Just Needed: 32,000 Years of Dust Blown Off and Some Elbow Grease

by Anthony Carelly, Sustainable Plant Systems major

A radiocarbon confirmed 32,000 year old plant was grown setting a new record. Hidden by a squirrel during the Ice Age in Siberia, a Russian team has successfully germinated and produced a Silene stenophylla. The seeds were encased in layers of animal bones 124 feet below the ice. This is absolutely fascinating for a multitude of reasons: that it was possible in the first place given our technological advances; the environmental condition that preserved the seed; the illustration of the potential for storing seeds for tens of thousands of years. I for one would love to see a biodome set up that was dedicated to ancient plants such as this one, and maybe a cloned Velociraptor or two. Of the few seeds the scientist planted, each had similar structures but bloomed differently!

Read more
32,000 Year-Old Plant Brought Back To Life – Oldest Yet
(R. Kaufman, National Geographic News, Feb. 21, 2012)

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This blog post was an assignment forĀ  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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