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International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 727025, 9 pages
Review Article

Axillary Bud Proliferation Approach for Plant Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration

1Section Biologie-Chimie, Département des Sciences Naturelles, École Normale Supérieure, BP 6983, Bujumbura, Burundi
2Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China

Received 16 January 2014; Accepted 8 March 2014; Published 6 April 2014

Academic Editor: Rafael Riosmena-Rodríguez

Copyright © 2014 F. Ngezahayo and B. Liu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to mainly human population pressure and activities, global biodiversity is getting reduced and particularly plant biodiversity is becoming at high risk of extinction. Consequently, many efforts have been deployed to develop conservation methods. Because it does not involve cell dedifferentiation of differentiated cells but rather the development and growth of new shoots from preexisting meristems, the axillary bud proliferation approach is the method offering least risk of genetic instability. Indeed, meristems are more resistant to genetic changes than disorganized tissues. The present review explored through the scientific literature the axillary bud proliferation approach and the possible somaclonal variation that could arise from it. Almost genetic stability or low level of genetic variation is often reported. On the contrary, in a few cases studied to date, DNA methylation alterations often appeared in the progenies, showing epigenetic variations in the regenerated plants from axillary bud culture. Fortunately, epigenetic changes are often temporary and plants may revert to the normal phenotype. Thus, in the absence of genetic variations and the existence of reverting epigenetic changes over time, axillary bud culture can be adopted as an alternative nonconventional way of conserving and restoring of plant biodiversity.