The bloom isn't off this ancient plant | Science News

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The bloom isn't off this ancient plant

Fruit preserved more than 30,000 years in Siberia’s permafrost yields a living flower

5:48pm, February 21, 2012

A flower that last bloomed while mammoths walked the Earth has been reborn, regenerated from a piece of fruit frozen in Siberian permafrost.

It’s the oldest flowering plant ever grown from preserved tissue, Russian scientists report online February 21 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Gilichinsky, who led the team at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ research institute in Pushchino, died just before the paper was released.

The fruit, radiocarbon-dated to about 31,800 years ago, came from a cache of provisions stuffed into a burrow by a squirrel. Windblown silt plugged the entrance to this storage chamber 38 meters underground. The burrow froze and remained frozen — keepin

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