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    « Doctors Without Borders Suspends It's Mental Health Services In Kashmir Valley | Main | Former President Bill Clinton More Popular Than Both Bush & Obama »

    A Rare Australian Plant Survives Thousands Of Years By Self-Cloning

    Scientists at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) have discovered a rare plant in Northern Australia, which in a desperate attempt to survive, has miraculously cloned itself, when no possibility of sexual reproduction existed. This tenacious little lonely shrub in the genus Erythroxylum, was separated from others of it's kind almost 7,000 years ago, when the melting glaciers created the Gulf of Carpentaria. Under normal circumstances, it should have died a long time ago. But scientists have recently discovered that this plant has managed to self-clone, and has created almost 350 separate shoots, linked by a network of roots.

    Researchers are amazed by this. Dr. Maurizio Rossetto, of the RBG said, "To maintain levels of genetic diversity this particular individual started to accumulate mutations. So, as it was re-sprouting through the ground and it forms a number of isolated shoots still all interconnected underground, those shoots started to accumulate mutations. So, although it is one genetic individual, we have identified at least a dozen mutations. But finding empirical evidence of this happening now has been very difficult and probably it is one of the first times that this has been done."

    ~ Gauri

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