Part of the book: Biotechnology
Plant cryopreservation is useful for long term storage of clonal germplasm and endangered species. Clonally propagated crops which produce recalcitrant seeds cannot be easily conserved using conventional methods. Preservation of plants in vitro is limited to two years and not ideal for germplasm storage for a very long time. The need to conserve plant genetic resources through cryopreservation techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change such as extinction of certain plant species cannot be underestimated. Different cryopreservation methods including dehydration, programmed freezing, vitrification and v cryo-plate are employed in the long-term storage of different plants. These methods are usually based on the principle of the removal of freezable water from tissues by physical or osmotic dehydration followed by ultra-rapid freezing. There have been several advancements in the identification and use of cryoprotective agents, nonetheless, its toxicity remains a challenge. To accelerate plant cryopreservation, there is the need for the development of global expertise. The current practice for the conservation of germplasm in the Biotechnology Laboratory in Ghana is through the use of slow growth media. Moving forward, there is the need to work on developing cryopreservation protocols for preservation of germplasm using liquid nitrogen and cryogenic refrigerators.
Part of the book: Cryopreservation - Applications and Challenges