PRESENTED BY :- MOHD ABDULLAH HAIDERY
DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY
SANT GADGE BABA AMRAVATI
Way of conservation
Advantages and Disadvantages
The ever growing human population demands increased
agricultural productivity if possible through methods that don’t
harm the natural environment. The genetic improvement of
crop species is one answer to this problem.
However, to successfully do so, a diverse array of genotypes
would be needed. Since continued overuse and misuse of our
natural resources together with intensive agriculture are causing
tremendous amount of genetic erosion.
It is imperative that crop genetic resources be conserved
History about germplasm
Ever since primitive man learned the art of learning and realised the economic utility
of plants, he started saving selected seeds or vegetative propagules from one season
to next. Conservation of forest resources was taught and decreed in part of India and
China as far back as (700 B.C).
The concept of physical basis of heredity expressed by the 19th-century
Biologist August Weismann. According to his theory, germplasm, which is independent
from all other cells of the body (somatoplasm), is the essential element of germ cells
(eggs and sperm) and is the hereditary material that is passed from generation to
generation. Weismann first proposed this theory in 1883, it was later published in
(1892; The Germplasm: A Theory of Heredity ). Bajaj 1995 and Staristky 1997 reported
that some of the valuable gene pools might be lost unless co-ordinated efforts are
made towards the conservation of genetic stock all over the world.
Realising the danger of genetic resources the U.N Conference on Human
Environment held in Stockholm in 1972, recommended conservation of the habitat
that are rich in genetic diversity.
Two year later in 1974 (CGIAR) established the (IBPGR), subsequently (IPGRI)
with the objective of providing necessary support to the collection, conservation and
utilisation of the plant genetic resources anywhere in the world.
What is Germplasm?
Germplasm broadly refer to the hereditary material (total
content of gene)transmitted to the offspring through germ
It is also used to describe a collection of genetic
resources for an organism. For plants, the germplasm may be
stored as a seed collection or ,for trees, in a nursery.
What is germplasm conservation?
Plant germplasm is the genetic source material used by the
plant breeders to develop new cultivars.
They may include :• Seeds
Other plant propagules such as
• Cultured cells
Which can be grown into mature plant.
Germplasm provide the raw material (genes) which the
breeder used to develop commercial crop varieties.
Need for Conservation of plant Germplasm
• Loss of genetic diversity among crop plant species.
• Human dependence on plant species for food and many
different uses. E.g. : Basic food crops, building materials, oils,
lubricants, rubber and other latexes, resins, waxes, perfumes,
dyes fibres and medicines.
• Species extinction and many others are threatened and
endangered – deforestation.
• Great diversity of plants is needed to keep the various
natural ecosystems functioning stably – interactions between
• Aesthetic value of natural ecosystems and the diversity of
In situ Conservation
In situ conservation is on-site conservation or conservation of
genetic resources in a natural population of plants, such as forests
genetic resources in natural population of tree species.
It is the process of protecting an endangered plant in its natural
habitat either by protecting or cleaning up the habitat itself, or by
defending the species from predators.
It is applied to conservation of agriculture biodiversity in agro
ecosystem by farmers, especially those using unconventional
Ex situ Conservation
Ex-situ conservation means literally, "off-site conservation". It is
the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or
animal outside of its natural habitat; for example, by removing
part of the population from a threatened habitat and placing it
in a new location, which may be a wild area or within the care of
Ex situ conservation can be carried out by
using several methods
Seed gene bank
In vitro storage
Field gene bank
In vitro method for germplasm
In vitro method employing shoots, meristems and embryos are
ideally suited for the conservation of germplasm. The plant with
recalcitrant seeds and genetically engineered can also be
preserved by this in vitro approach.
There are several advantages associated with in vitro germplasm
Large quantities of material can be preserved in small space
The germplasm preserved can be maintained in an
environment free from pathogens.
It can be protected against the nature’s hazards
From the germplasm stock large number of plants can be
obtained whenever needed.
There are three main approaches for the In
vitro conservation of germplasm
2. Cold storage
3. Low – pressure and low oxygen - storage
Cryopreservation (Greek, krayos-frost) literally mean in the
frozen state. The principal involved in cryopreservation to bring
the plant cells and tissue cultures to a zero metabolism or nondividing state by reducing the temperature in the presence of
Cryopreservation broadly means the storage of germplam at
very low temperature.
• Over solid carbon dioxide (at 79:C)
• Low temperature deep freezers (at -80:C)
• In liquid nitrogen (at -196:C)
•Among these the most commonly used cryopreservation is by
employing liquid nitrogen. At the temperature of liquid nitrogen
(-196:C), the cell stay in a completely inactive state and thus can
be conserved for longer period. Infact cryopreservation has
been successfully applied for germplasm conservation . Plant
species e.g. rice, wheat, peanut, sugarcane ,coconut.
