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CGTN: Shared by Nature: A thousand-year-old Lotus Burst into Bloom


"Out of the mud without staining", lotus symbolizes a person of high virtue, loved by the ancients. This summer, a lotus from a thousand years ago burst into bloom, as if a noble ancient traveled back to the present, reappearing one of the beauties of history.

Sprouted from an ancient lotus seed dating back to 432 BC (Southern and Northern Dynasties), the lotus bloomed in Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in central China's Hubei Province in July. Back in the 1950s, researchers have collected many lotus seeds from over a thousand years ago in today's Pulandian district in Dalian City, northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Why seeds from thousands of years ago can still germinate today?

 A thousand-year-old lotus burst into bloom. /Provided by WBG

The outer skin of the seed is very tough, with a thick layer of palisade tissue underneath, forming a "sealed chamber" that protects the inside of the seed from corrosion.

Also, the lotus seeds usually buried in the peat layer of stagnant or weak water flow, and with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius and little oxygen, which provides a dormant environment for them.

Lotus in ancient times is an important germplasm resource and is considered as a valuable breeding material by plant breeder. " In addition to preserving the genes of lotus from years ago, it is of certain significance to understand its characteristics through hybridization, backcrossing and other methods to protect its genetic diversity." said Shi Jun, member of Botanical Society of China. Backcrossing is a botanical process of crossing a hybrid with one of its parents or an individual genetically similar to its parent, to achieve offspring with a genetic identity closer to that of the parent.

This summer, lotuses from hundreds of years ago and even thousands of years ago burst into bloom in many parts of China. At the same time, a variety of modern lotus varieties are also blooming, creating a beautiful picture of summer (From CGTN)

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