Author(s): Singh Sugandha, Parasharami Varsha, Rai Shashi
Adansonia digitata L. belongs to the Bombacaceae family and is generally known as the African Baobab. It is called “Kalpvriksha” in India and has mythological significance in India and elsewhere. The tree already faces a crisis of survival and is listed as an endangered species in the Red Data Book. It is a massive, deciduous tree up to 25 m in height and may live for hundreds of years. It is considered to be the queen of all carbon storage trees as it absorbs huge quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Currently the tree is suffering from drought and desertification and fear has been expressed about its regeneration. It is also reported that baobab seeds have very hard seed coats and germination rate is usually less than 20%. There is lack of awareness by the local population on the need to plant, protect and manage this endangered tree species. Several parts of the tree are reported to have interesting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are used for healing purposes. For the conservation of such a multipurpose tree species, tissue culture studies are found to be the most lucrative and promising alternative as recently some tissue culture reports are coming up. The conservation strategy under Indian subtropical states will help in studying its medicinal properties for further research. To explore its other pharmacological uses and isolation of bioactive components of this species, cell and suspension culture technology will be the most promising in near future.