1988-07-01

Management of Microorganisms in Celss Plant Growth Systems 881047

Controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS) which include higher plants for food and oxygen production are proposed for permanent manned space stations and long-duration space flights. A primary concern in the design and operation of such a life support system is maintaining plant health and maximizing plant growth rates. It is inevitable that a variety of microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria will be introduced into CELSS. A potential problem for plant growth systems is plant pathogenic microorganisms. Pathogens could cause major perturbations which would be highly undesirable in a closed life support system. In CELSS plant growth systems, microorganisms can not realistically be excluded, but they can be managed to favor beneficial microorganisms and exclude undesirable microorganisms. There are 5 principal methods of managing microorganisms in plant growth systems.

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