India Discovers New Plant Species In Antarctica

India Discovers New Plant Species In Antarctica

Polar biologists stumbled upon a species of moss during an expedition to the ice-covered,

Andrew H. Sweet

The biologists, based in the Central University of Punjab, have named the species Bryum Bharatiensis. Bharati is the Hindu goddess of learning and the name of one of India's Antarctic research stations.

After collecting the samples, the Indian scientists spent five years sequencing the plant DNA and comparing its form with other plants. So far, more than 100 species of moss have been documented from Antarctica, the driest, coldest and windiest continent.

The scientists found that this moss mainly grew in areas where penguins bred in large numbers. Penguin poop has nitrogen. "Basically, the plants here survive on penguin poop. It helps that the manure doesn't decompose in this climate," said a polar biologist on the team.

Read the original story here.


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