Found the largest plant in the world it covers the area of ​​a small country

(ORDO NEWS) — This giant algae community grows off the coast of Western Australia and covers 200 square kilometers.

Seaweed meadow, record-breaking in its area, is amazing. It is the size of a small island and is genetically homogeneous.

In fact, this largest plant in the world was created from just one plant. It constantly cloned itself until it occupied a huge area. Therefore, in fact, a huge accumulation can be called genetically one organism.

The largest plant in the world

Scientists from the University of Western Australia and Flinders University were able to discover an unusual organism when they decided to study the genetic diversity of seaweed meadows in the Shark Bay area.

The team sampled shoots from across the region in several different environments and then examined 18,000 genetic markers to create plant profiles. It turned out that there is no diversity there – all plants were genetically identical.

The previous area record holder was an aspen in Utah, nicknamed Pando, which cloned itself into a similar colony connected by a single root system. Pando occupies only 0.4 km 2 and cannot compete with 200 km 2 of seaweed on the Australian coast.

Interestingly, this algae meadow can be a record-breaking one in other respects as well. So, scientists have calculated that its age is at least 4,500 years, and found out how it managed to cope with environmental changes, despite the lack of genetic diversity.

It is a polyploid plant, meaning it actually contains two complete genomes of its parent plants, not half of each. Because of this, the plant can survive in a wide range of temperatures if left undisturbed.


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