Conservation of Orchids- A Review
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Keywords:endangered, medicinal, micropropagation, orchids, threatened
The orchids constitute one of the largest, highly evolved, and diverse family of flowering plants the Orchidaceae. A total of 25,000-35,000 species within 800-1000 genera are distributed throughout the world. They are well known for their medicinal, floricultural and commercial importance.Â Orchids harbour a variety of biochemical compounds which are anticancerous, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and so on. Indiscriminate collections and demolition of their natural habitats have threatened most species of orchids with extinction, resulting into severe reduction of their genetic resources in nature. As a result, whole family orchidaceae figures prominently among other endangered plants in the appendices I & II of CITES and the red data book prepared by IUCN. If the loss of orchid genetic diversity continues at the same pace then within short span of time, none of the species would be left in the wild for human utility. Thus, it becomes necessary to conserve these valuable plants through advanced biotechnological techniques. Improved cryopreservation technique, synthetic seed technology, establishing orchid gene banks and devising appropriate in vitro propagation protocols would certainly be a step towards the ex situ conservation of this beautiful creation of nature.
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