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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Temperate-Adapted Fruit, Nut, and Specialty Crop Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

Title: Antioxidants and cryopreservation, the new normal?

Author
item Reed, Barbara

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2014
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Citation: Reed, B.M. 2014. Antioxidants and cryopreservation, the new normal?. Acta Horticulturae. 1039:41-48.

Interpretive Summary: Cryopreservation protocols for storing shoot tips in liquid nitrogen are established for many plant species, especially for temperate plants and provide a stable, long-term and low-cost backup that is safe from diseases or environmental damage. However, many plants respond poorly to cryopreservation due to osmotic stress or lack of tolerance to low temperatures. Various stresses can damage cell components. Plants have evolved natural antioxidant defense mechanisms to combat these effects. In addition to temperature-induced stresses, cryopreservation protocols have osmotic and chemical effects on plant cells that contribute to the vitrification process, but also increase cellular oxidation. Cryopreservation protocols that include antioxidants during the cryopreservation process resulted in increased regrowth of plant tissues after warming.

Technical Abstract: Cryopreservation protocols are established for many plant species. Cryopreservation provides a stable, long-term and low-cost backup that is safe from the diseases or environmental damage that challenge whole plants. However, many plants respond poorly to cryopreservation due to osmotic stress or lack of tolerance to low temperatures. Various stresses can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation to toxic levels in cells and tissues. ROS include superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide and singlet oxygen. Plants have evolved natural antioxidant defense mechanisms to combat the effects of ROS that are produced during physiological stress. These ROS scavenging mechanisms include antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, peroxidases, mono- and dehydroascorbate reductase, glutathione reductase and catalase. In addition to temperature-induced stresses, cryopreservation protocols have osmotic and chemical effects on plant cells that contribute to the vitrification process, but also increase cellular oxidation. Cryopreservation protocols that include antioxidants during the cryopreservation process resulted in reduced oxidation and increased regrowth of plant tissues. These studies suggest that adding antioxidants should become a standard part of cryopreservation protocols.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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