Cryopreservation protocols contain components which are usually developed empirically using plant-specific strategies that enhance survival. The theory of cryopreservation encompasses several interconnected disciplines ranging from the physiological to cryophysical. Water status and cryoprotection are the most influential determinants of survival in combination with physiological factors. This chapter introduces the basic principles of cryopreservation theory and aspects of biological chemistry pertinent to protocol development. This review is targeted at researchers new to the field and emphasis is placed on understanding cryoprotection, the physiological role of water and the manipulation of its different states. A theoretical understanding of cryobiology will help cryoconservationists to optimize their storage methods and enhance the long-term preservation of plant and algal collections in a stable cryogenic state.


Cold Acclimation Freezing Tolerance Osmotic Dehydration Vitrification Solution Cryopreservation Protocol 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica E. Benson
    • 1
  1. 1.Conservation and Environmental ScienceDAMARFifeUK

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