Celebration Garden

Raquel Folgado

Cryopreservation Research Botanist
Department: Botanical

Raquel Folgado serves as The Huntington Cryopreservation Research Botanist leading the cryobiotechnology program that involves conservation science projects on avocado and other wild plants. The lab focuses on developing and optimizing methods to store plant germplasm in liquid nitrogen, the safest way to ensure long-term ex situ conservation. Raquel's work also focuses on training and collaborating with national and international researchers and institutions to exchange knowledge and skills in cryobiotechnology and plant abiotic stress.

Raquel's scientific interests aim to better understand the nutritional requirements of plants in tissue culture conditions and their tolerance to abiotic constraints, which will help standardize cryobiotechnology tools for exceptional plant species and specialty crops.

Raquel has created in vitro repositories at The Huntington to preserve and allow the distribution of Persea, Aloe, Agave, Quercus, and Magnolia species and some cultivars with horticultural value like the avocado rootstocks or the aloe hybrids.

Raquel holds a bachelor's degree in fundamental biology and biotechnology from Universidad de Oviedo, Spain, and a Ph.D. from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, in bioscience engineering. She is associated with scientific societies and serves as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals.


Delgado-Aceves, L., Santacruz-Ruvalcaba, F., Gonzalez-Arnao M.T., Folgado, R., Portillo, L. (2021). Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis and Cryopreservation of Agave tequilana Weber Cultivar ‘Chato’. Plants. 10(2):249. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020249

O’Brien, C., Hiti-Bandaralage, J., Folgado, R., Lahmeyer, S., Hayward, A., Folsom, J., Mitter, N. (2021). Cryopreservation of Woody Crops: The Avocado Case. Plants. 2021; 10(5):934. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050934

Romo-Paz, F.J., Folgado, R., Delgado-Aceves, L., Zamora-Natera, F.; Portillo, L. (2020). Tissue culture of Physalis angulata L. (Solanaceae): techniques for micropropagation and germplasm long-term preservation. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-020-01970-8

O’Brien, C., Hiti-Bandaralage, J., Folgado, R., Lahmeyer, S., Hayward, A., Folsom, J., Mitter, N. (2020) First report on cryopreservation of mature shoot tips of two avocado (Persea americana Mill.) rootstocks. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-020-01861-y

Hernández-Ramírez, F., Dolce, N., Flores-Castaños, O., Rascón-Díaz, M.P., Ángeles-Álvarez, G., Folgado, R., Gonzalez-Arnao, M.T. (2020). Advances in cryopreservation of vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Jacks.) shoot-tips: assessment of new biotechnological and cryogenic factors. In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Plant 56 (1). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11627-020-10069-w

O’Brien, C., Hiti-Bandaralage, J., Folgado, R., Lahmeyer, S., Hayward, A., Folsom, J., Mitter, N. (2020). A method to increase regrowth of vitrified shoot tips of avocado (Persea americana Mill.): First critical step in developing a cryopreservation protocol. Scientia Horticulturae 266:109305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2020.109305

Tin, J.; Folgado, R. Applied Cryobiotechnology for the Long-Term Conservation of Agave sobria spp frailensis. In: Gutiérrez Mora, A. et al (Eds), 2019. Integral and Sustainable Use of Agave. ISBN: 978-607-8734-03-0. https://ciatej.mx/files/divulgacion/divulgacion_5e1f5a3d41143.pdf

Folgado, R., Panis, B. (2019): Cryopreservation of Ashe magnolia shoot-tips by droplet-vitrification. Proc. III International Symposium on Plant Cryopreservation. Acta Hortic 1234:233-240. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1234.31

O’Brien C., Hiti Bandaralge, J., Folgado R., Lahmeyer S., Hayward A., Mitter N. (2019). Developing a cryopreservation protocol for avocado (Persea americana Mill.) apical shoot tips using pre-culture and vitrification techniques. Acta Hortic. 1285, 15-22. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1285.3

Gratzfeld, J., Rivers, M., O’Donnell, K., Sutcliffe, V., Folgado, R., Bromley, G., McFarlane, A., Kapelari, S., Voss, S., Regan, E., Schwarz Ballard, J. Vergou, A., Derewnicka, L., Willison, J., Griggs, P., Krumins, A., Measures, K., and Benfield, R., Using the Plant Collection –Research, Conservation, Public Engagement, Recreation and Tourism. In: Gratzfeld, J. (Ed.), 2016. From Idea to Realisation – BGCI’s Manual on Planning, Developing and Managing Botanic Gardens. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, United Kingdom. ISBN: 978-1-905164-65-3. https://www.bgci.org/resources/bgci-tools-and-resources/bgcis-manual-on-planning-developing-and-managing-botanic-gardens/

Folgado, R., Panis, B., Sergeant, K., Renaut, J. Swennen, R., Hausman, J-F. (2015): Unravelling the effect of sucrose and cold pretreatment on cryopreservation of potato through sugar analysis and proteomics. Cryobiology 71 (3), 432-441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cryobiol.2015.09.006