Establishment of cryopreserved gene banks of European chestnut and cork oak
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Cryopreservation of selected genotypes of European chestnut and cork oak was carried out in two laboratories in a project involving conservation of field collections. Plant material was selected on the basis of disease resistance (chestnut), growth habit, phytosanitary performance and cork quality (cork oak). The cryopreservation technique comprised of vitrification of shoot apices isolated from in vitro stock shoot cultures (chestnut) and somatic embryos (cork oak). Forty-three out of 46 chestnut genotypes assayed survived the freezing process, but only 63% recovered their capacity to produce new shoots. After completion of multiplication and rooting steps, the surviving shoots produced plants that were morphologically identical to those derived from non-supercooled material. All 51 cork oak genotypes withstood freezing and were able to produce new somatic embryos through a process of secondary embryogenesis. Multiplication and germination of the recovered embryos enabled production of plants that were morphologically identical to those derived from non-supercooled material. In light of the results obtained, long-term cryopreservation of these species is feasible, thereby ensuring conservation of valuable genotypes during field evaluation.
KeywordsCastanea sativa Cryopreservation Forest tree species Liquid nitrogen Quercus suber Vitrification
This study was partially supported by projects CIT-010000-2007-5 (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain) and PGDIT07MRU003E (Xunta de Galicia, Spain). Thanks are also given to Dr. Mariano Toribio (IMIDRA, Madrid, Spain) and Dra. Mª Angeles Bueno (INIA, Madrid, Spain) for supplying the embryogenic lines corresponding respectively to the mature and juvenile genotypes used in the study.
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