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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Philpott, Megan [1], Pence, Valerie [2].

Cryobiotechnology for conservation and storage of endangered exceptional Hawaiian plant species.

Threats to global plant biodiversity compel the need for ex situ collections of species worldwide. However, a subset of plant species that are unable to be seedbanked using conventional methods are often overlooked. These species, known as exceptional, may produce few or no seeds, or recalcitrant seeds sensitive to drying, freezing, or low-temperature storage. To ensure the conservation of these exceptional species, the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden maintains a liquid nitrogen bank of exceptional plant seeds and tissues known as the CryoBioBank®. Because exceptional species tend to be disproportionately distributed in the tropics, CREW has partnered with the Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii to cryopreserve endangered exceptional Hawaiian plant species. In order to accomplish the target of 21 banked Hawaiian species in the CryoBioBank® by 2021, CREW is developing cryopreservation protocols for species banking. After receiving micropropagated plants from Lyon, CREW initiates media tests with varying types and amounts of plant hormones in tissue culture to induce the production of tissue for cryopreservation. Depending on the species, bankable tissues may include shoot tips, somatic embryos, or direct shoot organogenesis from leaf explants. To date, bankable-tissue micropropagation protocols have been developed for 13 Hawaiian species including both angiosperms and ferns. Concurrent with media tests, cryopreservation protocols are developed for each species as well. For protocol development, CREW first tests the droplet vitrification (DV) method of cryopreservation using two different plant vitrification solutions, PVS2 and PVS3. For species with a high survival rate in the general DV method, banking of genotypes in the CryoBioBank® is the next step. For species with low survival rates, additional cryopreservation protocol testing is performed by testing protocols developed for related species in the scientific literature. To date, cryopreservation experiments have yielded survival rates after liquid nitrogen storage ranging from 0% survival in Gardenia brighamii to 60% survival in Clermontia oblongifolia. Genotypes from one species, Melicope mucronulata, have been banked in the CryoBioBank® using the DV method following an experimental survival rate of 57% using PVS2 in the standard DV method. This project will result in the long-term protection of many endangered exceptional Hawaiian species that would otherwise be unbankable using conventional methods. In addition, the approach detailed here will serve as a roadmap for researchers undertaking similar attempts to bank many exceptional species in a short amount of time. (Supported by IMLS grant #MG-30-17-0055-17).

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1 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, CREW, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH, 45220, United States
2 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, CREW Plant Research Division, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220, United States

Ex situ
Tissue culture

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB1, Conservation Ecology 1
Location: Tucson B/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: CB1014
Abstract ID:689
Candidate for Awards:None

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