The influence of microgravity on Euglena gracilis as studied on Shenzhou 8

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Nasir A, Strauch S, Becker I, Sperling A, Schuster M, Richter P, Weißkopf M, Ntefidou M, Daiker V, An YA, Li XY, Liu YD, Lebert M
Journal: Plant Biology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Publication year: 2014
Volume: 16
Pages range: 113-119
ISSN: 1435-8603
eISSN: 1438-8677


The German Aerospace Center (DLR) enabled German participation in the joint space campaign on the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft in November 2011. In this report, the effect of microgravity on Euglena gracilis cells is described. Custom-made dual compartment cell fixation units (containing cells in one chamber and fixative - RNA lysis buffer - in another one) were enclosed in a small container and placed in the Simbox incubator, which is an experiment support system. Cells were fixed by injecting them with fixative at different time intervals. In addition to stationary experiment slots, Simbox provides a 1g reference centrifuge. Cell fixation units were mounted in microgravity and 1g reference positions of Simbox. Two Simbox incubators were used, one for space flight and the other as ground reference. Cells were fixed soon after launch and shortly before return of the spaceship. Due to technical problems, only early in-flight samples (about 40min after launch microgravity and corresponding 1g reference) were fully mixed with fixative, therefore only data from those samples are presented. Transcription of several genes involved in signal transduction, oxidative stress defence, cell cycle regulation and heat shock responses was investigated with quantitative PCR. The data indicate that Euglena cells suffer stress upon short-term exposure to microgravity; various stress-induced genes were up-regulated. Of 32 tested genes, 18 were up-regulated, one down-regulated and the rest remained unaltered. These findings are in a good agreement with results from other research groups using other organisms.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Becker, Ina
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Daiker, Viktor Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Lebert, Michael PD Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Nasir, Adeel
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Ntefidou, Maria Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Richter, Peter Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Schuster, Martin
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Sperling, Anna
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Strauch, Sebastian Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologie
Weißkopf, Matthias
Lehrstuhl für Entwicklungsbiologie

External institutions with authors

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) / 中国科学院

How to cite

Nasir, A., Strauch, S., Becker, I., Sperling, A., Schuster, M., Richter, P.,... Lebert, M. (2014). The influence of microgravity on Euglena gracilis as studied on Shenzhou 8. Plant Biology, 16, 113-119.

Nasir, Adeel, et al. "The influence of microgravity on Euglena gracilis as studied on Shenzhou 8." Plant Biology 16 (2014): 113-119.


Last updated on 2018-10-08 at 09:41