Cryopreservation of Tomato Pollen

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Vegetable Crops, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616.

We have developed a method for cryopreserving Lycopersicon esculentum pollen to facilitate the timing of crosses and for long-term germplasm conservation. Gelatin capsules containing pollen were wrapped in tissue paper and placed in air-tight glass tubes with anhydrous calcium sulfate desiccant. Tubes containing pollen were stored at –80C. In one experiment, we stored the pollen of LA359 and T5 at –80C for 37 days. Pollen predesiccated overnight at 4C then stored at –80C, pollen put in a tube with desiccant then immediately stored at –80C, and fresh pollen were compared by pollinating 10 flowers of LA359 with each of the six pollen treatments and counting the number of seed per fruit. Average seed counts ranged from 127 for fresh, T5 pollen to 172 for predesiccated LA359 pollen. In another experiment, cryopreserved pollen of UC82B and VFNT Cherry was given from 0 to 6 cycles of freezing and thawing. Ten flowers of LA359 were pollinated with each of the 12 treatments. Average seed counts ranged from 125 to 152. The data from both experiments suggest that cryopreservation of tomato pollen to facilitate efficient plant breeding is feasible.

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