Headspace volatile markers for sensitivity of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) somatic embryos to cryopreservation
Fang, J. Y., Wetten, A. and Johnston, J. (2008) Headspace volatile markers for sensitivity of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) somatic embryos to cryopreservation. Plant Cell Reports, 27 (3). pp. 453-461. ISSN 0721-7714
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00299-007-0487-4
The mechanisms that reduce the viability of plant somatic embryos following cryopreservation are not known. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) somatic embryos at different stages of an encapsulation-dehydration protocol using stress-related volatile hydrocarbons as markers of injury and recovery. The plant stress hormone ethylene and volatile hydrocarbons derived from hydroxyl radicals (methane) and lipid peroxidation (ethane) were determined using gas chromatography headspace analysis. Ethylene and methane were the only volatiles detected, with both being produced after each step of the cryogenic protocol. Ethylene production was significantly reduced following exposure to liquid nitrogen, but then increased in parallel with embryo recovery. In contrast, the production of methane was cyclic during recovery, with the first cycle occurring earlier for embryos recovered from liquid nitrogen and desiccation than those recovered from earlier steps in the protocol. These results suggest that loss of somatic embryo viability during cryopreservation may be related to the oxidative status of the tissue, and its capacity to produce ethylene. This study has demonstrated that headspace volatile analysis provides a robust non-destructive analytical approach for assessing the survival and recovery of plant somatic embryos following cryopreservation.