Ice Age Flower, Silene Stenophylla, Becomes Oldest Plant To Be Revived

"MOSCOW -- It was an Ice Age squirrel's treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.

The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.

The experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms, said the Russian researchers, who published their findings in Tuesday's issue of "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" of the United States. ...

Canadian researchers had earlier regenerated some significantly younger plants from seeds found in burrows."

Vladimir Isachenkov reports for the Associated Press February 20, 2012.


"Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived" (New York Times)

Source: AP, 02/22/2012