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The largest plant in the world was discovered in Australia

In Australia it was Discovery The largest known plant on Earth. It is a huge underwater meadow stretched like a big city, off the Australian coast. The huge seaweed in question occupies about 200 square kilometers, and for comparison, Naples has an area of ​​117 square kilometers and Milan also stops at 181. The researchers analyzed the creature Through genetic testing, they confirmed that it was one sample.

The algae in question covers about 200 square kilometers and was accidentally discovered in the waters of Shark Bay, in Western Australia. In fact, researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Flinders decided to explore the region to understand genetic diversity, but discovered during the research that the existing plants come from a single plant: a sample of Posidonia australis. Seemingly ,The colonized seedlings were able to develop and spread in a shallow environment with sandy sediments, But how it managed to survive for so long, adapting to changing environmental conditions and sea points that vary greatly in salinity and temperature, remains a mystery. The plant has, in fact, proven that it has developed an ability to adapt to changing and often extreme conditions that would allow it to survive for a long time.

The research shows that the original specimen spread using roots – stems capable of growing underground and storing nutrients – whose growth rate the team of experts determined, 35 cm per year, allowed them to estimate the age of the huge water carpet, 4,500 years. What makes this Posidonia australis Unique, in addition to its size, is that it contains twice as many chromosomes as its surrounding relatives. This means that it is a sample Polyploid. Genome-wide duplication through polyploidy — the doubling of the number of chromosomes — occurs when the “mother” plants cross diploid: the plant contains 100% of each parent’s genome, rather than sharing the usual 50%. So the anomaly indicates that half of these chromosomes come from Posidonia australis And half of an unknown species, it was the latter that gave him a significant advantage in terms of survival. Researchers are now intent on deepening the plant’s evolutionary history and genetics but without distorting it, like a huge underwater meadow, which has become home to many animal species including turtles, dolphins, dugongs, crabs and some fish.

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[di Eugenia Greco]

Earl Warner

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