• Planetary Times Newsletter
  • Opinion Corner
  • Message Board
  • Space Calendar
  • Featured Classes
  • Testimonials
  • Press Kit
  • Classroom Publicity Kit
  • Release Forms
  • Archived Online Chats
  • Contests
  • Space Fun
  • Trivia Corner
  • Orbital Laboratory® Payload III
  • Marslink®
  • Moonlink®
  • Space Explorers
  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (schmidt Chat Log)Hosted by Dr. Daria Schmidt of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

    at from asks:
    4/16/2003 12:37:28 PM - Room opened by Moderator.

    at from asks:
    Hello and welcome to the online chat with research scientist Dr. Daria Schmidt of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    How many hours of light do you think the soybeans need?

    Soybeans can grow in a very minimal number of hours of light, however, in order to trigger flowering, commercial soybeans, such as Pioneer 9306, must be exposed to days with decreasing daylength. For our growth chambers and greenhouses, we usually start the daylength at 14 - 16 hours, then reduce the length by half hour increments. Light quality is also very important.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Why do you think our soybeans are not growing well in the zeolite and vermiculite?

    We typically do not use this growth media in our research, , therefore it is difficult to determine why your soybean plants are not growing well.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    What unit of measurements should be used?

    What are you wanting to measure?

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    We believe that the soybeans will germinate and grow faster then the wheat, do you concur?

    This is interesting, and something we have not looked at in the past. At emergence and shortly thereafter, I believe your theory is correct. Soybean will appear to have a greater rate of growth in height and stem thickness compared to wheat. Over time, a wheat plant will be taller than a soybean plant.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    We are wanting to measure the growth by height of the plants.

    We measure soybean height in centimeters and inches, and consider the height of the main stem. Top leaves may extend beyong the stem, but are not considered as a component of plant height.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    What research are you currently working on?

    We develop high yielding soybean varieties for several world markets, with focus on North America and South America using many technologies including genetics, statisitics, DNA diagnositcs, plant pathology - this list goes on.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Have you ever done a project or experiment with soybeans in microgravity?

    We concluded a joint experiment on the ISST in early fall, 2002. This is the first full cycle of a soybean crop ever grown, and we used the same variety your students are growing, Pioneer 9306

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    If so, what were the results?

    The seeds from the plants grown in space are under analysis for compositional traits such as oil and protein content, oil profiles, carbohydrate profile, etc. Visually, the seed harvested for Pioneer 9306 looked no different when compared to our seed crop grown on earth.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Why are those compositional traits important to space research?

    Excellent question. Soy is a key food ingredient in our diets, and in the diets of the astronauts as well.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    There are areas in a container for our sybeans that allow light to get through when the plants are supposed to be in their night cycle. Do you see this as a problem?

    If you are having trouble triggering the plants to flower, yes, this could be a problem. If your plants are growthy, that is, look spindly with long internodes (space between leaves), you may have a light quality issue.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    How difficult would it be for the astronauts to use soybeans grown on the station as food?

    Raw commodity soybeans are not typically consumed in our diets, hence, some degree of processing would need to be done. Using soybean meal as an ingredient, potentially in the Mars Program, would likely be more of an expectation.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    How did you choose this particular soybean to fly in space?

    Pionner has been collaborating with NASA for a number of years, particularly around the development of growth chambers. The variety 9306 has been used in all of our collaborations, hence we know quite a bit about its growth response and characteristics.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    What other experiments has pioneer done with NASA?

    The growth chamber experiments were facilitated through the Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR) -- a NASA Commercial Space Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Do you have plans on flying any other plants in space?

    Pioneer does not have any firm plans for additional flights at this time.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    What is your favorite thing about your job?

    I am thrilled to have a career built around (1) plant science, (2) genetics, and (3) food production

    Kevin Mentzel - Teacher at Space from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    Has micro gravity effected the soybeans growth in any unexpected ways?

    One the soybean plants orientated themselves (shoots growing towards the light, roots, into the media), they were fairly normal. We did not quite know what to expect.

    Kevin Mentzel - Teacher at Space from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    In what ways will research done on space grown soybeans help farmers on earth?

    We will be evaluating the progeny of the space-grown seed for several seasons to determine if any compositional changes, if found, are inherited and of commercial value. The details and learnings from the chamber development process help us think through controlled environments we use in our product development cycle. Growth chambers allow us to increase the speed of new product development, as we can grow 3, 4, perhaps even 5 growth cycles of soybeans in one year - more products faster

    Kevin Mentzel - Teacher at Space from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    Could soybeans become a large part of an astronautís diet on a trip to Mars and would this raise any health issues?

    NASA experts create the food menus for astronauts, and are seeking to add more soybean to the diet.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Has anything of interest been discovered about plants grow in a microgravity environment?

    The plants did manage to figure out that the shoots go towards the light, the roots, away, in spite of the lack of significant gravity.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Thanks to all of you who submitted questions. Check back tomorrow to see an archive of the chat. Special thanks to Dr. Daria Schmidt for joining us today. The chatroom will be closing at 2:00 Central Time.

    Brian Dannemiller - Teacher at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    What advice do you have for a student who is interested in studying genetics?

    First, welcome to a great field! Be sure to take at least one entry level course in all of the genetics areas (qualitative, quantitative, population, molecular, etc.), and do consider plant and animal genetics fields.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Thank you for your time. Good bye from The Sanilac County Math and Science Center.

    You are very welcome!

    Jeff Chappell - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin writes:
    4/18/2003 12:01:18 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
    Site MapPrivacy Policy