Development and large scale application of cryopreservation techniques for shoot and somatic embryo cultures of tropical crops

Shoot-tips and somatic embryos are the explants of choice for the in vitro long-term storage of ex situ plant genetic resources in liquid nitrogen. Cryopreservation of organized structures has significantly progressed, especially for species of tropical origin, with the development of several vitrification-based procedures such as encapsulation-dehydration, vitrification and droplet-vitrification approaches. They have allowed improvements in survival and recovery after cryopreservation compared with conventional crystallization-based protocols, proving their effectiveness for large scale application with embryos and shoot-tips of different plants. This review addresses the main physical and technological aspects involved in plant cryopreservation methods, illustrating the development of research with three cases: citrus, cassava and potato. These studies demonstrate how cryopreservation strategies are increasingly applied for their successful employment in the genebanks.