China Daily Global Edition (USA)
SAVING FOR FUTURE GROWTH
Researchers storing seeds from hundreds of species at a bank
On March 23, researchers at the National Tropical Forage Grass Midterm Seed Bank in Danzhou, Hainan province, were busy working. They dried tropical forage seeds collected from the bank’s plantation in the sun and then peeled them, weighed them, measured how many had germinated and placed them in packs that were then vacuum sealed.
Then those seeds, having gone through dozens of treatment processes, were moved from the open drying grounds to indoor laboratories in the seed bank. There, stored in rooms with a constant temperature of -4C, they will remain dormant until they are reintroduced into the wild in the future.
According to the institution, it has collected 14,673 sacks of seeds belonging to 759 species of 280 genera in 29 families, and it has already put 9,980 sacks of seeds of 623 species of 245 genera in 16 families into cold storage. The seeds have been harvested by the researchers for nearly 30 years.
The collection of tropical forage seeds saved in the bank is the largest in the country and second-largest in the world.