Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum Sm) is a shrubby tree species of the east coast of New South Wales in Australia. It is much prized as a cut flower crop because of its bright, pinky red floral calyces. New varieties are being developed, the storage of which is an important issue. In this study, it was shown that shoot tips sampled from in vitro plantlets withstood cryopreservation using the encapsulation–dehydration technique. The protocol leading to optimal regrowth was the following: excised shoot tips were pretreated for 1 d in the dark on hormone-free Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with 0.3 M sucrose, then encapsulated in 3% calcium alginate and precultured in liquid MS medium with 0.5 M sucrose for 3 d. Precultured beads were dehydrated for 6 h in the air current of the laminar flow cabinet to 24.3% moisture content (fresh weight basis) before rapid immersion in liquid nitrogen. Under these conditions, regrowth of shoot tips after cryopreservation reached 61.4%. Regrowth of cryopreserved shoot tips was not affected by the period of cold acclimation of in vitro mother plants.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2