Russian scientists have resurrected a flowering plant from 30,000-year-old seeds found in an Ice Age squirrel’s treasure chamber in the Siberian permafrost. This pioneering experiment paves the way for the revival of other species.
Silene stenophylla – the oldest plant ever to be regenerated – is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds. The plant is by far the oldest to be brought back from the dead. The previous record holder was a sacred lotus, dating back about 1,200 years, according to the New Scientist magazine.
The experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms, said the Russian researchers who conducted the experiment. Their findings have been published in Tuesday’s issue of “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” of the United States.