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Author(s): Parul Thakur, Ketan Mulchandani

Email(s): paralthakur1507@gmail.com

Address: Ols Oleochemicals and Surfactant Technology, ICT, Mumbai
Bioprocess Technology, ICT, Mumbai.

Published In:   Volume - 29,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2016

DOI:

ABSTRACT:
Medicinal plants, since times immemorial, have been used as a powerful tool by all race and ethnicities for curing normal day-to-day illness to dreadful diseases like cancer. We are intricately at the cross roads of globalization. In 21" Century with exponential population rise, a consequent shortage of natural resources is evident and makes it clear that our survival will depend on sustainable conservation techniques of such important plants with planned research. Health hazards, cost factors and toxicity associated with synthetic drugs have led attention and interest towards plants and plant-based products. Since decades, there have been many in situ and ex situ approaches for conservation of rare and useful plant species. But, they have their positives and limitations. Various strategies such as botanical gardens, Gene Bank and seed banks have implemented for the conservation of critically endangered species. Biotechnological approach is an amalgamation of biological and scientific technological designed processes. These are vital for multiplication and genetic enhancement of the medicinal plants by adopting various in-vitro techniques. Misidentification, genetic and phenotypic variability, extract variahility and instability, toxic components and contaminants, the difficulty of predicting which extracts will remain marketable and the likely market preference for what is seen as naturally sourced extracts are the obstacles and challenges being faced. Advanced biotechnological tools like in vitro culture, cryopreservation, and molecular markers offer a valuable and systematic approach for conservation, in addition to plant diversity studies and management of genetic resources. This paper capitulates in detail various biotechnological approaches, like in vitro culture, micropropagation, mycorrhization, genetic transformation, development of DNA banks, plant part substitution, pathway engincering, etc. for conservation of medicinal plants.

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