Trees and Shrubs in Growth Rooms and Dewars: the Power of Cryobiotechnology to Conserve Magnolias

The ex-situ conservation of magnolias plays a crucial role in preserving the species red-listed by IUCN, and it is generally limited to field collections. The cryobiotechnology (i.e., plant tissue culture and cryopreservation) can help safeguard the biodiversity of plants and reduce the cost of maintenance and the risk of loss for the collection. Studies on the tissue culture of these plants allowed the creation of an in vitro repository of the Magnoliaceae family at The Huntington Gardens. More than 35 wild magnolias are kept in tissue culture. Studies focused on their micropropagation (including collection, initiation, establishment, multiplication, and rooting) allowed the distribution of various accessions to other institutions. Additionally, cryopreservation studies are led to ensure the long-term conservation of magnolias.