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Plant brought back to life after 32,000 years

Posted on Friday, 3 July, 2020 | Comment icon 11 comments

What else will the melting permafrost reveal ? Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Ninaras
Scientists are trying to determine how it was possible to grow seeds that were tens of thousands of years old.
The discovery of ancient seeds preserved in the Siberian permafrost can be a significant discovery in and of itself, but what if it were possible to revive such seeds and enable them to grow into plants ?

Incredibly, scientists have been able to do just that with seeds found 124ft beneath the surface that date back a whopping 32,000 years to a time when mammoths roamed the Earth.

The seeds belong to a flowering plant named silene stenophylla.
So how were these seeds able to remain viable for so long ? As things stand, nobody knows, however scientists are now working to get to the bottom of the mystery by mapping the plants' genomes.

According to plant biotechnologist Prof Margit Laimer from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, the melting Siberian permafrost could also hold additional clues.

Given the environmental changes that we are likely to see over the coming years, finding a way to enable plants to survive in extreme conditions could be an incredibly useful advancement.

"I think mankind needs to be thankful for every piece of knowledge that we are able to create to protect our croplands," said Prof Laimer.

Source: Sky News | Comments (11)

Tags: Plant, Siberia

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd on 3 July, 2020, 16:58
Amazing! Next.....mammoth?
Comment icon #3 Posted by third_eye on 3 July, 2020, 16:59
More likely microbes like viruses and bacteria...  ~
Comment icon #4 Posted by susieice on 3 July, 2020, 19:59
Amazing! Beautiful flower!
Comment icon #5 Posted by NCC1701 on 3 July, 2020, 21:22
Who wants flowers 32000 years old..
Comment icon #6 Posted by Rockc819 on 4 July, 2020, 1:35
2020 isn't the right year to bring 32,000 year old things back to life
Comment icon #7 Posted by Poncho_Peanatus on 4 July, 2020, 5:47
lovely, I want more. Bring them all back
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sojo on 4 July, 2020, 12:15
I've often wondered about this and questioned it in other forum at another site. Consider a bean for instance (Navy, Pinto, Lima, etc. or any other seed for that matter). When the bean was growing in its pod on the plant, it was definitely alive. Once removed from the plant and dried, it really isn't considered "alive" any more. I mean there isn't any development, or cell division, or any other metabolic activity. If the dried bean were kept dry for a thousand years, it wouldn't be any more alive. Now if we put the dried bean into fertile soil and add water (or even just place and keep the bea... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by AlphaGeek on 7 July, 2020, 1:16
I knew I planted those seeds too deep.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Jon the frog on 8 July, 2020, 16:58
Seed do breathe at a cellular level. In cellular respiration, the seed uses stored sugars, water and oxygen to burn energy at a cellular level until it germinate, or sprout. In other words, seeds use small amounts of stored energy, staying alive and ‘waiting’ for good conditions to begin to grow. But frozen in the permafrost, it stop breathing and can stay good for a longer time it seems.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Poncho_Peanatus on 14 July, 2020, 13:51
I was thinking the same, I was wondering if seeds are "stronger" than we think of or at least some of them. I was looking a documentary on Wollemia Nobilis on youtube also known as Wollemy pine. A tree that went extinct apparently in the Cretaceous, and they found it alive and well in a small wally in Australia in a natural park. There are only to be found at that small piece of dirt at the bottom of a small valley or big sink hole. A helicopter is needed to transport specialist to study that "pine", fascinating stuff. It seems to me there are plenty of these botanical lazarus taxons around, m... [More]

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