Atomic Seeds

From the American Legion magazine for May 1962.
     Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 31, 2017
     Category: Nature | Technology | 1960s

Sounds like it's the same concept as Atomic Peanuts:
Posted by Alex on 01/31/17 at 08:02 AM
You do know that the only surviving flora and fauna after a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches and crabgrass?
Posted by KDP on 01/31/17 at 10:46 AM
It was a thing (at least locally) in the 50s and early 60s to put your packets of flower seeds on a tv until planting time. If any mutated because of the constant dose of x-rays, Chas. Gurney & Co. would buy them. (I think they gave you a couple of bucks with promises of a lot more if the plant was commercially viable, but I was a kid at the time, so I didn't pay attention to such things.)

They gave packets of zinnia seeds to school kids in the spring, and it was a big thing to paint a Coke bottle or wrap it in foil to use as a vase when you took your flowers to school to be judged in the fall (I won blue ribbons two years!!!). I always assumed it was a marketing thing (get kids interested in gardening), but I also sort of wondered if it wasn't their way of looking for viable mutations.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/31/17 at 11:37 AM
Funny thing is that it appears gamma radiation from cobalt 60 negatively impacts plant germination and growth at all doses and is lethal to the plants at high doses. I doubt that the document below was the first scientific test. I'm sure that they'd tested the effects of gamma radiation on plants before this ad as well. This article was just the first one I came across and could access using Google search:

But of course, I'm confusing science with marketing again...
Posted by Kyle Morgan on 02/01/17 at 11:37 AM
@Kyle Morgan -- The abstract clearly states the exposure ranged from "0.1 to 1 kGy." 0.1 kGy is a million times more than you get in a typical chest x-ray. afaik, growth suppression has not been documented below 0.006 kGy. Statistically significant chance of seed mutation begins at approx. 0.00017 kGy.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/01/17 at 08:27 PM
I wonder if this was the basis for the Gilligan's Island episode with the radioactive seeds?
Posted by PupTentacle on 02/04/17 at 07:40 PM
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