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Cold storage and cryopreservation of hairy root cultures of medicinal plant Eruca sativa Mill., Astragalus membranaceus and Gentiana macrophylla Pall.


To explore the possibility of an effectively long-term preservation of the germplasm of the HR lines of medicinal plant Astragalus membranaceus, Gentiana macrophylla Pall., and Eruca sativa Mill., both cold storage and cryopreservation approaches were attempted and compared. After 5-month cold storage on half strength Murashige and Skoog (1962) (1/2 MS) agar medium (AM), up to 82.9, 75.7, and 100% of the A. membranaceus, G. macrophylla and E. sativa hairy roots (HRs) recovered growth, respectively. The survival rates of A. membranaceus and G. macrophylla HRs significantly decreased, whereas that of E. sativa HR was unchanged with the addition of increased levels of exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) during cold storage. Using the encapsulation–vitrification (EV) method for cryopreservation, the G. macrophylla HRs died, whereas up to 6 and 73% of the A. membranaceus and E. sativa HRs survived, respectively. The HR lines evaluated with both methods showed no significant differences in morphology and growth rate compared with controls that were not subjected to preservation methods. These results suggest that cold storage is a more suitable alternative for the HR lines of the three studied plant species and that specificity of plant species have profound effects on the effectiveness of preservation.

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Abscisic acid


Agar medium


Dimethyl sulphoxide






Fresh weight


Hairy roots


Liquid nitrogen


Liquid medium


Loading solution


Murashinge and Skoog (1962) medium


Plant vitrification solution


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We would like to show our thanks to Ph.D. Michael Kirberger in the Department of Chemistry and Max Oginsky in the Department of Biology, Georgia State University for spending precious time to revise our paper.

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Correspondence to Xin-Yu Wang.

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Xue, S., Luo, X., Wu, Z. et al. Cold storage and cryopreservation of hairy root cultures of medicinal plant Eruca sativa Mill., Astragalus membranaceus and Gentiana macrophylla Pall.. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 92, 251–260 (2008).

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  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • Cryopreservation
  • Cold storage
  • Encapsulation–vitrification
  • Eruca sativa Mill.
  • Gentiana macrophylla Pall.
  • Hairy root