Chinese scientists are to start experimental cultivation of 2,200 seed samples from the country's seed-breeding satellite in a hope to grow high-yield, high-quality plants, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced on Tuesday.
Seeds from the Shijian-8 satellite which landed two days ago, were handed over to the MOA. Ensuing tests showed all seeds remained intact and were suited for plantation. The cross-selection covered nine categories, including grains, wheat, corn, cotton, vegetables, fruits, fungus and oil plants.
The ministry stated that 94 agricultural centers nationwide would receive the seeds to study the influence of cosmic radiation and zero gravity.
In the next three years, the acreage of crops cultivated from the seeds will reach between 30 million mu (two million hectares) and 50 million mu (3.3 million hectares).
The Shijian-8 satellite was launched on Sept. 9 to carry out experiments aimed at discovering the effects of zero gravity on the germination and sprouting of plants.
(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2006)