Seeds … still mysterious after all these years

We plant, roast, toast, grind, squeeze, and guzzle them in all sorts of different ways. But, when and how did seeds evolve? The first search result on anything like this is usually a well-written Wikipedia article. Not in this case. The Seed Biology Place of Prof. Gerhard Leubner is the place to go for the skinny on this and just about anything else seed-related. Current knowledge shows that the seed came about in the Devonian era with many details still under active study.

Seed Biology Place is comprehensive but does not always format well for reading in a browser. Prof. Leubner and colleagues have written a nice review article which contains much of the same information in the journal New Phytologist v. 186: 817-831 (2010)

With Earth’s resources under severe pressure from an exploding population, some forward-looking people have begun planning for catastrophe. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault aims to ensure the genetic diversity of future crops by keeping a large sample of seeds in cold storage. Fascinating project and a beautiful example thinking 10,000 years ahead. That’s vision.

60 Minutes reported on it:


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