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Planta

, Volume 243, Issue 4, pp 847–887 | Cite as

Sandalwood: basic biology, tissue culture, and genetic transformation

  • Jaime A. Teixeira da SilvaEmail author
  • Mafatlal M. KherEmail author
  • Deepak SonerEmail author
  • Tony PageEmail author
  • Xinhua ZhangEmail author
  • M. NatarajEmail author
  • Guohua MaEmail author
Review

Abstract

Main conclusion

Sustainable resource preservation of Santalum species that yield commercially important forest products is needed. This review provides an understanding of their basic biology, propagation, hemi-parasitic nature, reproductive biology, and biotechnology.

Many species of the genus Santalum (Santalaceae) have been exploited unremittingly for centuries, resulting in the extinction of one and the threatened status of three other species. This reduction in biodiversity of sandalwood has resulted from the commercial exploitation of its oil-rich fragrant heartwood. In a bid to conserve the remaining germplasm, biotechnology provides a feasible, and effective, means of propagating members of this genus. This review provides a detailed understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the success or failure of traditional propagation, including a synopsis of the process of hemi-parasitism in S. album, and of the suitability of host plants to sustain the growth of seedlings and plants under forestry production. For the mass production of economically important metabolites, and to improve uniformity of essential oils, the use of clonal material of similar genetic background for cultivation is important. This review summarizes traditional methods of sandalwood production with complementary and more advanced in vitro technologies to provide a basis for researchers, conservationists and industry to implement sustainable programs of research and development for this revered genus.

Keywords

In vitro Micropropagation Santalum album Santalum spicatum Somatic embryogenesis Tissue culture 

Notes

Acknowledgments

XZ and GM are sincerely thankful for funding supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 31470685, 31270720, and 31100498), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (S2012010009025), and the Guangdong Province Science and Technology Program (number: 2015B020231008). The authors thank the assistance of Dr. Budi Winarto (IOCRI, Indonesia) with assistance in the interpretation of Indonesian literature and Dr. Robert Nasi (Director, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia) for providing difficult-to-access literature. TP recognizes the generous contributions of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers for constructive comments and suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

425_2015_2452_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 16 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IkenobeJapan
  2. 2.B.R. Doshi School of BiosciencesSardar Patel UniversityVallabh VidyanagarIndia
  3. 3.Forests and People Research CentreUniversity of Sunshine CoastSunshine CoastAustralia
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable UtilizationSouth China Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

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