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Cryopreservation: fundamentals, mechanisms of damage on freezing/thawing and application in culture collections

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A variety of approaches including drying, freeze-drying/lyophilization and cryopreservation have been utilized for the long-term maintenance of microalgal and cyanobacterial cultures, however, only cryopreservation, the storage of material at ultra-low temperatures, has the potential to guarantee long-term stability of the preserved algae. The process of cryopreservation is intrinsically injurious and optimization requires the balancing of "solution" stresses encountered during slow cooling and intracellular ice formation on rapid cooling. This paper outlines the various strategies that may be employed to preserve algae, the effects of ultra-low temperatures on algae and briefly introduces some novel approaches that may widen the applicability of cryopreservation to currently freezerecalcitrant taxa.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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  • Nova Hedwigia is an international journal publishing original, peer-reviewed papers on current issues of taxonomy, morphology, ultrastructure and ecology of all groups of cryptogamic plants, including cyanophytes/cyanobacteria and fungi. The half-tone plates in Nova Hedwigia are known for their high quality, which makes them especially suitable for the reproduction of photomicrographs and scanning and transmission electron micrographs.
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