CRYOGENICS AND TISSUE CULTURE FOR PRESERVING PECAN GERMPLASM

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  • 1 1USDA-ARS, Southeastern Fruit & Tree Nut Research Center, P.O. Box 87, Byron, GA 31008
  • | 2 2USDA-ARS, Russell Research Center, P.O. Box 5677, Athens, GA 30613
  • | 3 3University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

A study was conducted to develop protocol for the preservation of pecan genetic variability by cryogenic storage of zygotic embryos and subsequent in vitro plant regeneration. Parameters evaluated for their influence on embryo survival included the amount of intact kernel, liquid nitrogen (LN) treatment, desiccation, and genotype specificity. Optimum germination with minimum contamination occurred with 12% of the kernel intact. Treatment of explants with LN reduced the percentage of embryos developing into intact plants. `Curtis' and `Shoshoni' had a significantly higher morphogenic response in shoots only than all other cultivars. In summary, cryogenic storage of pecan zygotic embryos was determined to be a feasible means for preservation of pecan germplasm. However, the procedures used in the current study should be altered to increase the probability of embryo survival.

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