How bryophytes came out of the cold: Successful cryopreservation of threatened species

J. K. Rowntree, M. M. Ramsay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The use of ex situ techniques for the conservation of threatened plants has been increasing over the past decades. Cryopreservation is often used for the long-term storage of plant germplasm where conventional methods (i.e. seedbanking) are inappropriate. Simple encapsulation-dehydration protocols were developed for the cryopreservation of bryophytes at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as part of an ex situ project for the conservation of UK threatened species. The applicability of these methods was tested on 22 species with a broad range of ecological requirements and found to be highly successful across the board. Regeneration rates from frozen material were >68% for all species tested and half had regeneration rates of 100%. The high regeneration rate and broad applicability of the protocols across a range of species was attributed to a combination of the inherent totipotency of bryophytes and the in-built recovery periods in the pre-treatment protocol. In conclusion, bryophytes are well suited to cryopreservation and such techniques would be applicable for the long-term storage of similar conservation collections across the globe. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1413-1420
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2009


    • Bryophyte
    • Cryopreservation
    • Encapsulation-dehydration
    • Ex situ conservation
    • Threatened species


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