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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS Photo Library

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Image Number K8167-11

Plant physiologist Christina Walters is lowering a container of seeds into a vat of liquid nitrogen that will cryopreserve them. These vats can hold 5,000 containers of up to 2,000 seeds each. The longevity of seeds stored in this fashion is projected to be thousands of years, but scientist periodically remove samples to assess their viability and vigor.

Photo by Scott Bauer.



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Last Modified: 5/23/2006