Cryonics may never bring slugger Ted Williams back to life, but federal scientists hope that freezing the tips of tree roots could help save America's $3.4 billion citrus-growing industry.
Unlike the famous baseball player, who was frozen after he died in 2002 (with his head and body stored in separate containers), the plant tissue that U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are preserving in subzero temperatures is very much alive.
Citrus trees are increasingly under threat from citrus greening, aka Huanglongbing or "Yellow Dragon Disease," a bacterial disease spread by insects. It has killed millions of citrus trees in the U.S. since it was first detected in Florida in 2005.
[S]cientists are creating a backup storage site or "genebank" for citrus germplasm in the form of small buds, called shoot tips, which have been cryopreserved—that is, plunged into liquid nitrogen for long-term cold storage. ...