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.