Effects of Common ISS Volatile Organic Compounds on Growth of Radish 2004-01-2297
Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a salad type crop that is being evaluated for possible use on the International Space Station (ISS). The study will determine the growth and development of radish in the microgravity environment. A series of experiments were initiated to determine whether volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are commonly accumulated in closed systems of spacecraft atmosphere are biologically active. A survey of existing atmospheric samples from the space shuttle and ISS revealed over 260 compounds with potential biogenic activity of which a subset of 14 compounds have been selected for detailed evaluation. Initial screening is achieved by exposing radishes to VOC concentrations corresponding to 0.1 and 1.0 the Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) of the contaminants. Biogenic effects of ethanol at 0.1 of the SMAC resulted in lower chlorophyll content, reduced growth rate, and lower yields. Chronic exposure to ethanol concentrations at 0.5 SMAC were lethal to radish. Radishes exposed to acetone did not show phytotoxic responses at concentrations up to the SMAC.