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Analytical techniques to monitor sugar composition in cryopreserved plant germplasm and their application in the identification of pre-treatments that favour sucrose accumulation

Sugar analysis methods have been optimised for very low amounts (down to 1 mg) of the different plant materials generally employed in plant germplasm cryobanks: meristems, seeds, somatic embryos.

Using these improved analytical methods, it was clearly shown that tolerance to desiccation and cryopreservation is enhanced by pre-treatments designed to increase the sucrose content of the plant material.

Therefore, sugar analysis can constitute a valuable tool to optimise rapidly the pre-treatment step (medium composition, duration), thus reducing the number and/or size of trial-and-error tests usually performed to set up a cryopreservation protocol for any new given accession.

Since standard procedures for plant genetic resource cryopreservation usually include a pre-treatment step, by reducing the time required for its optimisation, Result 3 should allow to speed up the introduction of endangered genetic resources in European plant germplasm cryobanks.

Important notes:
- Increasing the tissue sucrose content is not always sufficient to confer tolerance to desiccation and storage at ultra-low temperature.
- Sugar composition alone cannot explain the high variability observed between cultivars or species for their cryo-ability and cannot be employed as a predictor of post-thaw survival.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
UR 141, 911 Av. d'Agropolis - BP 64501
34394 Montpellier