June 20, 2024

Not just Earth, the soil of Moon is also fertile enough to grow plants successfully, proved scientists through a study after achieving the feat for the first time in history. The research, which was funded by NASA, was published in ‘Communications Biology’ on Thursday. The discovery comes as a breakthrough to give the possibility of harvesting plants on the moon in the future, NASA said.

In a statement on Thursday, Rob Ferl, who is one of the authors of the study, said, “We wanted to do this experiment because, for years, we were asking this question: Would plants grow in lunar soil. The answer, it turns out, is yes.”

To conduct the experiment, NASA provided the soil of Moon, which is also called lunar regolith, to the researchers at the University of Florida.

The soil given for the experiment had come from Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions to the Moon.

All the plants had germinated within 48 to 60 hours, as per the study.

Anna-Lisa Paul, another author of the study, said, “We were amazed. We did not predict that. That told us that the lunar soils didn’t interrupt the hormones and signals involved in plant germination.”

With around a gram of lunar soil, the researchers potted the plants in plastic plates with thimble-sized wells. The soil was moistened with a nutrient solution and thale cress seeds were added. The trays were then put into terrarium boxes by the researchers.

Nutrient solution was added daily, NASA said. A control group had also used volcanic ash as soil.

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