Micropropagation and medicinal properties of Barleria greenii and Huernia hystrix.
Amoo, Stephen Oluwaseun.
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The crisis of newly emerging diseases and the resistance of many pathogens to currently used drugs, coupled with the adverse side-effects of many of these drugs have necessitated the continuous search for new drugs that are potent and efficacious with minimal or no adverse side-effects. The plant kingdom is known to contain many novel biologically active compounds, many of which could potentially have a higher medicinal value when compared to some of the current medications. Indeed, the use of plants in traditional medicine, especially in African communities, is gaining more importance due to their affordability and accessibility as well as their effectiveness. Exponential population growth rates in many developing countries has resulted in heavy exploitation of our plant resources for their medicinal values. In addition, plant habitat destruction arising from human developmental activities has contributed to the fragmentation or loss of many plant populations. Owing to these factors, many plant species with horticultural and/or medicinal potential have become either extinct or are threatened with extinction. These threatened species cut across different taxonomic categories including shrubs, trees and succulents. Without the application of effective conservation strategies, the medicinal and/or horticultural potential of such threatened species may be totally lost with time. The extinction of such species could lead to the loss of potential therapeutic compounds and/or genes capable of being exploited in the biosynthesis of new potent pharmaceutical compounds.