With the increase in risk of extinction of various plants, the trend has been shifted to employment of many biotechnological techniques for preservation of genetic resources of plant and is the area of research which needs to be revolutionized after a specific time period because it allows the production and selection of crop varieties with desirable characteristics during breeding process such as improved fuel, food and health facilities. Having an immense research in conservation of non-threatened species, there is a small collection of knowledge available for conservation of endangered ones. This chapter aims to highlight the various techniques in germplasm conservation of endangered or the species which are at extent of extinction and also the future directions in this field. In developing countries where most of agriculture depends upon food crops, the maintenance of genetic variation is of immense importance. On farm conservation provides the best example of preservation and evolution based on genetic variability which can occur ex-situ and in- situ environment in farms or gene bank. So, it presents the best option for conservation or maintenance of ecosystem and biodiversity which ensures survival of endangered species via germplasm. The most point to consider is that germplasm or genes have to be conserved instead of genotype. In situ conservation involves preservation of plant crops in the field condition in ecosystem where plant is adopted to grow in order to maintain self –sustaining process in natural ecosystem. Similarly ex-situ involve the collections of seed banks of genes collected from plant under natural conditions to produce desirable varieties or from tissue culture in laboratory also referred as in-vitro methodology. In –vitro techniques include cryopreservation which include freezing at much lower temperature than that of freezing point i.e. -196 °C in liquid nitrogen for preserving species which are near to extent of endangerment. Cold storage and storing at lower temperature provides best opportunity for protection against damage caused by rapid freezing. Germplasm exchange has become now a usual practice ensuring exchange of varieties between cultivated and wild types as for example in potatoes specie etc. DNA as well as gene or seed banks provide molecular sources for conservation at biotechnological level. The techniques of introgression and incorporation are basic approaches for germplasm conservation. So there is need to revolutionize and practice germplasm conservation for fulfilling future needs being aimed at conserving endangered or threatened species from conservation hotspots.
Part of the book: Endangered Plants