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Title: Evaluation of twig pre-harvest temperature for effective cryopreservation of Vaccinium dormant buds

item Jenderek, Maria
item Tanner, Justin
item AMBRUZS, BARBARA - Retired ARS Employee
item Postman, Joseph
item West, Mark
item Hummer, Kim

Submitted to: Cryobiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2016
Publication Date: 11/10/2016
Citation: Jenderek, M.M., Tanner, J.D., Ambruzs, B.M., Postman, J.D., West, M.S., Hummer, K.E. 2016. Evaluation of twig pre-harvest temperature for effective cryopreservation of Vaccinium dormant buds. Cryobiology. 74 (2017):154-159.

Interpretive Summary: The United States produces half of the world’s commercial harvest of blueberry therefore, maintaining a diverse collection of various blueberry genetic resources is vital to develop new cultivars. The genetic resources are maintained as filed plantings; hence, they are exposed to unforeseen damage by pest, diseases or weather conditions. Safeguarding the genetic resources in ultra-low temperature (-196 or -170oC) makes them available when cultivars or other plant resources are lost. An effective way of storage in low temperature might be accomplished by using dormant buds. We have identified a temperature range for blueberry bud harvest time that aides to high viability after storage in ultra-low temperature. This finding will help with logistics of backing up the genetic resources in a cost effective manner.

Technical Abstract: Cryopreservation of plant material by dormant buds is less expensive than using shoot tips; however currently, dormant buds are used only for preservation of selected temperate tree and shrub species. Using dormant buds could be an efficient strategy for long-term preservation of blueberry (Vaccinium L.) genetic resources. In this study, viability of V. hybrid ‘Northsky’ (PI 554943) dormant buds was evaluated at 30 harvest dates over three consecutive fall/winter seasons to determine a harvest time that would promote high post cryopreservation viability. Twigs with dormant buds were cut into 70 mm segments containing at least two nodes, desiccated, slowly cooled, stored in liquid nitrogen vapor and tested for post-cryopreservation regrowth. The highest regrowth was observed for buds harvested in mid-December and during the first half of January. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were computed to evaluate the association between bud characteristics and viability at harvest date and logistic regression models were fit to test the ability of twig characteristics and temperatures to predict post cryopreservation bud viability. Viability evaluated as a post-cryopreservation regrowth was negatively correlated (p<0.05) with average minimum, maximum and daily average temperature preceding the bud harvest. Regression tree analysis suggested post-cryopreservation viability to be between 52 and 80% for dormant buds harvested after a 10 day average maximum temperature of <11.2oC. Harvesting dormant buds using temperature as a criterion might support obtaining viability adequate for long-term storage and facilitate logistics in cryopreserving blueberry.