The West

World s oldest plant brought to life
A plant regenerated from tissue of fossil fruit. Picture: AP/The Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Scientists have brought a plant from the Ice Age back to life using seeds from a fossilised squirrel burrow.

The fruits are believed to be the oldest to give life to healthy plants at 30,000 years older than an Israeli date palm seed which held the record previously.

Discover Magazine reports the researchers first discovered the burrows while studying ancient soil composition in a Siberian riverbank 17 years ago.

Some of the 70 burrows contained up to 800,000 seeds and fruits, including well-preserved seeds from the white campion plant.

Permafrost had preserved plant's tissue so well Russian Academy of Sciences researchers cultured the cells in an attempt to grow them.

It took just weeks for refrigerated tissue to sprout buds and bloom into 36 flowers.

The team plans to revisit the area to search for older burrows and seeds this summer.

The West Australian

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