JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Seed quality test. Technician at the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, Sussex, UK, examining seeds under a microscope. She is dissecting the seeds and examining the endosperm and embryo content to assess germination viability. These tests are part of quality control at the Millennium Seed Bank, an international effort aimed at safeguarding seeds from 30,000 species, representing 10 percent of all the world's flowering plants. Seeds arriving at the seed bank are checked for pests, diseases and viability. They are then dried and stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. In 2007 the seed bank contained seeds from over 18,000 species spanning 126 countries, making it the largest wild seed collection in the world.
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