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  • Writer's pictureLars Brudvig

Beal Buried Seed Experiment in the news!

The Beal Buried Seed Experiment is one of the longest-running experiments in the world and located in a secret location on MSU's campus. The experiment, established in 1880, tests how long seeds of various species can remain viable when buried in the soil, to understand soil seed banks - a topic important to agriculture, conservation, and restoration. Lars was part of the team who conducted the most recent dig, in 2021 - an amazing experience. We learned that that Verbascum seeds remain viable in the soil for over >140 years and, with newly-available molecular techniques, helped to resolve a long-standing question about the species of these plants. 19/20 were Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein), but one was a hybrid between Verbascum blattaria and Verbascum thaspus (common mullein)! Read more in our paper published in the American Journal of Botany, the MSU press release, and articles in the Lansing State Journal and USA Today/Yahoo News.



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