Cryopreservation of plant germplasm using the encapsulation-dehydration technique: Review and case study on sugarcane
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Encapsulation-dehydration is a cryopreservation technique based on the technology developed for producing synthetic seeds, Le. the encapsulation of explants in calcium alginate beads. Encapsulated explants are then precultured in liquid medium with a high sucrose concentration and partially desiccated before freezing. Encapsulating the explants allows the subsequent application of very drastic treatments including preculture with high sucrose concentrations and desiccation to low moisture contents which would be higly damaging or lethal to non-encapsulated samples. An encapsulation-dehydration protocol comprises the following steps: pretreatment, encapsulation, preculture, desiccation, freezing and storage, thawing and regrowth. Encapsulation-dehydration has been applied to around 40 different plant species. The optimization of the successive steps of the encapsulation-dehydration protocol is illustrated for sugarcane apices.