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Great Plant Debate

The answer:

Notice that in both cases the primary roots grow straight down until they run into the bottom of the pack. This is because the seeds are planted in a cellulose plug right-side-up so that plant and root growth are forced into the correct direction.

photo of roots growing in gel pack as described below photo of roots growing in gel pack as described below

The difference is in the lateral roots. On Earth they grow out slightly and then down. This is important to the structure of a plant. In microgravity, on the other hand, the lateral roots continue to grow out until they hit the sides of the gel pack. So, the "space" plant is the one on the right!


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