Scientists Grow the Delicious Judean Date Plants from 2000-year-old SeedsVijayan Sankar (Author) Published Date : Feb 07, 2020 16:00 IST
Judean dates were the favorites of Roman emperors, which became extinct in the 11th century. Now a study published in the Sciences Advances journal confirms to grow them in this 21st century from the 2,000 years old seeds found near the Dead Sea. It could bring soon to the dining tables for all to enjoy this old tasty Judean dates.
Sarah Sallon is the lead author of the published study and is the director of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center at Hadassah Medical organization in Israel. She, along with her research team, sorted out hundreds of seeds found in an ancient palace-fortress built by King Herod. Some of them were also found in the caves located in southern Israel, between the Judean Hills and the Dead Sea. These seeds were 30 % larger in size than the date seeds that are grown now.
Sarah has spent a lot of time to pick the best seeds from the bounty that the archeologists collected from near the black sea. Most of them had holes inside them due to insects penetrating and fell apart. These seeds that were good were given back life through Sarah and the team in the lab. From 32 of them, six Judean date saplings sprouted within weeks.
Sarah says that she is a Jewish, and had hence named the six palm saplings as Jonah, Iriel, Adam, Boaz, Judith, and Hannah. But she continues that though the new date plants are promising, the project is not yet ready to bear fruit. It is because all the six saplings now sprouting out of the 2,000-year-old seeds are female plants.
But Sarah and the team already have a Methuselah, which is a male Judean palm. It was grown in 2005 by the team from a 1,900-year-old seed. Though Methuselah and the new six female date plants are not of the same species, the team hopes that they will soon reproduce together to give the tasty Judean dates to the world.
But Sarah says that the new dates will not be typical as the Judean dates. It is because dates like now and before only are not grown from seeds from the earth. But they grow exclusively from the clones from high-producing females. She concludes that it will be around two years for her to share the taste of the fruits of the new saplings from ancient seeds.
With Sarah, all have to wait for Methuselah and Hannah or the other five to reproduce soon to taste the 2,000-year-old Judean dates that the Romanian emperors relished in the past.
Scientists Grow the Delicious Judean Date Plants from 2000-year-old Seeds