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A simple and efficient procedure for cryopreservation of embryogenic cells of aromatic Indica rice varieties

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Embryogenic suspension cells of two commercially cultivated aromatic Indica rice varieties, Basmati 385 and Pusa Basmati 1, were cryopreserved using a simple one-step freezing procedure that does not require a controlled-rate freezer. The procedure involves osmotic pre-conditioning of cells with mannitol, addition of a cryoprotectant solution consisting of sucrose, dimethyl sulfoxide, glycerol, proline, and modified R2 medium, cooling to −25°C for 2 h in a freezer, and then storage in liquid nitrogen. After rapid thawing at 45°C, these cultures showed post-thaw cell viability of 5.6 to 10.5% and formed actively dividing, readyto-use cell suspensions in 20–35 d when cultured directly into liquid medium. Plants were regenerated from cell clumps as well as from colonies formed by protoplasts that were isolated from suspension cells re-established from cryopreserved cells, with frequencies higher (54–98%) than, or comparable to, those obtained from three to four-month-old original non-frozen cell cultures. Cell viability and regeneration frequencies of post-thawed Pusa Basmati 1 cultures were similar to those obtained from the suspension cells cryopreserved using the conventional slow-freezing procedure which involves pre-freezing cells to −40°C at the rate of −0.2°C per min prior to immersion in liquid nitrogen. In Basmati 385, however, cells frozen at −−25°C showed lower post-thaw cell viability than those preserved using the slow-freezing procedure, but these cells produced cell suspensions that had greater shoot morphogenetic potential. The study indicates the beneficial effect of this simple freezing procedure, not only for preserving desirable cultured cells but also for an enrichment of embryogenic cells.

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2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid




liquid nitrogen


Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium


α-napthaleneacetic acid


packed cell volume


2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride


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Communicated by I. K. Vasil

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Jain, S., Jain, R.K. & Wu, R. A simple and efficient procedure for cryopreservation of embryogenic cells of aromatic Indica rice varieties. Plant Cell Reports 15, 712–717 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00231931

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Key words

  • Oryza sativa L
  • cryopreservation
  • plant regeneration
  • cell suspension
  • protoplast culture