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Biologists germinate 200-year-old seeds

September 26 2006

British scientists have managed to germinate seeds of unknown varieties of acacia, which had been stored since the time of King George III.

Seeds found in the notebook in the National Archives, were brought to Britain from South Africa by Dutch traders in 1803.

Experts from the seed bank Royal Botanic Gardens surprised with his success because the seeds were kept in poor conditions. "According to our records, about a year they have been stored on the ship, more than 10 years were in the Tower of London, on the other storage areas are no entries. Only in the last few years they were kept under normal conditions in an isolated seed vault," - says biologist Matt Daws.

Scientists say that these 200-year-old seeds are the oldest of all that could ever germinate. However, before biologists have 500-year-old lotus seeds found in the U.S. and Israel were found in shoots of palm trees, two thousand years, reports BBC.

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