by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jun 14, 2017
Seeds from an over 5,000-year-old cypress in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have sprouted after being taken into space by Chinese astronauts last year.
Twenty-eight seeds had sprouted by the end of May, Zhao Xia, from the rare tree germ plasm resources group, said Monday.
The seedlings are now between three to five cm tall, according to Zhao.
The over 20-meter-tall cypress is located in Shaanxi's Huangling County. It is said to have been planted by Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, who is regarded as the common ancestor for all Chinese.
Some 150 seeds, collected in August 2016, were taken into space on the Shenzhou-11 mission and kept at the Tiangong-2 lab from Sep. 15 to Nov. 18 last year.
The sprouting project began on May 15 this year, and another 150 seeds that had not gone into space were germinated at the same time in a comparative study, Zhao said.
Staff have monitored the sprouting process around the clock and taken records every two hours.
Source: Xinhua News
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