Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gene pool

"Polygonatum pubescens, slightly better known as hairy Solomon’s seal, is hardly the showiest plant in the forest, or the rarest. A plainer cousin to lily of the valley, it makes its home easily in the fragmented woodlands of Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx and similar habitats hereabouts.

Which is why the Millennium Seed Bank Project wants it.

The project, run by the Royal Botanical Garden, at Kew, England, aims to collect seeds from 10 percent of the world’s flowering plant species and to stow them in a sort of climate-controlled Noah’s Ark against the possibility of depletion, whether by climate change, alien-species invasion, overdevelopment or apocalypse."

Many of these seeds will be collected from developing nations. Will they have unlimited access to the collection of their own seeds?

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