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XYLOBIOTECH platform : forest biotechnology

Cryopreservation plaform for wild and improved forest genetic resources

The XYLOBIOTECH facility and associated specialised laboratories located at FCBA Pierroton iincludes a room of small surface (approximately 10 m²) dedicated to the freezing and to the storage of samples in liquid nitrogen (cryogenic preservation). This room is fully secured for the users through an alarm system connected with two oxymetric probes (GasGard XL, MSA). The infrastructure was also studied to optimize the costs in energy and liquid nitrogen for long-term cryopreservation of samples.

A computerized cryogenic freezer with liquid nitrogen input (cryostat, Air Liquide) allows to automatically and simultaneously freeze one hundred samples (2 ml microtubes) following a preset and perfectly controlled programme for temperature decrease. High precision and gradual shift in temperature are obtained with liquid nitrogen input to the freezer and the use of internal probe (within reference sample). The liquid nitrogen allows to cool samples with great homogeneity and at a rate of up to 100°C per second.

The cryopreservation room includes 7 cryotanks for a total storage capacity of 38 000 samples in liquid or vapour phase. Five cryotanks (Arpège 170, Air Liquide) are equipped with a system for automatic adjustment of the liquid nitrogen level (common supply device) which allows easy and secured liquid nitrogen supply.

A specialised database (Coolbase, Air Liquide) is implemented to guarantee the sample traceability relative to labeling, type and location within each cryotank.