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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES Title: Alternative Storage for Germplasm of Native Hawaiian Berries

Authors
item Reed, Barbara
item Uchendu, Esther -
item Wada, Sugae -
item Zee, Francis

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2010
Publication Date: September 5, 2010
Citation: Reed, B.M., Uchendu, E., Wada, S., Zee, F.T. 2010. Alternative Storage for Germplasm of Native Hawaiian Berries. Acta Horticulturae. 526.

Interpretive Summary: Ohelo is a small, native Hawaiian shrub commonly found in disturbed, open sites at 640 to 3700 meter elevation on the islands of Hawaii and Maui. Plants are very hardy and have a compact form and bright waxy red new growth. Three Ohelo berry cultivars: Kilauea, Red Button, and Nene were selected for ornamental use due to their good growth habit and color. This study tested storage in liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation) and cold storage of tissue cultured shoots for medium and long-term storage. Shoot cultures in tissue-culture bags were maintained in good condition at refrigerator temperatures for more than a year. For cryopreservation shoot cultures were tested with three protocols that are also used for other types of berries. All three protocols had regrowth high enough for long-term storage of the germplasm (>40%). Regrowth ranged from 42% up to 75% depending on the protocol used. These studies show that Ohelo berry can be successfully cold-stored or cryopreserved with any of these techniques.

Technical Abstract: Ohelo berry (Vaccinium reticulatum Smith) is a small, native shrub commonly found in disturbed, open sites at 640 to 3700 meter elevation on the islands of Hawaii and Maui. The shrub is very hardy with compact form and bright waxy red new growth. Three cultivars: Kilauea, Red Button, and Nene were selected for ornamental use. This study tested in vitro cold storage and cryopreservation of these cultivars for germplasm preservation. Shoot cultures in StarPac tissue-culture bags were maintained in good condition in 4 ºC cold storage for more than a year. For cryopreservation shoot cultures were cold acclimated with alternating temperatures and photoperiod, and shoot tips were cryopreserved with three protocols: controlled rate cooling, encapsulation dehydration and PVS2 vitrification. Shoot tips were moderately desiccation sensitive and when encapsulated in alginate beads could only be dried to 31% moisture content before losing most viability. All three protocols had regrowth high enough for long-term storage of the germplasm (>40%). Regrowth following controlled rate cooling was 42 to 50%; encapsulation dehydration 60 to 75%; and PVS2 vitrification 45 to 70%. The addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the pretreatment medium during cryopreservation improved shoot regrowth in some treatments. These studies show that Ohelo berry can be successfully cold-stored or cryopreserved with any of these techniques.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014