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"Space Pomegranate" Seedlings Returned Home of Zaozhuang

"Space Pomegranate" Seedlings Returned Home of Zaozhuang

ZAOZHUANG, China, April 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Local high-quality pomegranate seeds provided by Zaozhuang city of Shandong province finally developed into more than 500 seedlings in late March. After travelling in space on the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft for 3 months, these seeds were carefully cultivated by an expert team of Beijing Forestry University for over 1 year. Recently, the seedlings successfully returned home and settled in the "Pomegranate National Forest Germplasm Resource Bank" in Yicheng district.

Space mutation breeding is a widely used method of breed selection. The three varieties selected by Zaozhuang city for this space breeding research are: "Qiuyan" - the only nationally approved good cultivar in China; "Heimeiren" - with semi-soft seeds and rich taste; and "Yushiliu" - with large seeds and good taste.

Yicheng district of Zaozhuang, where the "space pomegranate" seeds were produced, is the famous Hometown of Chinese Pomegranates with the largest collection of pomegranate germplasm resources in China. The Guanshi Pomegranate Garden Scenic Area there is a widely reputed AAAA National Tourist Attraction of China.

Built in the Western Han Dynasty (BC 202-AD8), the garden has a history of 2,000 years. It is 22.5 kilometers long from east to west, 3 kilometers wide from north to south, and covers an area of 80 square kilometers. There are more than 5.3 million pomegranate trees and 48 varieties, which enables the garden to be certified as "the best in Guinness" by the Shanghai World Guinness Headquarters.

The transplantation of "space pomegranate" seedlings is of great significance for carrying out basic research such as subsequent genetic analysis and phenotypic testing, as well as cultivating fine varieties of pomegranate, carrying out applied research work, helping fruit farmers increase production and income, and realizing the revitalization and high-quality and efficient development of pomegranate characteristic industry.

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