Conserving Biodiversity of a Potent Anticancer Plant, Catharanthus roseus Through In Vitro Biotechnological Intercessions: Substantial Progress and Imminent Prospects

  • Umme Salma
  • Suprabuddha Kundu
  • Saikat GantaitEmail author


In vitro interventions are exceedingly advantageous for large-scale propagation and conservation of plant biodiversity, involving endangered plant species as well as elite genotypes that produce commercial products. The importance of Catharanthus roseus in the treatment of several kinds of cancers such as skin cancer, breast cancer, lymph cancer, leukemia, and Hodgkin’s disease warrants persistent attention for the biotechnological improvement of this plant. Therefore, the present chapter provides an overview of the state of knowledge on the current use of biotechnological tools applied on propagation, genetic enhancement and conservation of C. roseus besides its implications to improve the plant in the future. Explants from this clonally propagated species can be easily harvested under field conditions using in vitro approaches. In vitro micropropagation methods affirm the accelerated duplication of disease-free material. Medium-term conservation can be attained by slow growth of plant material leading to the increased time interval between subsequent cultures. Synthetic seeds are also considered for short- to mid-term conservation and germplasm exchange. For long-term conservation, cryopreservation (in liquid nitrogen at −196 °C) permits storing of C. roseus germplasms for extended periods exclusive of any clonal variation. Besides micropropagation and conservation, the enhancement of secondary metabolites through hairy root culture and cell suspension culture and the use of molecular markers to detect somaclonal variation in C. roseus are also highlighted in this chapter.


Conservation Cryopreservation Micropropagation Secondary metabolites Synthetic seed 



We acknowledge the e-library assistance from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, West Bengal, India. We further are thankful to the anonymous reviewers and the editors of this chapter for their critical comments and suggestions on the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umme Salma
    • 1
  • Suprabuddha Kundu
    • 1
  • Saikat Gantait
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Faculty of AgricultureBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaNadiaIndia
  2. 2.All India Coordinated Research Project on Groundnut, Directorate of ResearchBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaKalyani, NadiaIndia
  3. 3.Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Faculty of AgricultureBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaNadiaIndia

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