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Journal Article

A Biotechnology Strategy for Medium- and Long-Term Conservation of Cycads

Richard E. Litz, P. A. Moon, E. M. Benson, J. Stewart and Victor M. Chávez
Botanical Review
Vol. 70, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 2004), pp. 39-46
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27571173
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Biotechnology Strategy for Medium- and Long-Term Conservation of Cycads
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Abstract

It has been possible to regenerate a few cycad species in vitro by somatic embryogenesis, either from zygotic embryos (Ceratozamia hildae, C. mexicana, Encephalartos cycadifolius, E. dyerianus, E. natalensis, Zamia fischeri, Z. furfuracea, and Z. pumila) or from leaves of mature phase trees (C. euryphyllidia, Ceratozamia hildae, and C. mexicana). This strategy has great potential for the commercial vegetative propagation of certain highly endangered species (e.g., C. euryphyllidia) and should indirectly protect wild populations of these species by discouraging collection in situ. Embryogenic cultures of several cycad species have grown vigorously and are highly morphogenic more than 11 years after induction. The long-term conservation of cycad genetic resources can also be addressed for species that can be regenerated by somatic embryogenesis. Preliminary studies indicate that embryogenic cultures that have been pretreated on plant growth medium containing 0.75 M sucrose for two days, encapsulated in sodium alginate, and desiccated for six hours can survive immersion in liquid nitrogen (-196°C).

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