Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) in Augmenting the Yield of Medicinal Plants
Department of Botany, University of Delhi, India.
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The need of herbal medicines is increasing with each year globally. This increasing demand of herbal medicines renders a major challenge in meeting the raw material requirement. The over-exploitation and harvesting of medicinal plants from the wild, causes loss of genetic diversity and endangers their existence. Cultivation of the medicinal plants not only relieves pressure on plants growing in the wild but also helps in meeting the demand. However, it faces problems such as high input of chemical fertilizers for increased yield. In this regard, use of AMF (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) can help in propagation of plants that need conservation efforts and also contribute in sustainable cultivation of medicinal plants. AM is one of the oldest and the most pervasive symbiosis known in plants. It has a positive role in plant growth and disease tolerance by providing resistance to several biotic and abiotic stresses. In recent past, AM has been reported to improve both the quality and yield of medicinal plants. For optimal use of AM in augmenting the yield of active ingredients of medicinal plants, understanding the underlying mechanism is critical. The mechanisms behind enhanced secondary metabolite production in plants colonized with AM will be discussed.