Biological effects of galactic radiation HZE particles in experiments on the orbital station Salyut 7
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) seeds were flown on-board the orbital station Salyut 7 for 66-457 days. It was found that a single heavy charged particle (HZE) hitting a seed only slightly affects the subsequent plant growth. However, morphological anomalies of varying type in primordial leaves and roots were observed that show good correlation with the location of the particle track. The most severe damage detected by light and an electron microscopy were ``channels'' in dry and soaked seeds. The appearance of ``channels'' seems to be related to the LET of the incident particle. This finding is of considerable importance for assessment of space flight radiation hazard.