NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 13, 2013 (Times Of India): Among other intriguing properties, the sacred lotus has the ability to generate heat and regulate its temperature like birds and mammals. This has been revealed by a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide, who have unlocked the genetic secrets of one of the world's most unique and culturally significant plants, the lotus.
The work focused on its incredible ability to generate heat so that it can keep a constant temperature of around 32-34 degrees over a 2-3 day period, while the environmental temperature varies by up to 30 degrees - behaving like a warm-blooded animal.
An international team has sequenced and described the sacred lotus genome, now published online in Genome Biology. The paper sheds new light on the evolutionary position of the lotus, one of the world's oldest flowering plants, and facilitates further research into its unusual characteristics.
The paper stated that the lotus has been cultivated as a food crop for more than 7,000 years in Asia and is prominent in both Buddhism and Hinduism. The lotus is also noted for its long-lived seeds - viable for over 1,000 years - and for its water repellency and self-cleaning leaf surfaces.