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Investigation of Selected Higher Plants as Gas Exchange Mechanisms for Closed Ecological Systems

Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-127
Author: Pilgrim, A. J.
Author: Johnson, S. P.
Corporate Author: The Boeing Company
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-09
Pages: 88
Contract: AF 33(616)-7945
Project: 7164
Task: 716403
AD Number: AD0296950

The growth of a variety of Angiosperms was evaluated under controlled conditions in low intensity fluorescent light. Although a large number of species exhibited various abnormalities, three species, Brassica Chinesis, Chichorium endiva, Amaranthus gangeticus, were able to tolerate and grow normally under the conditions used. Studies of the photosynthetic activity of these plants showed that a great deal of variation is to be expected both under standard conditions of culture and in media containing increased salt concentrations. Studies of photosynthetic activity by the plants in an atmosphere with the nitrogen replaced with argon or helium indicated that these gases had no adverse effects. Analysis of the three plants included estimation of amino acids, carbon, water and alcohol soluble carbohydrates, protein, nitrogen, ash, lipid, and vitamins A, C, and E. The results indicate that the roots, stems, and leaves of these three species could provide a valuable nutritional supplement. Feeding of the plants to rabbits demonstrated that no acutely toxic compounds are present.

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