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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository

Title: Applying Cryopreservation Techniques to Diverse Biological Materials

item Reed, Barbara

Submitted to: University of Kebangsaan Malaysia Monograph Series
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2009
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Reed, B.M. 2009. Applying Cryopreservation Techniques to Diverse Biological Materials. University of Kebangsaan Malaysia Monograph Series. p. 18.

Interpretive Summary: Cryopreservation, long-term storage in liquid nitrogen, is now a viable option for storage of plant cells, tissues, seeds and embryos. Facilities throughout the world are beginning to safeguard a wide range of plants in long-term storage. Careful planning of the details of storage will make the cryopreserved collections both useful and more valuable. The general principles apply to all types of storage, but the specifics for each stage of planning will vary with the institution. Standard protocols are used as the basis for most plant cryopreservation. Each of these methods has some basic steps that can be modified to make them effective for many types of plants. The choice of technique used for storage depends on the needs of the facility involved. Personnel, equipment, expertise, plant type, and available facilities may influence which technique is most appropriate. Finding a protocol for use with a new plant type may be as simple as testing available protocols for related or similar plants. Adjustments at critical points of a protocol allow relatively quick adaptation of standard protocols to new groups of plants.

Technical Abstract: Developing new cryopreservation protocols for each new plant or tissue is time consuming and often unnecessary. Existing standard protocols can be applied to many plants resulting in moderate to excellent results or protocols may require only a few changes for optimum recovery of plants. Protocols can be applied to groups of related plants to determine suitability to the entire group. Often protocols are available for similar plants and several standard protocols are available for a wide range of plant materials. Controlled rate cooling, PVS2 vitrification, and encapsulation-dehydration techniques are standards that can be applied or modified for most plants. Pear, grass, blueberry and mint were screened with these techniques and then stored with the most appropriate protocol. Critical points in the protocols can be adjusted to improve the plant response. Screening, then optimizing some critical points in the protocol can make most protocols effective for a range of plant material. When choosing a protocol for use with a new plant species, the first step is to consider available protocols for related plants. Knowledge of the physiology and morphology of the plant can provide clues for choosing a technique. Characteristics such as cold or drought hardiness may help predict success or failure for a particular group of plants. These characteristics provide essential clues for improving pretreatments that produce plant adaptation to the stresses imposed by cryopreservation.

Last Modified: 06/21/2017
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