XI'AN, April 5 (Xinhua) -- A 5,000-year-old cypress tree said to
have been planted by Huangdi, the "Yellow Emperor" considered the
common ancestor of all Chinese, has been cloned, scientists said on
Created using asexual reproduction methods such as cuttage and
grafting, eight saplings of the ancient cypress tree are growing
well, said Jiang Zeping, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of
The baby trees were moved from nutrition cups to bigger pots for
growth in a greenhouse on Jan. 8, said Jiang.
The project started in April 2013 when scientists from the
academy obtained samples and cultured more than 1,500 clones.
Aging means declining function and the ancient cypress is now in
danger, said Peng Hong, deputy head of the Forestry Department of
northwest China's Shaanxi Province. "It is urgent and important to
preserve good genes of millennial cypress trees," said Peng.
Due to the exceedingly high age of the cypress, the cloning
project encountered many difficulties, including a rooting rate of
less than one percent, said Jiang.
"Luckily, we have been successful and a second clone can be made
from the saplings after three to five years," said Jiang.
The project is of great significance in conservation of genetic
resources and protecting ancient rare trees. The Mausoleum of
Huangdi is in Huangling County, Shaanxi. The area boast many
well-preserved ancient cypress groves, with more than 30,000 trees
aged 1,000 years or more.
The 5,000-old cypress tree, 20 meters high is in Xuanyuan Temple
near the mausoleum. Enditem