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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 274942, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/274942
Review Article

The Role of Biotechnology for Conservation and Biologically Active Substances Production of Rhodiola rosea: Endangered Medicinal Species

Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 22 December 2011

Academic Editor: Vidadi Yusibov

Copyright © 2012 Krasimira Tasheva and Georgina Kosturkova. 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.

Abstract

At present, more than 50 000 plant species are used in phytotherapy and medicine. About 2/3 of them are harvested from nature leading to local extinction of many species or degradation of their habitats. Biotechnological methods offer possibilities not only for faster cloning and conservation of the genotype of the plants but for modification of their gene information, regulation, and expression for production of valuable substances in higher amounts or with better properties. Rhodiola rosea is an endangered medicinal species with limited distribution. It has outstanding importance for pharmaceutical industry for prevention and cure of cancer, heart and nervous system diseases, and so forth. Despite the great interest in golden root and the wide investigations in the area of phytochemistry, plant biotechnology remained less endeavoured and exploited. The paper presents research on initiation of in vitro cultures in Rhodiola rosea and some other Rhodiola species. Achievements in induction of organogenic and callus cultures, regeneration, and micropropagation varied but were a good basis for alternative in vitro synthesis of the desired metabolites and for the development of efficient systems for micropropagation for conservation of the species.