Abstract: Cryopreservation combined with in vitro culture offers a safe and cost-effective method to conserve germplasm. Conservation of Persea spp. has been limited to heterozygous somatic embryos that are not true-to-type. A method for shoot-tip cryopreservation is vital to preserve the exact gene pool of interest. For the first time cryopreservation protocols for mature shoot tips of two avocado cultivars (cvs) ‘Velvick’ and ‘Reed’, were established. In vitro shoots were subjected to two different optimised pre-treatments; (1) cv ‘Velvick’—high sucrose (0.3 M) or (2) cv ‘Reed’—low temperature (10 °C) incubation, over a 2-week period prior shoot tip dissection. Two different plant vitrification solutions, plant vitrification solution 2 (PVS2) and vitrification solution L (VSL) were tested at 0 °C for 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 min. Vitrified shoots were evaluated for survival and regrowth after 8 weeks vitrification treatment and either with or without liquid nitrogen exposure. The study revealed that the optimal exposure time for each cultivar varied with the cryoprotectant used. After liquid nitrogen cv ‘Velvick’ highest regrowth levels were observed with 20 min exposure to either PVS2 or VSL, however, vigorous plants were produced only from VSL treated shoots. In the case of cv ‘Reed’ highest regrowth levels were observed with 10 min exposure to PVS2 however only morphologically normal plants were recovered from VSL treated shoots.

Presented by:

Chris O’Brien, PhD candidate in the Mitter group conducting research in plant tissue culture, disease resistance and conservation of sub-tropical and tropical crops. Specialising in cryopreservation using both embryo and shoot tips, plant tissue culture, meristem culture, clonal propagation. My innovation creating change by research at University of Queensland by “development of a cryopreservation protocol for avocado apical shoot tips” is a revolutionary platform technology impacting on preserving the world’s genetic resources in a space, time, labour and cost-effective manner protected from pests, diseases and climate change.

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Research contact: Mr Chris O'Brien, Research Assistant, Centre for Horticultural Science, QAAFI at UQ T: +61 7 334 66519 or E: c.obrien4@uq.edu.au

Science seminar coordinator: Dr Craig Hardner E. c.hardner@uq.edu.au T. +61 7 334 69465 

QAAFI communications: Jackie Kyte E. qaaficomms@uq.edu.au 

About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.