I believe many friends have heard about space breeding. Some of the crops we eat now are bred through space breeding. So what is space breeding? What will happen if you send the seeds into space for a period of time and plant them again on earth?
Space breeding, also known as space breeding, can also be called space mutation breeding. It is a new breeding technology to send crop seeds to space by recoverable satellite or high altitude balloon, and then return to the ground to cultivate new crop varieties by using the special mutation effect of space environment.
As we all know, the earliest life on earth was born 3.8 billion years ago. How did the early primitive life evolve into the complex and advanced life world step by step? In fact, through the continuous mutation of genes, only the continuous mutation of genes, excellent genes will be passed down from generation to generation, and finally life will become more and more complex and advanced.
Even now the earth has intelligent human life, but human genes continue to mutate, evolving to more complex and higher life, but it takes a very long time. Plants are also a kind of life world, they also need constant gene mutation to improve themselves.
The crops for human consumption are basically realized by the continuous gene mutation of primitive plants. However, if life wants to achieve a qualitative mutation, it has a very high requirement on the environment. If the ecological environment has been relatively stable, it is very difficult for plants to have a big mutation, unless the ecological environment changes dramatically.
Today’s earth’s ecological environment has been formed for tens of millions of years. In this stable environment, all kinds of plants and crops have basically been shaped. It is very difficult for them to make great changes. Even after human beings enter the era of science and technology, many scientists have carried out artificial gene mutation on crops through artificial cultivation and improvement, but this kind of mutation is not obvious It doesn’t make the seed qualitative.
If we want to turn the fruit of a kind of crop into a big Mac, and make its very small fruit several times or even tens of times larger, no matter how hard we try in the earth environment, we can’t achieve it. But it’s different in space. You know, the space environment is totally different from the earth. It’s a vacuum environment with high-energy particle radiation and strong cosmic magnetic field everywhere.
Only when the seeds are sent to space and mutated in the new harsh environment, can they suddenly become an alternative species completely different from the earth’s seeds. If we replant these seeds mutated in the space environment to the ground, the crops that grow may have very obvious or even subversive changes.
Of course, space breeding is not as simple as we think. Not all kinds of seeds can be mutated in the space environment, nor can we simply carry an aircraft into space. There are a series of very complicated screening and breeding processes.
First of all, seeds entering space should be strictly screened. With the current strength of human space science and technology, the cost of going to space is very high. And the seeds that can be carried are limited, so we need to select varieties with good stability, strong disease resistance, high yield and other advantages. Only these seeds are qualified to be cultivated in space.
Of course, not all of these seeds entering space can have gene mutation, but the probability is much higher than that on earth, and there are more unknown variables. According to the research of scientists, in the earth environment, the probability of gene mutation is very low, only about one in 200000.
However, in space, due to the complex and harsh environment, the probability of gene mutation of organisms will be very high, which can reach 1% or 1 / 1000. The probability of gene mutation is already very high. Therefore, when carrying out space missions, astronauts not only need to do all kinds of protection, but also can not stay in space for too long. Even so, the probability of gene mutation in space is very high.
After the seeds are sent into space for a period of time, because the probability of gene mutation is not 100%, we can’t see which seeds are mutated from the appearance of the seeds, so after returning to the earth, we need the breeders to cultivate them all, and judge the selection through the later growth process.
As we all know, gene mutation is diverse, and the direction of mutation can not be controlled. If there are good mutations, there will be bad ones. It is precisely because gene mutations are good and bad that all kinds of organisms have all kinds of problems. Even in the genes of advanced intelligent life, there are also many bad genes, which make us have all kinds of diseases.
The same is true of space seeds. Gene mutation has no direction, and the mutated seeds may become better seeds or harmful individuals. And breeders are through cultivation observation, those harmful individuals will be removed, leaving better mutation seeds. And these excellent mutant genes will give the seeds some new characteristics, such as bigger, sweeter and so on.
After the breeders select the seeds with excellent mutation, they can not immediately put them on the market for large-scale planting, but need to let them self breed again. Generally, a crop seed needs at least four generations to form a more stable variety, and space seed also needs at least four years of self breeding.
Through the mutation of space environment, the excellent seeds have enriched the crops and obtained more characteristic space fruits. They are big, sweet, bright and beautiful. As for the crops cultivated in space, the focus of more people’s attention is still its large size, which is not generally large, but also tens of times, hundreds of times larger. For example, an ordinary pumpkin is only about 2 kg in size, while a pumpkin cultivated in space may reach hundreds of kg in size, which can be called a giant graupel free pumpkin.
Space breeding is an important development direction of human agriculture in the future, and with the rapid development of human industry and the increasing population, the demand for crops will be increasing in the future. However, with the continuous deterioration of the earth’s ecology, a lot of land will become unable to be planted. What should we do at this time? Then we can go to space and grow crops.
Space agriculture is also a development trend in the future. Depending on various conditions of space, crops can grow faster, not only with short growth cycle, but also with a substantial growth. Of course, to realize space agriculture, we still need to enter the space age. With our current scientific and technological conditions, we can only do space breeding, so that we can taste more excellent crops with different tastes and the same characteristics of water.