China Opens First Seed Bank for Cultivation in Space

China Opens First Seed Bank for Cultivation in Space

Xu Zuwei & Liao Shumin

Date: Thu, 08/09/2018 - 21:20 / source:Yicai
China Opens First Seed Bank for Cultivation in Space
China Opens First Seed Bank for Cultivation in Space

(Yicai Global) Aug. 9 -- China opened its first space cultivation seed research center and laboratory yesterday in Yangling, in northwestern Shaanxi province.

The center is a resource base for space breeding and crop and other seed selection, Securities Times reported.

“2018 is the 31th year that China has conducted space breeding experiments. China successfully launched the ninth retrievable satellite which carried crop seeds of pepper, wheat and rice, thus starting China’s space breeding practice on Aug. 5, 1987” said Guo Rui, director of the Yangling Demonstration Garden for Modern Plant Introduction and Breeding, online local news outlet xiancn.com reported. 

The garden has conducted nearly 70 experiments and sent over 6,000 seed resources into space, 230 of which have been successfully cultivated, including agricultural produce and flowers, Guo explained.

The garden has its own intellectual property rights to six space-grown seeds, a professional research and development team, and an agricultural science research institute. It also has breeding bases covering nearly 1.3 square kilometers. 

“Space breeding can change the color, flowering phase and resistance of a plant,” Guo noted. For example, after space cultivation a lily can grow as high as two meters and one can grow 25 buds that only had three to five before.

The first task that the research center and laboratory will complete is the transport into space and cultivation of 20 varieties of trees to devise a new method to breed tree and flower seeds to green China’s arid and semi-arid regions.

The research center and laboratory will research flowers for the modern floral sector’s development and plants for forestry and landscaping uses.

Editor: Ben Armour

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Keywords: Space Mutation Breeding, Shaanxi Province, Yangling, China