Human beings are rely on medicinal plants for their primary health needs as medicine and natural preservatives in various traditional medicinal systems called siddha, ayurveda, unani and homeopathy. Throughout the world, whole plants have been uprooted extensively from the natural habitats for medicine preparation and it affects nearly 15,000 medicinal plants endurance. Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) suggested that, thousands of plants are facing extinction risk due to extensive exploitation, habitat loss, deforestation and lack of conservation knowledge. Requirement of herbal products in the global market is ever increasing, and remarkably, the mass of plant material is still harvested from the forest. Inadequate or unavailability of seeds, seed dormancy, rare seed set production, loss of viability and endophytic bacterial and fungal contaminations in explants are some of the major limitations in the conventional propagation. In fact, it is difficult to produce large volume of plants through conventional propagation as required by pharmaceutical industries, local practitioners or reintroduction schemes. Currently, in vitro propagation and liquid culture protocols are attracting the scientific community to preserve and produce huge amount of plant material, secondary metabolites, suspension culture, synthetic seeds and transgenic plants. The threatened medicinal plants with anticancer properties like Gymnema sylvestre, Leptadenia reticulata, Saussurea involucrata, Caralluma bhupenderiana, Zeyheria montana, Psoralea corylifolia, Gloriosa superba, Swertia chirayita and Nilgirianthus ciliatus have been successfully conserved through in vitro propagation for future demands. In vitro regeneration and conservation of endangered medicinal plants is pave the way for production of pharmacologically active substances especially anticancer compounds.
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