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Resources 2013, 2(2), 73-95; doi:10.3390/resources2020073

Biotechnology and Conservation of Plant Biodiversity

1 Faculty of Chemistry Sciences, University of Veracruz, Prolongación Oriente 6, No. 1009, Orizaba, Veracruz 94340, Mexico 2 UMR DIADE, Joint Research Unit "Diversity, Adaptation and Development of Plants", IRD (Research Institute for Development), 911 Avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34032 Montpellier cedex 5, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2013 / Revised: 5 May 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equitable and Sustainable Use of Genetic Resources)
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Advances in plant biotechnology provide new options for collection, multiplication and short- to long-term conservation of plant biodiversity, using in vitro culture techniques. Significant progress has been made for conserving endangered, rare, crop ornamental, medicinal and forest species, especially for non-orthodox seed and vegetatively propagated plants of temperate and tropical origin. Cell and tissue culture techniques ensure the rapid multiplication and production of plant material under aseptic conditions. Medium-term conservation by means of in vitro slow growth storage allows extending subcultures from several months to several years, depending on the species. Cryopreservation (liquid nitrogen, −196 °C) is the only technique ensuring the safe and cost-effective long-term conservation of a wide range of plant species. Cryopreservation of shoot tips is also being applied to eradicate systemic plant pathogens, a process termed cryotherapy. Slow growth storage is routinely used in many laboratories for medium-conservation of numerous plant species. Today, the large-scale, routine application of cryopreservation is still restricted to a limited number of cases. However, the number of plant species for which cryopreservation techniques are established and validated on a large range of genetically diverse accessions is increasing steadily.
Keywords: biotechnology; conservation; plant biodiversity; in vitro collecting; slow growth storage; cryopreservation; endangered species biotechnology; conservation; plant biodiversity; in vitro collecting; slow growth storage; cryopreservation; endangered species
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Cruz-Cruz, C.A.; González-Arnao, M.T.; Engelmann, F. Biotechnology and Conservation of Plant Biodiversity. Resources 2013, 2, 73-95.

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