VPL Astrobiology Colloquium Series presents John Freeman

Event Details

VPL Astrobiology Colloquium Series presents John Freeman

Time: December 2, 2014 from 3pm to 4pm
Location: Adobe Connect
Website or Map: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/u…
Event Type: online, seminar
Organized By: Mike Toillion
Latest Activity: Dec 2, 2014

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Event Description

Metal and Metalloid Tolerance Mechanisms of Metal Hyperaccumulator Plants and Their Applications for Human Extraterrestrial Colonies

Presenter: John Freeman, NASA Ames Research Center
When: December 2, 2014 3PM PST

Worldwide more than 400 plant species have evolved the extreme ability to hyperaccumulate the following elements in their shoots; metals (nickel, zinc, cadmium, cobalt, or manganese) and metalloids (arsenic and selenium). Of these species, almost one-quarter are Brassicaceae family members, including numerous species that hyperaccumulate metals up to 3% of shoot dry weight. Brassicaceae model species have been developed to study the molecular mechanisms of metal tolerance and hyperaccumulation and our recent findings hold promise for improving plant growth in metal enriched environments which is useful for rhizofiltration of water, phytoremediation of soils and for increasing the mineral nutrition of crop plants. The knowledge gained by researching metal hyperaccumulator plants clearly holds potential value for developing plant based applications for use in the phytoremediation of earth’s polluted environments and also for use in developing bioengineered life support systems required for long term manned space travel and for in situ resource utilization (ISRU), which are required processes for the long term human colonization of extraterrestrial planetary bodies.


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Comment by Andrew Planet on December 2, 2014 at 5:07pm

Adding to the question I made which John Freeman said he found very important, "For the given scenarios would there be alternatively more of an advantage in breeding ethnobotanical plants that don't soak up metals or metaloids despite growing in concentrations of these?" I later recalled that mangroves trees would be a good example of a chemically excluder plant  See https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/southflorida/mangrove/adaptations.html

Also not all of the plant could be made to be an excluder.  Part of a bred/transgenic plant organism could sacrifice itself (as in dropping deciduous like leaves) having 'mined' a metalloid or metal and the rest of the plant could be purely excluder type

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