ID: 613 / 43

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: We live in a changing world that is witnessing an unprecedented loss of living species. For example, 40% of all plant species are threatened with extinction. This has a profound impact on biodiversity but also affects all agricultural industries and, hence, the future of the global economy and human food security. The preservation of plant genetic resources is more urgent now than ever. We must provide efficient solutions for the long-term conservation of a vast number of species, meaning that we must be able to preserve a wide variety of germplasm types and phenotypes. Conventional seed storage at dry and sub-zero conditions (15% relative humidity and -20°C), while still the most efficient tool, is not able to accomplish this tremendous task for all species. There are the “exceptional species”, which are identified as those that do not produce seed, that cannot survive conventional seed bank storage conditions or are short-lived in conventional storage, or cannot readily germinate and produce plants upon removal from a seed bank. Examples of exceptional species range from cells of green algae through short-lived, chlorophyllous spores of ferns to recalcitrant seeds of temperate and tropical trees (e.g., oaks, litchi, cacao). For these species, cryopreservation is needed for long-term preservation. However, there is not a single cryopreservation method that can be applied universally, and many challenges in the development of protocols arise due to the large phylogenetic variation and degree of complexity of the germplasm to be cryopreserved. The use of modern, multidisciplinary research, or “cryobiotechnology,” is vital to understanding the fundamental basis of successful cryopreservation and recovery. This symposium invites worldwide experts in plant cryobiotechnology to present their recent discoveries and discuss how they can be applied for the long-term conservation of exceptional species.

Speaker 1: Name: Hugh W. Pritchard Institutional Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Institute of Botany. E-mail: Tentative Talk Title: The cryo phenotype

Speaker 2: Name: Mª Elena Corredoira Castro Institutional Affiliation: CSIC, Mision Biologica Galicia (MBG) E-mail: Tentative Talk Title: Conservation of oak species by biotechnological tools

Speaker 3: Name: Karen Sommerville Institutional Affiliation: The Australian PlantBank, Australian Institute of Botanical Science, The Royal Botanic Gardens and DomainTrust. E-mail: Tentative Talk Title: Cryopreserving Macadamia – tough nuts to crack

Topics (Up to three): Conservation Biology

Topic 2: Plant Biotechnology

Topic 3: Physiology

Justification: Cryobiotechnology is critical for the long-term ex situ conservation of exceptional species, which cannot be conserved in conventional seed banks, and which are estimated to be 25-60% of all plants. However, without rapid advances in this field, the past and future objectives of the GSPC for ex situ conservation will not be realized. While significant progress has been made in the routine cryopreservation of some agricultural species, many scientific and technical challenges remain for the vast number of wild and threatened species. This symposium will review these challenges and propose solutions from a global perspective.