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Thread: Bacteria & Gravity

  1. #1 Bacteria & Gravity 
    Forum Junior JoshuaL's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    I posted a more straightforward question at the the physics forum (link) asking how small things are affected by gravity. I want to ask basically the same thing here, but with an eye to biologic processes. For example, would a colony of bacteria on a petri dish laying horizontal be any different than a colony of bacteria on a vertical dish? Could gravity affect any of their inner workings or even their aggregate social behavior?

    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    Gravity is a stimulus for many organisms. Plants, for example, tend to grow away from the source of gravity. Plants have been shown, in a centrifuge to grow out directly away from the centre of force. Plant growth in microgravity on the space station, is disordered by comparison. Roots have been known to grow up instead of down, for example.
    JAXA | How Do Plants Grow in Microgravity?

    I doubt it would make much difference in the example you chose - bacteria on a vertical petri dish. It would be an easy experiment to carry out, though.

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