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Shenzhou-16 spaceship transports seeds for breeding experiments
File image showing seedlings beeing grown inside the Wentian Lab module that forms an integral part of of China's Tiangong space station.
Shenzhou-16 spaceship transports seeds for breeding experiments
by Staff Writers
Shanxi, China (SPX) Jun 01, 2023

Nine varieties of seeds, selected from north China's Shanxi Province, have been sent into space onboard the country's Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship, according to the Science and Technology Daily on Thursday.

The seeds will be used for space experiments on the country's space station Tiangong.

They include a type of corn seed, developed by the Shanxi Agricultural University, that has a planting area of about 4 million mu (about 266,667 hectares) in the province, with high yields and wide adaptability, according to the report.

The seeds need further improvement, especially in disease resistance, through conventional breeding methods or space breeding.

Space breeding involves exposing seeds and strains to cosmic radiation and microgravity during a spaceflight mission to mutate their genes.

Since conducting its first space breeding experiment in 1987, China has sent the seeds of hundreds of plant species into space on dozens of retrievable satellites and Shenzhou spaceships.

The Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship was launched and docked with the space station combination on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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