Do plants have a sense of gravity? Some might call it a sixth sense, but it is arguable as to whether or not plants have the other five (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch). In space, scientists are studying plants to discover whether they have mechanisms that determine the direction of growth in the absence of gravity. According to, researchers analyze how “concentrations of calcium behave in the cells of plants originally grown in microgravity”. Then, the plants are exposed to a 1g environment, similar to the gravitational pull of Earth. “Plants cultivated in space are not experienced with gravity, said Hitoshi Tatsumi, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Plant Gravity Sensing investigation and associate professor at Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan. “We may design plants that respond to gravity vector changes more efficiently than wild ones. These plants will recover from collapse by winds or flood more rapidly than wild ones. Thus, the agricultural output of the designed plants will be greatly increased, which may solve, in part, the shortage of crops in the near future.”


Image via Nagoya University