Scientists find the ideal plant to colonize Mars 01:35

Scientists from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have identified the most suitable plant to colonize Mars. It turned out to be Syntrichia caninervis moss, also known as steppe twisted moss. The study was published in the scientific journal magazine Innovation.

Syntrichia caninervis is a common species of moss that grows in harsh environments such as Tibet, Antarctica, and arid desert-steppe regions.

To test the plant’s tolerance to cold, the researchers stored the plants at -80°C (in an ultra-low-temperature freezer) for three and five years, and at -196°C (in a liquid nitrogen tank) for 15 and 30 days.

In all cases, the moss samples regenerated after thawing, but their recovery was less rapid compared with control organisms that had been dehydrated but not frozen.

Moss has also demonstrated the ability to survive exposure to gamma radiation, which would kill most plants, and doses of 500 g/m have even been shown to stimulate the growth of Syntrichia caninervis. For comparison, a dose of 50 g/m would cause convulsions and death in humans.

“Our study shows that the resistance of S. caninervis to environmental influences exceeds that of some microorganisms and tardigrades,” the authors said.

Experts emphasized that Syntrichia caninervis shows great potential for Mars exploration.

Earlier scientists developed A method for growing vegetables in Martian soil.

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Source: Gazeta

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