XI'AN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A new space breeding research center has been unveiled in northwest China, with missions including applying space technology to cultivate quality tree seedlings for the country's well-known Three-North Shelter Forest Program.
Located in Yangling National Agricultural Demonstration Zone in Shanxi Province, the research center has been established by the Space Biology, a technological consultancy with China Academy of Space Technology, in cooperation with a local plant cultivation company.
Space breeding combines astronautics with agricultural sciences. Seeds are sent into space in a spacecraft. In the space environment, seeds may undergo mutation and after returning to Earth, mutated seeds are selected and planted to breed new varieties with a higher quality and yield.
The center, which also serves as a space seed breeding lab, will protect the returned seeds, conduct further selection and test them on Earth.