Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products. Plant-based remedies have been used for centuries and have had no alternative in the western medicine repertoire, while others and their bioactive derivatives are in high demand and have been the central focus of biomedical research. As Medicinal plants move from fringe to mainstream with a greater number of individuals seeking treatments free of side effects, considerable attention has been paid to utilize plant-based products for the prevention and cure of human diseases. An unintended consequence of this increased demand, however, is that the existence of many medicinal plants is now threatened, due to their small population size, narrow distribution area, habitat specificity, and destructive mode of harvesting. In addition, climate change, habitat loss and genetic drift have further endangered these unique species. Although extensive research has been carried out on medicinal and aromatic plants, there is relatively little information available on their global distribution patterns, conservation and the associated laws prevailing.
This book reviews the current status of threatened medicinal plants in light of increased surge in the demand for herbal medicine. It brings together chapters on both wild (non-cultivated) and domestic (cultivated) species having therapeutic values. Thematically, conventional and contemporary approaches to conservation of such threatened medicinal plants with commercial feasibility are presented. The topics of interest include, but not limited to, biotechnology, sustainable development, in situ and ex situ conservation, and even the relevance of IPR on threatened medicinal plants. The editors believe this book is useful to horticulturists, botanists, policy makers, conservationists, NGOs and researchers in the academia and the industry sectors.
Section 1: Genetic Resources of threatened medicinal plants at crossroads
1 Threatened medicinal plants distribution and diversity and utilisation / P.E. Rajasekharan and K. Haridasan, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
2 Identification of threat status for medicinal plants: tools and methods / Sanjay M Molur, Zoo Outreach Organization, India
3 Geospatial technologies for threatened medicinal plants conservation / N. Sivaraj, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, India
4 Information and database for threatened medicinal plants / N. Venugopal, Foundation of Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, India
5 Utilization of threatened medicinal plants as a livelihood option / Madhav Karki, Centre for Green Economy Development, Nepal
Section 2: Conservation of threatened medicinal plants: concepts and practices
6 Conservation of threatened medicinal plants: Concepts and current practices / D. K. Ved, TransDIsciplinary University, India
7 In situ conservation of threatened medicinal plants: concepts and practices / Ranjith Mahindapala, International Union for Conservation of Nature, India
8 Ex situ conservation: seed banks, FGB and botanical garden / K. Haridasa, Foundation for revitalization of Local Health Traditions, India
9 Biotechnology for conservation and multiplication of threatened medicinal plants / P.E. Rajasekharan, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
10 Cryopreservation of threatened medicinal plants / Neelam Sharma, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, India
11 Cultivation of threatened medicinal plants as a tool for conservation / Abdul Kareem, Foundation for revitalization of Local Health Traditions, India
12 Utilization of threatened of medicinal plants: problems, progress and prospects / Anil Kumar, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, India
Section 3: Characterization and evaluation of threatened medicinal plants
13 Morphological characterization of threatened medicinal plants / Hima Bindu, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
14 Chemical characterization of threatened medicinal plants / V.K. Rao, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
15 Genomics and Molecular characterization of threatened medicinal plants / Sarah O'Connor, John Innes Centre, UK
16 Drugs from threatened medicinal plants / D. D. Soejarto, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Section 4: Case studies on different threatened medicinal plants distributed in different agroecological regions
17 High altitude threatened medicinal plants / Ravinder Raina, Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, India
18 Threatened plants of Western Ghats / N.Sasidharan, Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), India
19 Threatened medicinal plants of Himalayan regions / Hemant K. Badola, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, India
20 Threatened medicinal plants from the other regions of the world / Sarah A. Laird, University College London, UK
Section 5: Legal aspects of threatened medicinal plants
23 Intellectual Property Rights related to threatened medicinal plants / P.E. Rajasekharan, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
24 Importance of Traditional knowledge related to medicinal plants its utilisation and protection / Gerry Bodeker, Mathematical Institute, Oxford
25 Access and benefit sharing in threatened medicinal plants / Suneetha M. Subramanian, United Nations University, Japan
Dr P.E. Rajasekharan is a Principal Scientist at the ICAR Indian Institute of Horticultural Research Bangaluru. Dr Rajasekharan completed his PhD in in vitro conservation of threatened medicinal plants at the Department of Botany, Bangalore University and is known for his contributions to the area of Plant Genetic Resources, i.e. in vitro conservation and cryopreservation of horticultural crops. Also holding 3 Postgraduate Diploma one in Intellectual Property Rights from National Law School of India University and Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management from Indira Gandhi National Open University (New Delhi) and another Postgraduate diploma in Ecology and environment from Indian Institute of Ecology, New Delhi. He supervised 20 M. Pharm students of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. He also wrote many review articles and book chapters. He participated in various national and international symposia and seminars and presented the research results on cryopreservation and in vitro conservation. In addition, he has developed globally applicable cryopreservation protocols for the conservation of nuclear genetic diversity (NGD) in pollen of important vegetable, ornamental and endangered medicinal species. He also worked on conservation of threatened medicinal plants and established Field Gene Bank for the same at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru. He also developed conservation protocols for several RET medicinal plant species including Nothapodytes foetida. Recently he worked on Madhuca insignis rediscovered after 120 years and reintroduced the same in the natural habitats. He currently teaches courses on Plant Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property Rights in Agriculture. Dr Rajasekharan has more than 200 articles and two books to his credit one book he co-edited with Dr Ramanatha Rao for Springer Nature entitled Conservation and Utilization of Horticultural Genetic Resources. He is an expert reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals, and sits on the editorial board of several journals. He is a Fellow of the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy.
Dr Shabir Hussain Wani is senior Assistant professor at Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops, Khudwani –192101, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, J&K, India. He received PhD degree in plant breeding and genetics on “transgenic rice for abiotic stress tolerance” from the Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, India. After obtaining his PhD he worked as a research associate in the Biotechnology Laboratory, Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (ICAR), Srinagar, India. He then joined the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Farm Science Centre) as a program coordinator at Senapati, Manipur, India. He teaches courses related to plant breeding, seed science and technology, and stress breeding and has published more than 100 papers/chapters in journals and books of international and national repute. He served as guest editor and reviews editor for journal Frontier in Plant Science (2015-2018). He has also edited several books on current topics in crop improvement for abiotic stress tolerance published by Springer Nature and CRC press USA. His PhD research fetched first prize in the North Zone Competition, at a national level, in India. He was awarded Young Scientist Award from the Society for Promotion of Plant Sciences, Jaipur, India, in 2009. He is a fellow of the Society for Plant Research, India. Recently he also received Young Scientist Award (Agriculture) 2015 from Society for Plant Research, Meerut, India. He also served as visiting Scientist at Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, USA under the UGC Raman Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme. Currently, he is in charge of Wheat improvement programme at MRCFC Khudwani SKAUST Kashmir.