|Authors: ||Philip L. Forsline, James R. McFerson, Warren F. Lamboy, Leigh E. Towill|
Genetic resources of Malus are conserved by the Plant Genetic Resources Unit, a component of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), located in Geneva, NY. The collection currently comprises around 2,500 accessions which are maintained as clones in the field to provide propagating material for distribution to the user community.
Field maintenance is costly and places the collection at risk from weather extremes, pests, diseases, etc.
Cryopreservation of dormant buds in a base, or backup, collection could reduce risks and costs.
Cryogenic storage of accessions in the active collection could also decrease costs, but is useful only if cryopreserved material is readily available for distribution.
We have developed protocols which permit the cryopreservation of dormant apple buds and their subsequent recovery from cryogenic storage by bud grafting.
Since 1992, 750 accessions have been cryopreserved in the base collection at the USDA-ARS National Seed Storage Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO. Around 250 accessions have ben cryopreserved in the active collection in Geneva.
Buds have been successfully recovered by grafting from over 90% of 600 accessions tested.
These results and those from ongoing recovery tests on 400 accessions stored in 1996 indicate cryopreservation is a safe, cost-effective approach to enhance management of Malus germplasm collections.
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