The Chemistry inside Spices & Herbs: Research and Development

Spices Biotechnology: Opportunities and Challenges

Author(s): Rasmieh Hamid, Feba Jacob*, Mehrnaz Entesari, Shri Hari Prasad and Shivaji Ajinath Lavale

Pp: 1-31 (31)

Doi: 10.2174/9789815039566122010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Spices have been used since ancient times as a flavoring agent as well as an
important medicinal resource. Biotechnology, using strategies such as cell, organ, and
tissue culture, genetic engineering, and the application of nucleic acid markers can
escalate the productivity and efficiency of spices. Cell, tissue, and plant organ culture
have enabled the rapid and mass reproduction of many disease-free spice plants, which
are uniform genetically and qualitatively. In recent years, cell and limb suspension
(stem and hair roots) have been considered for producing secondary metabolites and
for studying the biosynthesis pathway of metabolites. Plant genetic engineering has
helped in the genetic identification and manipulation of enzymes of the biosynthetic
pathway of secondary metabolites. Gene transformation has improved the production
of secondary metabolites that have yield limitations. Molecular markers are powerful
tools for accurately identifying important medicinal species, examining genetic
diversity, classifying hereditary reserves, and determining their genetic map
irrespective of their age, physiological, and environmental conditions. Next-generation
sequencing (NGS) methods like restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq)
have revolutionized the study of genetic diversity, and the enzymes and genes implied
in the secondary metabolites biosynthetic pathways can be studded by transcriptome
profiling (RNA-seq). The ground-breaking genome editing techniques like Clustered
Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), sequence-specific
nucleases of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and zinc-finger
nucleases could help in customizing the plants according to the requirements. This
article provides an overview of various biotechnology solutions that increase the
quality and productivity of spice plants.

Keywords: Biotechnology, Genome editing, Molecular markers, NGS, Spices, Tissue culture.

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