The world's largest plant found off the coast of Australia

The world's largest plant found off the coast of Australia

World's largest plant found off Australian coast

Photo: Rachel Austin/UWA< /p>

The world's largest plant has been discovered off the coast of Australia, replicating itself vegetatively. An article about this was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Scientists from the University of Western Australia took genetic samples of Shark Bay algae from an area of ​​about 200 square kilometers. In total, the authors studied ten underwater meadows with different salinity, from normal oceanic to twice the norm.

"The answer surprised us– it was all one plant. That's right, one plant spread over an area of ​​180 square kilometers, thus becoming the largest known plant on Earth", – said Jane Edgelo.

The alga Posidonia australis reproduces not sexually, but vegetatively with the help of shoots, just as a new plant grows from the buds of a potato. In this case, the new organism will be a genetic copy of the old one. Such clonal colonies can be very large. For example, in the state of Utah there is a colony of Pando, consisting of 40 thousand aspens.

“Clonal reproduction ensures that the algae retains the same genetics, since sexual reproduction in a diploid organism leads to” new combinations of genes. While some will lead to new gadgets and advantages, others will put him at a disadvantage, – say the authors.

However, such a method of reproduction also leads to vulnerability, since a living creature will not be able to adapt to changes.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga