1. Genesis1:11™ Rooting Pot
Genesis1:11™ Rooting Pots were designed to 1 cause up and down directional roots’ growth, thus presenting more ways to spread out both side and main roots. The aim is to increase the chance of successful assimilation for plants when training them to grow into extraterrestrial soils.
Figure 1. – Exploded view of a Genesis1:11™ Rooting Pot.
(A) Cover slows down soil evaporation meanwhile provides ventilation for topsoil.
(B) Innermost layer punched in the upper third of its area.
(C) the second layer punched on the downer third part.
(D) the third layer punched in the upper third of its area.
(E) the outermost layer is not punched.
The plant should be placed or seeded into the innermost layer (Figure 1/B) one plant per pot is recommended; filled with control (optimal nutrient supply capacity) soil only. Hole punching takes place at the top third part of the innermost layer’s area (Figure 2-3). With this, roots first need to touch the bottom, then grow up, making sure the plant takes up all essential nutrients before would grow into the next space. At the second layer (B), holes take place at the bottom third part of its total area. The size of holes is determined mainly by the test plant’s needs and their root characteristics. At the moment 0.5, 0.6, and 0.7cm diameter holes are being tested in our pot experiments considering that mainly tomato and other low-growing crops are being involved in our research.
Figure 2. – Cross-sectional illustration of a Genesis Rooting Pot.
Space between innermost (B) and second layers (C), soil mix with preferred ratio should be filled. Second, and third spaces between outer layers (CD and D-E) mutatis mutandis are filled with an increasing proportion of soil mix according to the experimental requirements.
Figure 3. Layers and hole punching
The outermost space (between D and E) only the simultaneous soil takes place. The distance between each layer is 1cm (Figure 2). It is recommended to be careful not to compact the soil too much when filling spaces between the layers.
Figure 4. – Plan view of a Genesis1:11™ Rooting Pot.
Soil physical properties (compaction) should be approximately the same as those of the innermost layer. Ventilation is ensured for each space between layers as can be observed on the plan view of the rooting pot (Figure 4). As well as at bottom (Figure 1/E) of the pot holes are placed between each layer to eliminate the inconvenience caused by overwatering.
A. Pot material should not contain metals considering that in practice very rapid oxidation can occur on remote planets (especially on Mars), which is why metal may interfere with simulation.
B. Sensors can be installed between layers on demand. Alternatively, the location of holes makes it possible to carry out occasional measurements between layers; in this case make sure to do not hurt roots while placing the device, in any case protecting the tube is highly recommended.
C. We recommend furthermore, washing out all soil with plenty of water before attempting to remove plant roots from the pot. Although the weight of the root can be measured even in the event of fracture, it is essential for length analysis that the root remains intact.
Figure 5. – Top cover (top) and the bottom part (bottom) of a Genesis1:11™ Rooting Pot.
Hole punching locations make it possible to ventilate topsoil while extra water can runoff from each space between layers avoiding unfavorable (eg. anaerobic) conditions for soil microbes and roots.