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Gravireception in Phycomyces: Threshold Determination on the Sounding Rocket TEXUS 50

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DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2015.610143    3,424 Downloads   3,703 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Under parabolic flight conditions microgravity is not lower than 3 to 5 times 10-2 g. In contrast to parabolic flights, sounding rocket flights are virtually vibrational-free allowing microgravity as low as 10-5 g. Thus, a rotating platform serving as centrifuge allows the precise generation of gravitational forces ranging from 5 to 100 mg (not possible during parabolic flights). On this basis we determined the threshold1 for optical reflection/absorption changes in Phycomyces to be lower than 25 × 10-3 g. This compares well with the threshold determination of gravitropism in Phycomyces on a clinostat centrifuge. Kinetics of gravity-induced absorption changes and gravity as generated by the on-board centrifuge do not coincide but show a distinctive hysteresis with a latency of 4 s (75 mg-ramp, pull-up).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Schmidt, W. (2015) Gravireception in Phycomyces: Threshold Determination on the Sounding Rocket TEXUS 50. Journal of Modern Physics, 6, 1381-1389. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2015.610143.

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