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Raquel Folgado, PhD Cryopreservation Research Fellow rfolgado@huntington.org

PLANT CRYOPRESERVATION AT HUNTINGTON BOTANICAL GARDENS

CURRENT AND FUTURE CRYOPRESERVATION PROJECTS AT THE HUNTINGTON BOTANICAL GARDENS

PROJECTS AT T HE H UNTINGTON B OTANICAL G ARDENS  Succulents and cacti : At

Succulents and cacti: At the moment of writing this report, positive results have been obtained with the development of cryopreservation methods for Agave and Aloe. We are now optimizing the plant regeneration process.

The tests with cacti seeds are also promising and therefore, we will be able to store some species into liquid nitrogen.

Avocado: the project is in collaboration with other partners. We are trying to optimize the introduction of adult trees into tissue culture. We intend to have a collection of the important varieties that The Huntington belong and are in danger for the new pest/disease complex found in California that affects avocado, among other few woody species. Meanwhile we are collaborating in the optimization of cryopreservation of avocado meristems.

Magnolia: Several magnolia trees have been introduced in vitro. Some of them represent endangered species belonging to The Huntington living collections and some have been donated by other institutions. We are now optimizing the micropropagation system and the next step would be the design and development of cryopreservation protocols to conserve meristems. We are also studying how magnolia seeds germinate and if they could be used for plant germplasm conservation of Magnolia.

Orchids: the cryopreservation of orchid is primary focused in conserving seeds, as we could keep small populations in vials. Secondly, clones of interest from Huntington living collection will be submitted to cryopreservation process. Some orchid groups still don’t have an available protocol of conservation. Here we might have an impact on improving orchid collections at The Huntington and over the world.

Camellia: the Huntington owns one of the most important living collections of camellias. Our intention is to provide tools to have an in vitro collection. This will allow keeping the plants safe from exposure to diseases and weather conditions. However the in vitro collections are still labor intense (due to the need of sub-culturing the plants). The next step would be also the development of cryopreservation procedures to maintain the plant material long-term without the need of manipulation.

A. titanum: pollen was collected during the last blooming of the plant. We are now collecting seeds to test them. We will evaluate different possibilities of conservation.

The Huntington Botanical Gardens intend to provide tools to other institutions and users for the long-term conservation by developing cryopreservation methods that are not currently available for some plant species of interest. We are willing to contribute to the conservation of plant diversity worldwide and cryopreservation technologies may be crucial to reach this objective.