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Bumper harvest of space-bred rice seeds seen in Guangdong

2021-Jul-12       Source: Newsgd.com

Eight months ago, a batch of rice seeds traveled more than 760,000 kilometers to the moon and returned to Earth after 23 days of flight abroad China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe.

On the morning of July 9, researchers and staff sampled and harvested the mature rice in the teaching and research paddy fields in South China Agricultural University (SCAU) in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, marking the completion of the first-round of planting.

Guo Tao, deputy director of the National Engineering Research Center of Plant Space Breeding of South China Agricultural University (SCAU) harvests the space-bred rice on July 9. (Photo: Zhang Ziwang) 

Farmers help to harvest the space-bred rice on July 9. (Photo: Nanfang Plus)

Guo Tao (L2) and Wang Jiafeng (L3), deputy researcher of the Center work with the farmers to harvest the space-bred rice on July 9. (Photo: Zhang Ziwang) 

Eight months ago, a batch of rice seeds traveled more than 760,000 kilometers to the moon and returned to Earth after 23 days of flight abroad China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe. Through a series of processes including breeding, transplanting and sowing in the following few months, those space-bred rice seeds grew into golden ears of rice.

The space-bred rice (Photo: Nanfang Plus)

Farmers help to harvest the space-bred rice on July 9. (Photo: Nanfang Plus)

Farmers help to harvest the space-bred rice on July 9. (Photo: Zhang Ziwang) 

Soon in Fall, the offspring of these space-bred rice seeds are to be bred in a lab and transplanted to paddy fields. In the coming years, they will be reproduced with optimizing traits, serving as an absolutely original rice variety created by China. The fittest that have been approved by the agricultural sector will be planted on a large scale and provided to thousands of households.

According to agricultural experts, ordinary seeds on Earth exposed to deep space environment are expected to be cultivated into new varieties carrying high yield and quality after being bred and planted experimentally on Earth. Since 1980s, China has bred hundreds of space-bred varieties such as grains, vegetables and other cash crops.

A review of the growth process of the space-bred rice seeds in Guangdong

On July 1, researchers take samples of the space-bred rice.

On March 29, researchers transplant the space-bred rice seedlings to the paddy fields.

On March 9, the space-bred rice seeds in the greenhouse.

On March 9, researchers observe the root tip of the space-bred rice seeds.

On March 4, the space-bred rice seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse.

On February 26, researchers plant the space-bred rice seeds in the earth.

On February 26, the space-bred rice seeds begin to sprout in the lab.

Related news: Space-bred rice seeds planted in Guangdong

Author | Nancy (intern)

Editor | Olivia, Monica & Jerry

Photo | Zhang Ziwang

Editor: Monica Liu

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