Fresh corn grains from China enter space

18 January 20232 min reading

400 fresh corn grains entered the space on China’s Shenzhou XV spacecraft in an attempt to create viable new varieties, China announced.

China sent 400 fresh corn grains to be used for scientific research aimed at creating viable new varieties with cargo of country’s Shenzhou XV spacecraft, its 10th manned spaceflight, which entered its designated orbit on Nov. 29, 2022, the Information Office of Liaocheng Municipal Government stated. “The 400 fresh corn grains are of the same breed and weigh about 60 grams, and have a rich genetic background and gene types after breeding in the south and the north areas of the country,” said Zhang Guige, director of Modern Breeding Technology Innovation Center of Liaocheng Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The main purpose of this space experiment is to break the old chain and achieve a new recombination by mutagenesis caused by cosmic rays, microgravity and high vacuum in space. It is the first time in the 60-year breeding history of the Liaocheng to carry experiments out in space and implement space breeding with a Shenzhou spacecraft. It is also an example of the Liaocheng development of modern biological breeding research and its transformation from the breeding 2.0 era to the breeding 4.0 era.

It is reported that Liaocheng Academy of Agricultural Sciences was established in 1959, and breeding research has always been its strength. Since 2019, the Institute has bred 290 maize inbred lines and 32 new wheat lines through modern biotechnology such as hybridization, radiation mutagenesis and haploid.

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