Development of protocols for in vitro conservation of plant genetic resources

 Project coordinator: prof. dr. Gordana Djuric

Supported by: Ministry of Science and Technology

Implementation period: 2012-2013

Aim of the project is to establish procedures for in vitro short term and long term (cryopreservation) conservation of agricultural species. The protocols for in vitro conservation will be established for autochthonous species from the Republic of Srpska which are reproduced vegetatively and traditionaly conserved on farms. This method is appropriate for the conservation of species that reproduce vegetatively: fruit trees, potatoes, and onions.

In vitro conservation of plant genetic resources, is complementary approach to conventional methods of conservation (in situ, ex situ). Plant cells and tissue culture techniques have become one of the main tools in plant biotechnology research. They are used for preservation of biological diversity, genetic resources and endangered species as well as for biotechnology products such as elite genotypes and genetically modified organisms. Tissue culture has proved to be a useful tool for the preservation of commercial crops that reproduce vegetatively, such as potatoes, forest trees, fruit trees and other species. Different in vitro methods are applied, all depending on the required duration of storage of germplasm. The short and medium term storage (several months to 3 years) aims to slow growth, while long-term preservation of germplasm is possible with cryopreservation in which all the biochemical and metabolic processes are stopped.

European scientific institutions have a strong interest in research in the field of conservation of plant genetic resources as they are critical to the continual availability and improvement of crops and food security for future generations. In the call number 10 for project applications under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) program areas of research infrastructure, one of the main priorities is support for existing research infrastructures in the field of plant genetic resources.