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Shijiazhuang, China (XNA) Jul 08, 2013
The growth cycle of seeds for two plant species, which are used as raw materials for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), could be shortened after being bred in space, a medicine company announced on Thursday.
The breeding in space took place during China's recent Shenzhou-10 spacecraft mission.
The Chengde Jingfukang Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd, in north China's Hebei Province, is now preparing for further breeding of Amur Cork-tree Bark and Atractylodes chinensis seeds at its base, said Li Shenming, company chairman.
With the experience in space, the growth cycle of the seeds will be shortened and the effective components they contain will be strengthened, therefore, this will bring relief to any supply shortage of TCM raw materials, according to Li.
The space breeding seeds are expected to grow into high-quality plants and their planting areas will be expanded using hi-tech measures so that the medicinal plant resources can be protected, Li said.
Su Guolin, director of the company's TCM material cultivation base, said the seeds experienced gene variation in space due to the conditions of intense radiation, micro-gravity and high vacuum.
The company will implement trial planting after space breeding seeds are cultivated and selected, Su said, adding that the whole process will take four to six years.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
China National Space Administration
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