News Release

Cryobank of biotechnological plant material has been opened in the Moscow State University

The cryodepository of plant cell cultures and meristems was opened in the Lomonosov Moscow State University Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology

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Lomonosov Moscow State University

In the new cryodepository, first it is planned to place duplicates of the most valuable samples from the collection of the Institute of Plant Physiology (IPPRAS). Among them there are cell cultures of rare species growing from Baikal to Amur. Some of them, for example the Polyscias filicifolia cell culture, are already used for the medicinal preparations production (Vitagmal, Trifitol and others). A number of others, like the Panax japonicus, Dioscorea deltoidea, are of great interest for the production of medicines, nutraceuticals and cosmetics.

When the methods to freeze valuable genotypes are developed within the framework of the "Noah's Ark" project, their duplicates are planned to be stored in the cryobank of the IPPRAS. Duplication is the main principle of the reliable storage. Thus, the system of Russian biotechnological collections and cryobanks will be one of the most reliable in the world.

However, it is not easy to prepare the biotechnological samples for the storage. For each cell culture or meristem, it is necessary to develop an individual freezing procedure. "First, we gradually adapt the cells to low temperatures, then we add the cryoprotector to the medium, then we cool the cells down to -40C. We have to develop an individual program for each cell culture," says Professor Alexander Nosov, head of the Department of Plants Physiology in Moscow State University, - Good that you can do without moving to another room."

In a separate room of the cryobank there is a system of the liquid nitrogen autonomous generation from the air. "The system consists of several parts: the compressor draws in air under pressure, then there is a nitrogen separation from the impurities of other gases, and the last stage is the liquefaction of nitrogen," says Vladimir Lobakov, chief engineer of the Moscow State University Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank" INCLUDEPICTURE "" \* MERGEFORMATINET . - The system is completely autonomous: it turns on when the amount of liquid nitrogen in the final tank is less than the lower limit, and turns off when the upper threshold is exceeded."

Biological material will be stored not in liquid nitrogen itself, but in its vapor. "There are researches for animal objects (though a few), that the cross contamination is possible when stored directly in liquid nitrogen", comments Prof. Alexander Nosov. - Storage in liquid nitrogen vapor completely excludes this possibility. One of the scientific purposes of our cryobank is to study the probability of this danger for plant objects."

There are two cryobanks of biotechnological material in Russia: in the IPPRAS and now in the Moscow State University. The new cryobank was created with the support of the Russian Science Foundation within the framework of the "Plants" section of the "Noah's Ark" project. There are only few such storages in the world. The famous international storehouse in Spitsbergen is intended only for seeds, it is impossible to store cell cultures and meristems in it.


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