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Diversity and conservation of medicinal and endangered plants

Kumari Smitha*
Department of Botany, Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
Received : 11th October, 2017 ; Revised :15th December,2017

Abstract :The diversity refers to the numbers, variety and variability of medicinal plants and endangered plants, coupled with the ecosystem this is termed as biodiversity. The climatic conditions, altitudinal variations, types of soil and varied ecological conditions propagate the diversity in the medicinal plants. The medicinal plants are the main raw material for traditional medicine as well as for modern medicines around the world.As per WHO even today as many as 80% of the population depend on the traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. Around 90% of the herbal raw drugs used in the Ayurveda, Sidha, Unani and Homeopathy come from medicinal plants. Also the pharmaceutical industry around the globe greatly depends for their raw material upon the medicinal plants. The over exploitation of the resources with rapid increase in populations for addressing their health care needs and due to climatic changes too some medicinal plants becomes endangered species today. Therefore management of medicinal plant becomes a matter of urgency. The management of human use of the biodiversity so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to the present generation, while maintaining the its potential to meet the needs and aspiration of future generations is the conservation. The dedicated medicinal plants are used by various tribal’s and local people to cure different ailments ranging from simple injuries , common cold, fever, diarrhoea, skin care products etc, and therefore a major resource. Hence there is immense need for conservation of diversity of medicinal plant wealth for the present as well as for future generations by adapting the suitable technologies. Tissue culture technology is potent and opened extensive areas of research for biodiversity conservation. Plant in vitro regeneration is a biotechnological tool that offers a tremendous potential solution for propagation of endangered and superior genotypes of medicinal; plants. There are two methods of conservation, conventionally in situ and ex situ conservation. In situ methods allow conservation to occur with ongoing natural evolutionary process while ex situ conservation via vitro propagation. In vitro cell and tissue methodology is envisaged as a mean for germplasm conservation to ensure the survival of endangered species rapid mass propagation for large scale revegitation and for genetic manipulation studies.

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