Submitted to: Cryopreservation of Plant Germplasm II
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2002
Publication Date: 3/20/2002
Citation: Towill, L.E. and Y.P.S. Bajaj (eds.) 2002. Cryopreservation of Plant Germplasm II. Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry Series Vol 50. Springer, London. 396 pp. Interpretive Summary: Cryopreservation refers to holding biological materials in a living state at very low temperatures. The development of this technology allows users to hold materials with a minimum of effort, yet provide availability when they are needed. Seeds, pollen and vegetative propagules can be used for storing plant germplasm and each has value under some conditions. Methodology for most seeds and pollen are rather straightforward and has been applied in several facilities. Cryogenic storage of vegetative propagules is also now possible, but methods need to be optimized for each group. Hence research is needed to understand the different stresses that a cell experiences during the steps of the process. Although less frequent than with seeds or pollen, application to shoot tips and buds now occurs in several locations worldwide.
Technical Abstract: The numerous research reports on cryopreservation over the past few years have been very encouraging and provide the basis for application to plant systems. For desiccation-tolerant seeds and pollen methodology is straightforward and more extensive use is envisioned. For more hydrated propagules, methods have been described for a very wide range of taxa, but repeatability and effectiveness across diversity needs to be further assessed before adoption. Although the physical basis for cryoprotection and events that occur during cooling and warming are elusive, an understanding of the overall process is emerging such that some control over viability is possible. Manipulations of the stock plant physiological status, cryobiology phase and recovery steps are providing information that suggest some generalities in approaching the overall problem of cryopreservation of germplasm.