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APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. We seek to achieve these aims by:
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The oldest plant ever to be regenerated has been grown from 32,000-year-old seeds—beating the previous recordholder by some 30,000 years. 

A Russian team discovered a seed cache of Silene stenophylla, a flowering plant native to Siberia, that had been buried by an Ice Age squirrel near the banks of the Kolyma River (map). Radiocarbon dating confirmed that the seeds were 32,000 years old.

The mature and immature seeds, which had been entirely encased in ice, were unearthed from 124 feet (38 meters) below the permafrost, surrounded by layers that included mammoth, bison, and woolly rhinoceros bones. The mature seeds had been damaged—perhaps by the squirrel itself, to prevent them from germinating in the burrow. But some of the immature seeds retained viable plant material.

The team extracted that tissue from the frozen seeds, placed it in vials, and successfully germinated the plants, according to a new study. The plants—identical to each other but with different flower shapes from modern S. stenophylla—grew, flowered, and, after a year, created seeds of their own.

"I can't see any intrinsic fault in the article," said botanist Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, who was not involved in the study. "Though it's such an extraordinary report that of course you'd want to repeat it." Raven is also head of National Geographic's Committee for Research and Exploration. 

Read the whole NG article 

The original article was published in PNAS

Featured Member

MollyUniversity of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, APECS Oceania

I finished my undergraduate in Marine Science in China in 2007. Travelled a bit during a gap year, and then come to Hobart for master study on Antarctic Science in 2009, where I officially started my polar research life. After the master degree, it is just too much fun for research on Antarctic krill so I decided to keep going for a PhD in Hobart, in the same institute – Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. My PhD research focuses on diet of larval Antarctic krill in the winter. It investigates the relationship between krill larvae and sea ice in the southern ocean.

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