Biotechnology Tools for Conservation of the Biodiversity of European and Mediterranean Abies Species

  • Jana KrajňákováEmail author
  • Dušan Gömöry
  • Hely Häggman
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 4)


The review underlines the importance of European and Mediterranean firs (Abies sp.) in European forests, their geographical distribution, ecological and economical values. The present status of endangerment is given as well as the importance of genetic conservation of these species is illustrated by results from population genetics studies. Moreover, the current status of in situ and ex situ conservation methods is discussed and a special attention is paid to the role of biotechnological methods (in vitro regeneration system and cryopreservation) in their ex situ conservation. Among in vitro methods till now, only somatic embryogenesis proved to be promising and five species (A. alba, A. cephalonica, A. cilicica, A. nordmanniana, A. numidica and several hybrids) were regenerated. Based on the success of regeneration method, the slow cooling cryopreservation protocols for three Abies species (A. alba, A. cephalonica, A. nordmanianna) and their hybrids were developed. The biotechnology approaches have confirmed their place in the toolbox of conservation methods of firs. Transfer of the experience gained in widespread species and development of reliable procedures for somatic embryogenesis and cryopreservation for the endemics remain tasks for the future.


Gene pools Ex situ conservation Cryopreservation Somatic embryogenesis Genetic fidelity Greek fir Silver fir 



Authors thank the EUFORGEN as the source of information for downloading the distribution maps from


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Krajňáková
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Dušan Gömöry
    • 2
  • Hely Häggman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and Environmental ScienceUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of ForestryTechnical University ZvolenZvolenSlovakia
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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