A new finding by a group of biologists from the University of Zurich has found strigolactone hormone that can increase the possibility of space cultivation. Moon and Mars are under the limelight owing to the hopes of survival chances on the extraterrestrial lands. One of the most challenging tasks is space farming which is quite difficult due to the low nutrient availability and gravity. The humans still are adamant on exploring and colonizing the planets in the coming decades. However, according to a recent research, there are probabilities that the plants and vegetation have a chance to grow on the alien land all thanks to a hormone. The hormone supports the symbiosis among fungi and plant roots that in turn increases the plants’ chances of continued existence even in inflexible conditions.
The futurists or astronomers looking at the possibility of space farming are currently the hot topics of the town. The idea of colonizing on Mars is given extra thumbs up by Blue Origin, NASA, and SpaceX after the discovery of the new hormone that raises hopes of the plantation on the extraterrestrial soil. For an Earth-like plant growth replica on the alien surfaces are monetarily and ecologically difficult on the Moon compared to Mars. However, the researchers from the Zurich team have found ways to improve plant survival in harsh conditions. The use of mycorrhiza, fungal hyphae, helps plant roots take in more nutrients and water. The plant petunias are being used to grow in restrictive environments as they belong to the family of potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes. The petunias survival gave the researchers an option to include the vegetation commonly consumed by the people.
The researcher’s idea of vegetation on the lunar surface gives the ISS astronauts maintain a refreshing atmosphere when on board. As per the team head Lorenzo Borghi, the space gardens on the lunar and Martian surface using the strigolactone hormone and mycorrhiza paves a new way for success. According to a new study conducted by Vlada Stamenković and his team from NASA, the salty water present underneath the Martian surface contains enough oxygen that can let small creatures or plants survive. This gives astronauts another ray of hope to colonize on Martian land.