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Flax | Seeds in Chernobyl


Flax (Linum ussitatissimum) is one of the oilseed crops which are cultivated from ancient
time. It is annual and mostly self-pollinated plant which belongs to the family linaceae.
Traditionally, flax is grown for a both high quality fibres and oil. Fibres are used for fabric and
paper production. Also oil has numerous industrial uses, e.g. paints or varnishes production.

One month old flax plant in radioactive Chernobyl experimental field

The picture show one month old flax plant in radioactive Chernobyl experimental field

Some flax varieties are grown for human consumption and its importance is still growing
because of a high level of omega-3 fatty unsaturated acids, which have good impact to the
human health. Additionally, flax seeds are important source of phytochemicals including
many antioxidants.

Flax is interesting crop for phytoremediation because of ability to uptake heavy metals from
the soil.

The local variety of flax seeds (Linum ussitatissimum, L., var. Kyivskyi) were sown to radio-contaminated and non-radioactive fields in 2007. On yearly basis, the harvested seeds are analyzed and sown in order to obtain next generation. Using this approach, we are able to follow flax adaptation process in radio-contaminated environment. The details about the experiments are available after the selection of particular soybean generation using top-right menu.