REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0304.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Vitrification; cooling; abiotic; biotic; stress; browning
Online: 14 December 2020 (08:17:26 CET)
Recent developments in the cryopreservation space has increased the trend in germplasm collections established through cryopreserved in vitro material. Cryopreservation of recalcitrant seeds through embryos and embryonic axes, is not uncommon. Tropical and sub-tropical plants are not acclimated to the cold season, therefore have no in-built natural resilience to the cold. Also, larger seeds from trees, such as avocado (Persea americana Mill.), mango (Mangifera indica) and durian (Durio zibethinus L.) are sensitive to desiccation, chilling and freezing stress, making them unsuitable for seed banking or cryopreservation. Alternatively, as seeds do not carry the same genetic make-up as the mother plant, especially in the context of woody rainforest species of which the cross-pollination is dominant; seed conservation does not serve the purpose of germplasm preservation. Other plant material and methods are needed for these plants to be successfully stored in liquid nitrogen (LN). One such method commonly used is shoot-tip cryopreservation which ensures the clonal fidelity of germplasm. There are many problems when using shoot tips of tropical recalcitrant-seeded species. These include: 1) the toxic effects of cryoprotective agents towards structural integrity; 2) optimum developmental stage for success and 3) oxidative stress associated with excision injury leading to necrosis triggering cell death and hindering regeneration for the shoot tips in culture. A pre-requisite for any cryopreservation system is the availability of an established tissue culture regeneration platform. This review will outline conservation strategies for avocado with special emphasis on attempts and improvements made in the cryopreservation space for storing this horticulturally important crop ‘avocado’ at ultra-low temperatures.