STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists argued that growing potatoes on the Red Planet could be possible. The experiments developed with the help of CubeSat indicator proved that growing potatoes on another planet might be feasible. The new study demonstrated that potatoes were revealed to grow under extreme weather conditions here on our planet.
Researchers at the International Potato Center developed a lab which featured conditions similar to the ones on Mars inside a CubeSat which was built by engineers at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lima, Peru. The potato plants which were planted in that experimental lab are thriving. This box was designed to mimic the day-night patterns, the air pressure, atmospheric composition and temperature of the Red Planet.
The sensors installed inside the hermetically closed box are meant to monitor the progress of these potatoes. Julio Valdivia-Silva, a research associate with the SETI Institute, claimed that the crops which grow under Mars-like conditions represent a significant phase of the experiment. If these crops can resist in these harsh conditions to which they are exposed in CubeSat, they could be able to evolve on Mars.
Scientists are bound to develop various rounds of experiments to reveal which variety of potatoes best tolerates the conditions. They are prone to establish the minimum conditions which are needed by a potato plant to survive and develop. The potato plant’s genome is dynamic. The genes nurture an outstanding adaptive potential.
In the past, scientists managed to alter the genes of potatoes to help them survive in drought areas and salty soils. Previous experiments have helped scientists design a ground which is ideal for imitating the growing conditions on the Red Planet. Walter Amoros, a potato breeder at CIP, pointed out that the results of their experiment constituted a fantastic surprise for him when he saw that the potatoes they had bred to face abiotic stress managed to develop tubers in this soil.
Researchers first tried to grow in Mars-like conditions a potato variety which usually grew in the salty soils of Coastal Bangladesh after it was genetically altered. Amoros noted that the results of their experiment suggest that their efforts to breed potato varieties in such harsh conditions were not in vain. They managed to grow varieties which indicated a high potential for strengthening food safety in areas affected by climate change.
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