Genetic diversity and conservation of medicinal plants in Deccan plateau region in India
Ashish Kumar and Jnanesha AC
Deccan plateau region in India is unique because of its varied geography and great diversity in its natural ecosystem that is immensely rich in agricultural diversity including wild plant biodiversity and various farms of faunal diversity. This region in particular is highly overexploited by several anthropogenic activities resulting in loss of life supporting resources, biodiversity gene pool and nature’s self-sustaining and ameliorating capabilities. The Western Ghats (3500 species) and Easter (>1500 species) Ghats are rich repositories of medicinal plants. The regions globally know for it Andrographis paniculata, Withania somnifera,Aloe vera, Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum basilicum, Eucalyptus, Piper longum, Bacopa monnieri, Centella asiatica,Tinospora cordifolia, Adathoda vasica, Eclipta prostrata, Chlorophytum borivilianum, Cassia senna, Curcuma longa, Mucuna pruriens and Abelmoschus moschatus etc. are cultivated by the farmers of the region. Ex situ conservation and cultivation of selected Relisted plants of the region was initiated in 1200 at the CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research Centre, Hyderabad and are being maintained in a field gene bank and seed bank.