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University of Guelph


Bovey Bldg
601 Gordon St, Guelph, ON
N1G 1Y2 Canada



Cryopreservation involves the storage of plant tissues at ultra-low temperatures (usually in liquid nitrogen at -196 °C) with the intention of regenerating the stored material into new plants at a later time.

In addition to preserving plant species for a long period of time, cryo-collections are an invaluable resource for ‘backing-up’ plant biodiversity ex-situ, providing plant materials that can be used for re-planting or breeding initiatives, and ensuring the long-term sustainability and security of economically important crops. GRIPP is in the process of developing its cryo-collection by innovating and applying the latest advances in cryobiology to preserve endangered species from across the globe, beginning and prioritizing with Canadian flora. To date, this technique has been used to develop cryopreservation protocols for a variety of species including American elm, ginseng, golden paintbrush, Hill’s thistle, cherry birch and St. John’s Wort.

Selected Publications

  1. Salama A, Popova E, Jones AMP, Shukla MR, Fisk N, Saxena PK. (2018). Cryopreservation of the critically endangered golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta): from nature to cryobank to nature. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant: 54 (1)69-78.
  2. Popova E, Haeng Hoon K, Saxena PK, Engelmann F, Pritchard HW. (2016). Frozen beauty: The cryobiotechnology of orchid diversity. Biotechnology advances 34(4): 380-403.
  3. Rathwell R, Popova E, Shukla MR, Saxena PK. (2016). Development of cryopreservation methods for cherry birch (Betula lenta L.), an endangered tree species in Canada. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 46(11): 1284-1292.
  4. Uchendu E, Shukla M, Reed B, Saxena PK. (2014). An efficient method for cryopreservation of St John’s Wort and tobacco: Role of melatonin.Acta Horticulturae 1039: 233-241.
  5. Uchendu EE, Shukla MR, Reed BM, Saxena, PK. (2013). Melatonin enhances the recovery of cryopreserved shoot tips of American elm (Ulmus americana L.).Journal of Pineal Research. 55(4): 435-442.