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Loureiro, Rafael [1], Glenn, Hayden [2], Peoples, Sabrina [2], Evans, Brian [2], Andrews, Lauryn [2], Stafford, Samantha [2].

Applied plant science for crop yield assessment in Lunar regolith.

Future space colonists will require a reliable source of food that will not demand time-consuming management. To increase the reliability and efficacy of ISRU In-situ resource utilization systems in regolith-based agriculture on the Lunar surface, the authors isolated and classified rhizosphere microorganisms from successful earth-based plant-microbe associations in an attempt to create ‘microbial recipes’ to be used in the Lunar regolith. Two crops were chosen, Soybean – Glycine max (L.) Merr., for its protein content and rapid growth, and Lettuce – Lactuca sativa L., for its water content and vast datasets already in place for space crop. Three microbial isolates were used (Azospirillum sp. (A); Rhizobium sp. (R); Pseudomonas sp. (P)) totaling 4 possible combinations (AR; AP; RP; ARP). The recipes were inoculated in agar gel cubes and placed in the sterile Lunar regolith. Crops were evaluated on their seed viability and germination rate, growth rate; photosynthetic rate; stomatal conductance, and transpiration over a period of 90 days. Each crop had an n=40 with their appropriate controls. The crops were also evaluated for their phytohormonal content using LC-MS quantification for Auxin and Cytokinin and for specific root exudates. All treatments displayed better biomass yield and photosynthetic performance when compared to their controls (ANOVA – p<0.05). ARP crops showed the best results overall when compared to AR, AP, and RP crops (ANOVA – p<0.01). ARP crops also showed fewer signs of stress based on stomatal conductance and transpiration levels , as wells as a lower concentration of stress hormones. Overall, the utilization of microbial recipes in association with Lunar regolith has proven to be a feasible approach to not only lower the risks of crop loss but also to improve the yield of some cultivars.

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1 - Winston Salem State University, Biological Sciences, W.B. Atkinson Science Building (Room 426) 1309 Cromartie St., Winston-Salem, NC, 27101, United States
2 - Winston Salem State University, Biological Sciences

Root morphology
plant-microbe interactions.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P3, Physiology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P3PS007
Abstract ID:582
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Phytochemical Best Poster Award

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