Scientists Managed To Grow A Plant From A 32000-Year-Old Seed, Presented By Squirrels (6 pics)

Posted in INTERESTING       6 Jul 2020       1902       3

In 2012, S. Yashina, S. Gubin, S. Maksimovich, A. Yashina, E. Gakhova, and D. Gilichinsky found some 32,000-year-old seeds and managed to grow a viable plant from them. These seeds were found covered in ice and buried 125 feet underground, deep in the Siberian permafrost. At the time of this fascinating discovery, this group of scientists was investigating the burrows of ancient squirrels! The plant that had grown from these seeds was, in fact, a Silene stenophylla, a flower that looks strikingly similar to its modern doppelgänger that still grows in Siberia.

To this day, no one really knows how these seeds managed to survive for that long. Recently, some scientists in Austria decided to start tackling this mystery by investigating the DNA of these ancient plants.

This investigation is currently taking place at Vienna’s University Of Natural Resources And Life Sciences. The main goal of this exploration is to find out whether there are changes in plant genes that can adapt to very dry, hot, or cold conditions. Such findings could be really useful when dealing with climate change and looking for ways to help other plants survive.

Moreover, as the Russian permafrost is now thawing, researchers will also be able to investigate the environment further to see what factors might have helped the seeds stay viable.

“I think mankind needs to be thankful for every piece of knowledge that we are able to create to protect our croplands,” says Professor Margit Laimer, a plant biotechnologist at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

Izismile Video Collection

Let’s wish these scientists good luck and if anything interesting gets uncovered, we will be sure to keep you posted!



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3   Comments ?
-6
1.
Bev 1 month ago
No offense but it looks like any other weed... maybe any seed will survive that long given the same conditions.
       
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2.
Newton 1 month ago
Bev, no offense given except you didn't even get the main topics this is about.
1) It's pretty awesome to let a 32.000 year old see grow no matter which one it is
2) It's pretty awesome to be able to compare genes of the modern version with an 32.000 year old version
       
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3.
Eleanor 1 month ago
32,000 years. Just incredible -hopefully this will help in finding ways to preserve modern plant life in the face of disaster.

@bev these certainly aren’t the first ancient seeds to be unearthed. But 32k years is remarkable - even in permafrost organic matter doesn’t remain intact like that.
       
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