Vast grassland "sea of grass" Posidonia, which according to scientists from 80 to 200 thousand years old, were discovered by biologists from Australia to the Mediterranean. The body with the longest lifespan in the world reproduces itself by cloning, as evidenced by the genetic identity of individual animals, growing abundantly in kilometers of each other on the bottom of the sea.
Ordinary at first glance, sea grass species Posidonia oceanica is able to produce offspring in several ways. "Reproduction of this plant is sexually transmitted, as usual, passing through the flowering stage with further mixing of male and female genomes, or asexual, that is cloning, as a descendant of an individual gene is passed without any noticeable change", said Dr. Sophie Arnaud- Haond, a researcher at the Institute of Marine Research in France.
More DNA mysterious marine plants studied Carlos Duarte, a researcher from the University of Western Australia. Not far from the island of Formentera biologist came across a giant meadow-like sea grass plants, which stretched for 15 kilometers, representing thus a single organism. He gathered a few samples of genetic material in the grass 40 different locations during the expedition from Cyprus to Spain. DNA analysis showed that all samples were identical.
However, scientists are concerned that human activities can have a negative impact on the future of this herb is long-lived. "Currently, the strong changes occur at an unprecedented rate, and population declines Posidonia oceanica and other varieties of sea grasses raises doubts among researchers about the ability of these species and clones that have passed a long and difficult path selection, survive," - noted the authors.
Amazing stamina sea grass can not warn her dying, as the researchers noted, because the water is heated in the Mediterranean Sea with three times the speed, and this leads to a reduction in grassy meadows P. oceanica by about 5% annually.
A little earlier was that of shrubby plant species Lomatia tasmanica, which also reproduce by cloning. Paleontologists have found it on the last Tasmanian even in the distant 30s. Later, near one of the plants were found fossils of leaves, age about 43,600 years. Scientists have suggested that the modern shrub is probably a clone of that once upon a time belonged to these same leaves.