This paper presents a review of fundamental aspects of plant cryopreservation. Liquid nitrogen has several advantages over storage of vegetatively propagated material under normal low-temperature in vitro culture and could also help in preserving genetic biodiversity. Development of efficient cryopreservation protocols based on the induction of tolerance to freezing and/or desiccation is also discussed. Cold and/or preculture acclimatization leads to ultrastructural, physiological and molecular changes in cells and they are important for improving viability after cryopreservation. The application of vitrification-based procedures and ultra-fast freezing/thawing rates could be effective and reliable for wide variety of plant species/ tissues and relatively genotype independent. Majority of papers demonstrate that the liquid nitrogen allows high viability rates and re-growth without a loss of biosynthetic capacity. Up to now, there has been no clear evidence of morphological, cytological or genetic alterations due to cryopreservation.