Mechanism of cryopreservation
The technique of freeze preservation is based on the transfer of
water present in the cells from a liquid to solid state. Due to the
presence of salts and organic molecules in the cells, the cell
water requires much more lower temperature to freeze (even
up to -68°C) compared to the freezing point of pure water
(around 0°C) . When stored at low temperature , the metabolic
processes and biological deteriorations in the cells/tissues
almost come to standstill.
Technique of cryopreservation
The cryopreservation of plant cell culture followed the
regeneration of plants broadly involves the following
1. Development of sterile tissue culture.
2. Addition of cryoprotectant and pretreatment
7. Measurement of survival/viability
8. Plant regeneration
1:- Development of sterile tissue culture
The selection of plant species and the tissue with particular
reference to the morphological and physiological characters
largely influence the ability of the explants to survive in
cryopreservation . Any tissue from a plant can be used for
meristems, embryos, endosperm, ovules, seeds, culture plants
cells, protoplast, callus.
2:- Addition of cryoprotectant
Cryoprotectant are the compound that can be prevent the
damage caused to cells by freezing or thawing. There are several
cryoprotectant which include
(DMSO), glycerol, ethylene, propylene
, sucrose, mannose, glucose , proline and acetamide. Among
these DMSO, sucrose and glycerol are most widely used.
The sensitivity of the cell to low temperature is variable and
largely depends on the plant species. Four different types of
freezing method are used:
Slow freezing method :
The tissue is slowly frozen at 0.5-5°C/min from 0°C to 100°C,and then transferred to liquid nitrogen.
Rapid freezing method :
Decrease in temperature up to -300 to -1000°C.
Stepwise freezing method:
Intermediate temperature for 30 min. and rapidly cool.
Dry freezing method :
Reported that non- germinated dry seeds can survive freezing at
low temperature in contrast to water imbibing seeds which
are susceptible to cryogenic injuries.
4 : Storage
Maintenance of the frozen cultures at the specific temperature
is as important as freezing . In general the frozen cells/tissues
are kept for storage at temperatures in the range of -72 to 196°C. Storage is ideally done in liquid nitrogen refrigerator – at
150°C in the vapour phase, or at -196°C in the liquid phase.
The ultimate objective of storage is to stop all the cellular
metabolic activities and maintain their viability. For long term
storage temperature at -196°C in liquid nitrogen is ideal.
5 : Thawing
Thawing is usually carried out by plunging the frozen samples in
ampoules into a warm water (temp 37 – 45°C) bath with
vigorous swirling. By this approach, rapid thawing (at the rate of
500-750°C min¯¹) occurs, and this protects the cells from the
damaging effects ice crystal formation.
As the thawing occurs (ice completely melts ) the ampoules are
quickly transferred to a water bath at temperature 20-25°C. This
transfer is necessary since the cells get damaged if left for long
in warm (37-45°C) water bath.
6 : Reculture
In general thawned germplasm is washed several times to
remove cryoprotectant. The material is then recultured in a
7 : Plant regeneration
The ultimate purpose of cryopreservation of germplasm is
to regenerate the desired plant . For appropriate plant
growth and regeneration , the cryopreserved cell/tissues
have to be carefully nursed, grown. Addition of certain
growth promoting substances, besides maintenance of
appropriate environmental conditions is often necessary for
successful plant regeneration
A selected list of the plants in various forms that are
Applications of germplasm conservation
Plant materials (cell/tissue) of several species can be
cryopreserved and maintained for several years, and used as
and when needed.
Cryopreservation is an ideal method for long term
conservation of cell culture which produce secondary
metabolites e.g. medicines
Disease (pathogen) free plant material can be frozen and
propagated whenever required.
Recalcitrant seeds can be maintained for long .
Conservation of somaclonal and gametoclonal variation in
Plant material from endangered species can be conserved.
Cryopreservation is a good method for the selection of cold
resistant mutant cell lines which could develop into frost
resistant plant .
Limitations of germplasm
The expensive equipment needed to provide controlled and
variable rates of cooling/warming temperatures can however be
a limitation in the application of in vitro technology for large
scale germplasm conservation.
Formation of ice crystal inside the cell should be prevented as
they cause injury to the cell.
Sometimes certain solutes from the cell leak out during
Cryoprotectant also effect the viability of cells.
M.K Razdan (1993) “An plant Introduction to plant
tissue culture” published by Oxford and IBH publishing
Co.Pvt.Ltd New Delhi - 110049
S.S Purohit (1997) “Plant tissue culture” published
by Axis Books Chopasani Road, Jodhpur -342003
Kalyan Kumar De (1992) “Plant Tissue culture”
published by New central book agency Pvt. Ltd
Chintamoni Das Lane , Kolkata- 700009