Scientists grow new plants from Pleistocene fruits

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Scientists grow new plants from Pleistocene fruits




While the lupine seeds once germinated from a 10,000-year-old lemming burrow were found to be modern, we have been able to successfully germinate 2,000-year-old seeds from palms in Israel. But now there's a new contender for the longest-preserved plant material in the world. Move over, Israeli palm tree seeds, Siberian fruits coming through!

Russian scientists have uncovered three Pleistocene narrow-leafed campion fruits and thousands of its seeds that are 31,800 years old, preserved in permafrost. They tried to plant the seeds, but they simply wouldn't germinate.

Remember how Dad told you to throw your apple into the garden so it would turn into an apple tree? Well, the Russians remembered. Since these fruits were preserved in permafrost, they've been able to successfully regenerate them into new plants! It's a modern plant, though, nothing to get too excited about; still, this gives us a bit more confidence in what permafrost is capable of preserving.

GMA - Scientists regenerate a plant -- 30,000 years on (press release)
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