Cryo and Stress Biology

Head: Dr. Manuela Nagel


The working group is a unit of the federal ex situ collection of agricultural and horticultural plants and responsible for middle- and long-term preservation of only vegetatively propagated plants. [link]Allium, mint and antirrhinum among others are maintained in a collection of 245[link] in vitro accessions and are partly backed up by [link]cryostorage. The potato cryopreservation is one of the major tasks of the working group. At these ultra-low temperatures (-196°C) 1,663 accessions are stored in Gatersleben and represent one of the world’s largest potato collections in cryo (Effective 31th October 2018). The consecutive optimization and adaptation of methods to new species in order to extend the collections is one of the ongoing challenges.


Important research projects cover different aspects of cryopreservation, which are closely linked to physical, dehydration and cold stresses. Model plants as Arabidopsis or gene bank relevant species as potato, garlic and mint are used to elucidate biochemical and genetic stress response mechanisms. Further key aspects are the investigations of short-living cereal pollen, dehydration tolerant systems as orthodox seeds and the influence of endophytes on in vitro and cryostorage.