifuges), experimental hardware (proper use of containers and substrates for the seedlings or cell cultures), and experimental requirements (some life support/environmental parameters are more difficult to provide in certain facilities) should be collectively considered in defining the optimal experimental design that will allow us to anticipate, modify, or redefine the findings provided by the scarce spaceflight opportunities that have been (and will be) available.

published proceedings

  • Methods Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Herranz, Raúl||Valbuena, Miguel A||Manzano, Aránzazu||Kamal, Khaled Y||Medina, F Javier

publication date

  • January 2015