Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Joshua P. Vandenbrink
In this study, a combination analysis using the pathview and pathfindR packages for the R programming language was performed on a collection of openly available Arabidopsis thaliana sequencing data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) GeneLab to discover broad connections between three primary spaceflight stressor types and altered pathway regulation to provide focused targets for future research. Studies were divided into groups based on their exposure to microgravity, cosmic radiation, or a theorized heat-stress factor caused by reduced convection in certain technologies. Through this study, three major pathways were identified: the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, proteasome, and starch and sucrose metabolism pathways. In addition, the ribosome and photosynthesis pathways were found to be upregulated in some datasets yet downregulated in others, while the endocytosis and ribosome biogenesis pathways were found to be upregulated and downregulated respectively. This study identifies these pathways and discusses possible reasons for their altered regulation, proposes future directions for study, and addresses open data quality and curation.
Baham, Zachary Thomas, "" (2023). Thesis. 104.