Frozen seeds can last 50 to 20,000 years!

Thread starter #1
Hi -- I was just listening to Terri Gross's always wonderful "Fresh Air" program on NPR. She was interviewing the guy who started The Global Seed Vault nine years ago, where they store the world's crop biodiversity in a giant tunnel in a mountain just 700 miles south of the North Pole.

The who runs the place said they store the seeds at about 1 degree Fahrenheit, and that at that temperature they can last from 50 to 20,000 years.

Since I occasionally see discussions here about seed storage, I though I'd pass that along.

Inside The Global Seed Vault, Where The History And Future Of Agriculture Is Stored

Inside The Global Seed Vault, Where The History And Future Of Agriculture Is Stored : NPR
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
The Global Seed Vault
These things will be very valuable at some point in the future. Although they might simply be treated as spoils of war instead of distributed properly. Or they could end up being forgotten, I suppose.

nine years ago, where they store the world's crop biodiversity in a giant tunnel in a mountain just 700 miles south of the North Pole.

The who runs the place said they store the seeds at about 1 degree Fahrenheit, and that at that temperature they can last from 50 to 20,000 years.
Not surprising. In 2005 a Judean Date Palm seed found in an archaeological dig in Isreal was grown. And about ten years ago, scientists managed to extract three viable plant embryos from immature seeds that had been buried 125' below the frost line in squirrel hibernation dens and managed to grow them into healthy plants which produced 100% viable seed - and they'd been carbon dated to just shy of 32,000 years old. Although that was out of something like 500,000 or 600,000 seeds...

I wonder if they evacuate the air and replace it with nitrogen or perhaps a noble gas at those seed vaults?
 
Thread starter #3
I wonder if they evacuate the air and replace it with nitrogen or perhaps a noble gas at those seed vaults?
If you listen to the interview at the link (I found it fascinating), the designer said they designed it to be as low cost and low maintenance as possible. It's just a giant tunnel into a mountain. No running water, no bathrooms, no N2 gas. Just a big, cold hole. ;)
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
If you listen to the interview at the link (I found it fascinating)
I found it on the NPR One app. Still looking for my earbuds...