Cryopreservation of orchid seeds through rapid and step freezing methods

Bence Mátyás, Marco Cerna, Paulina Valdivieso, Rino Cella, Cristina Aucapiña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ecuador has a great variety of climatic regions that potentiate biodiversity. The family Orchidaceae constitutes one of the most important of the country, having identified about 4032 species with a high degree of endemism, therefore the development and research of alternative methods of storage and conservation of species is a strategy of primary interest for researchers and for society in general. In cryopreservation, temperatures reach below -190°C in order to paralyze the chemical reactions and keep the plant material viable for long periods. The present research focuses on the development of protocols for cryopreservation of seeds, aimed at the preservation of biodiversity, focusing on the family Orchidaceae, for the subsequent generation of a seed bank. The assays were performed on seeds of Epidendrum quitensium, Sobralia rosea, and Epidendrum anderssonii. Two freezing rates were tested: rapid freezing at -196°C; and step freezing at -22°C, -60°C to 196°C, further analyzed four combinations from Dimethylsulfoxide DMSO, glycerol and sucrose (DMSO 1M; DMSO 1M + glycerol 1M; DMSO 1M + sucrose 1M; DMSO 1M + glycerol 0,5M + sucrose 0,5M). The best results were obtained both in rapid and stepped freezing without the use of cryo-protective substances, by introducing the seeds directly into liquid nitrogen. Species of the genus Epidendrum presented a more efficient response in comparison to Sobralia. The viability of the seeds was evaluated by the tetrazolium test.

Translated title of the contributionCriopreservación de semillas de orquídeas mediante métodos de congelación rápida y escalonada.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number209
Pages (from-to)209
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cryoconservation
  • Epidendrum
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Orchidaceae
  • Seeds
  • Sobralia
  • Tetrazolium.


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