RESEARCH TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRESERVING PLANT GENETIC DIVERSITY IN EX SITU GENEBANKS
Location: Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit
Title: Application of functional genomics to plant cryopreservation
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 24, 2011
Publication Date: July 25, 2011
Citation: Volk, G.M., Henk, A.D., Gross, B.L. 2011. Application of functional genomics to plant cryopreservation [meeting abstract]. In: Proceedings of Cryo 2011: 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Cyrobiology. July 24-27, 2011, Corvallis, Oregon. p. 63.
Many agriculturally important plant collections are maintained clonally, such as elite fruit cultivars that are propagated by grafting or cuttings. These collections are expensive to maintain as field or greenhouse plantings in genebanks. It is possible to efficiently back-up vegetatively propagated collections using cryopreservation methods, in which excised regenerative propagules are desiccated and cooled to liquid nitrogen temperatures for long-term storage. However, the biochemical and biophysical response of shoot tips to cryoprotectants and liquid nitrogen is not well understood. Cryoprotectant solutions PVS2 (30% glycerol, 15% Me2SO, 15% ethylene glycol, and 0.4M sucrose) and PVS3 (50% glycerol, 50% sucrose) both effectively desiccate Arabidopsis shoot tips, but differ in their cell membrane permeability and toxicity. Using microarrays, we compared gene expression profiles among untreated shoot tips, cryoprotected shoot tips, and those recovering after liquid nitrogen exposure with methods that employ either PVS2 or PVS3 as the cryoprotectant. By determining key genes and pathways either upregulated or downregulated by cryoprotectants, liquid nitrogen exposure, and recovery, we hope to formulate more universally applicable solutions and identify ways to achieve higher levels of survival. Ultimately, these results will contribute to more effective and efficient means of storage for germplasm of valuable clonal crops.