Agriculture
Got Milk? How?
Springing forward
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Amphibians
Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
Bullfrogs
Animals
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Sea Giants and Island Pygmies
Hearing Whales
Behavior
Swine flu goes global
Listen and Learn
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Birds
Penguins
Woodpecker
Doves
Chemistry and Materials
Sticking Around with Gecko Tape
Cold, colder and coldest ice
Revving Up Green Machines
Computers
Nonstop Robot
Play for Science
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Surf Watch
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Rodent Rubbish as an Ice-Age Thermometer
Environment
Power of the Wind
The Wolf and the Cow
Spotty Survival
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Meet your mysterious relative
Fish
Basking Sharks
Tilapia
Bass
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Setting a Prime Number Record
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
A New Touch
Invertebrates
Spiders
Krill
Flatworms
Mammals
African Camels
Bandicoot
Canines
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Electric Backpack
Plants
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Sweet, Sticky Science
Flower family knows its roots
Reptiles
Chameleons
Asp
Caimans
Space and Astronomy
Cousin Earth
Ready, Set, Supernova
Asteroid Moons
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Shape Shifting
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Transportation
Ready, unplug, drive
Flying the Hyper Skies
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Recipe for a Hurricane
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Seeds of the Future

 

On an unusual old farm in New York City, workers are stashing away the seeds of the future.

In this unlikely place, researchers are putting the seeds from flowering plants and trees in a sleeplike state called suspended animation. Many years from now, other workers will rouse the slumbering plant embryos and plant them where they’re most needed.

These seeds are like the legendary Rip van Winkle, who fell asleep under a tree and woke up 20 years later. The small farm, called the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, is part of a global effort to save threatened plants and trees.

Around the world, native plants are being crowded out by invasive newcomers, which can hitch rides on boats, planes, and trains. Unaware of the consequences, people sometimes even plant invasive species because they seem useful or pretty at first.

Adding insult to injury, native plants have less room to grow now as a result of the growth and spread of cities. And global warming is making some places hotter, drier, or otherwise different from what native plants are used to.

Bittersweet peril

American bittersweet is a good example of a plant in peril and one whose seeds should be stored, says Steven Clemants, vice president for science at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City. The plant, a climbing vine with orange berries, is native to the eastern United States. But an evil twin called Oriental bittersweet is elbowing it out of the way.

People brought Oriental bittersweet to the United States in the 1860s because gardeners loved its fall display of yellow leaves and orange berries. Too late, they realized that the imported beauty was really a beast. The thorn-studded invader can wrap itself around trees and slowly kill them. Now, the transplant is threatening to replace its harmless native counterpart.

Experts used to think that it was impossible to protect big-city plants such as American bittersweet because growth space is limited in urban environments. Crowding increases competition between natives and invaders, and the aggressive aliens often win the battle.

But botanists are now teaming up and fighting back. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is trying to identify all of the estimated 1,000 plant species that grow within 50 miles of New York City. So far, workers at the Greenbelt Native Plant Center have gathered seeds from about 300 of those plants, says Edward Toth, the center’s director.

The seeds are being kept in storage compartments at the Greenbelt Center. Some are also being held as part of an international collection in Europe.

When planted in the future, these seeds could help restore damaged parklands and forests. Revived plants could also protect reservoirs of drinking water by filtering out pollution.

Sleeping seeds

The New York project is getting storage tips from the Millennium Seed Bank, a project in the United Kingdom run by the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. Michael Way, a coordinator with the British project, says that the most important step is to collect seeds at exactly the right time— when they are just about ready to fall from the plant.

Workers then store the seeds at a constant temperature of 59º Fahrenheit (15º Celsius) while slowly drying them in specially designed chambers. The temperature and humidity in the chambers is similar to that on a fall night in the southern Arizona desert.

After the seeds dry, they can enter a state of suspended animation when stored at a frosty –4ºF (–20ºC). That’s like January in northern Minnesota.

How long can chilled seeds survive? “There’s a huge variation between species,” Way said.

Seeds of the Future
Seeds of the Future








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™