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#1 2018-10-28 10:13:30

jfenciso
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2018-10-27
Posts: 58

Space Plant Pathology

What would you do if your crop planted inside the Martian greenhouse will be infected with plant pathogens? And, how would be affected in a closed system environment like a Martian colony?


I'm Jayson from the Philippines. I am a Master's degree student in University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna. My major is Botany (specializing in Plant Physiology), and minor in Agronomy. My research interests are Phytoremediation, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Plant Nutrition, and Plant Stress Physiology.

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#2 2018-10-28 12:12:40

IanM
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 270

Re: Space Plant Pathology

I guess diversity of crops would be essential. If we grew only potatoes, for example, a potato blight's effect on the local diet would be compounded. While I believe that all of the affected stock would have to be destroyed I doubt that most plant pathogens can be transmitted to humans, fortunately enough.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#3 2018-10-28 12:17:06

jfenciso
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2018-10-27
Posts: 58

Re: Space Plant Pathology

Yeah, it couldn't be, but it would reduce the production of food. Tackling this kind of issue would help to know what are the possible way to prevent this kind of issue in the future.


I'm Jayson from the Philippines. I am a Master's degree student in University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna. My major is Botany (specializing in Plant Physiology), and minor in Agronomy. My research interests are Phytoremediation, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Plant Nutrition, and Plant Stress Physiology.

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#4 2018-10-28 12:19:56

jfenciso
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2018-10-27
Posts: 58

Re: Space Plant Pathology

In study on ISS using VEGGIE Hardware, there is a mold developed in the crop and flowering plant. So, it is possible that plant disease will happen in Mars.


I'm Jayson from the Philippines. I am a Master's degree student in University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna. My major is Botany (specializing in Plant Physiology), and minor in Agronomy. My research interests are Phytoremediation, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Plant Nutrition, and Plant Stress Physiology.

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#5 2018-10-28 12:59:07

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,982
Website

Re: Space Plant Pathology

The pathogen will always get through.

The ways we deal with such problems on Terra is by planting multiple types, so some survive and the pathogens in the soil can't infect the next crop (think - planting buckwheat in soil afflicted with potato blight); moving food from unblighted areas; or starving to death. The only one of those three that's viable for a colony is the first. Given that we'll be using greenhouses, there's no reason to have a fallow season. Potatoes, buckwheat, wheat can all be grown in succession, giving any diseases time to die off.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#6 2018-10-28 16:02:11

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Space Plant Pathology

Seperate greenhouse into segments for each crop type to limit the cross infecting, using filters for air flow from them to any common source, feed water source to each segment seperately with filters to prevent source sharing of a contaminant.

Do the contamination control for the astronaut farmer in that the suit used will only be used in that chamber or segment and not brought into the others keeping them controlled.

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#7 2018-10-28 16:17:52

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,481

Re: Space Plant Pathology

A couple of points.

One is that I think it is wrong to refer to the Mars Colony as "closed". They won't be like the Biosphere project which was closed and suffered accordingly.

The Mars habs will be open system with inputs and outputs.

To what extent can you breed pathogenless plants?  I don't know. But presumably in lab conditions on Earth, you could certainly minimise their presence.  Horticultural workers are certainly vulnerable to lung infections from bacteria I believe.

It's certainly one of the arguments for saying "don't run before you can walk" ie build up agricultural production very gradually, in isolated facilities. Don't try and move straight to 100% food production. Build up experience and don't take risks.



jfenciso wrote:

What would you do if your crop planted inside the Martian greenhouse will be infected with plant pathogens? And, how would be affected in a closed system environment like a Martian colony?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#8 2018-10-28 16:23:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Space Plant Pathology

The enclosures that you will live in and do all your work within make it a closed system albiat not 100% by the virtue that you can not live once outside of them....

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#9 2018-10-29 04:51:50

jfenciso
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2018-10-27
Posts: 58

Re: Space Plant Pathology

louis wrote:

Horticultural workers are certainly vulnerable to lung infections from bacteria I believe.



jfenciso wrote:

What would you do if your crop planted inside the Martian greenhouse will be infected with plant pathogens? And, how would be affected in a closed system environment like a Martian colony?


Most horticulturists experience health risks because of the exposure of chemicals like synthetic phytohormones or growth retardants.


I'm Jayson from the Philippines. I am a Master's degree student in University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna. My major is Botany (specializing in Plant Physiology), and minor in Agronomy. My research interests are Phytoremediation, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Plant Nutrition, and Plant Stress Physiology.

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#10 2018-10-29 20:24:49

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Space Plant Pathology

The selective plant grafting and breeding is what is getting lost in the discusion. Via taking the best for mars and making the best plants survive by selecting those that do best.

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