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The endangered Saharan cypress (Cupressus dupreziana): do not let it get into Charon’s boat


Main conclusion

The current state-of-the-art creates a sound basis for the preservation of unique species Cupressus dupreziana provided that targeted effort and care is devoted to the accomplishment of multiplication protocols.


This review is to summarize known data on Cupressus dupreziana-specific characteristics, including abiotic stress resistance, and natural reproduction, and estimates the possibilities of ex situ conservation with an emphasis on the cultivation in vitro of this endangered species. As there is only limited information about the cultivation of C. dupreziana in vitro, we have included relevant data on the related species Cupressus sempervirens, where micropropagation techniques are well established, along with other information on species with similar fates and life strategies—Saharan olive Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei and myrtle Myrthus nivellei. The aim of this work is to enhance general understanding and to promote an interest in this relict plant species to contribute to more wide-ranging studies and to increase its chance of preservation. Besides others, reducing the number of species threatened with extinction is an essential and immediate task as high genetic variability of ecosystems is crucial for their stability under changing climatic conditions.

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source of primary explants for cultivation in vitro). Bar represents 10 cm

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The authors are very thankful to ing. Ladislav Pavlata, Head of Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, for plant material and encouragement, Matěj Lipavský, MgA for art work and Prof. John D. Brooker for proofreading the article. This work was supported by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports—Project LO1417.

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Lábusová, J., Konrádová, H. & Lipavská, H. The endangered Saharan cypress (Cupressus dupreziana): do not let it get into Charon’s boat. Planta 251, 63 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03358-6

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  • Saharan relict plant species
  • Duprez´cypress
  • Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei
  • Micropropagation
  • Cultivation in vitro