Biotechnology brings together various fields of science including genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, botany, pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, chemical engineering, etc. The field of biotechnology has been formulated from the overlap and confluence of these sciences. The department of biotechnology in Barij Essence Pharmaceutical Co. is active and conducts research in order to develop new technologies with commercial applications in this field.
The importance of biotechnology in medicinal plants:
In recent times the demand for medicinal compounds has increased; however, some of these plants have limited natural habitats and depending on environmental conditions and their geographical location their collection comes with great difficulty. Some of the problems related to the domestication and cultivation of medicinal plants are the low density of medicinal compounds in plants, limited natural resources, growing degradation of forests, meadows and green space, as well as the destruction and extinction of some plants and animals. These problems have fostered a great deal of attention amongst researchers to use biotechnology in an effort to increase production and productivity of medicinal plants. Biotechnology has the capability of increasing the efficiency of plants as renewable sources to produce medicine through the use of strategies for cultivation of cells, tissues and organs as well as the use of genetic engineering and molecular markers.
Cultivation of cells, tissues, and organs of plants allows for the rapid and mass propagation of plants and provides the production of secondary metabolites in vitro conditions. By using in vitro cultivation of plants in addition to the primary source of the drug, increased production of medicinal compounds in plants and the production of new compounds become possible. Plants propagated through in vitro cultivation or plant tissue are disease free and are of uniform quality. Maintenance of cell cultivation or plant tissue by using the method of freezing in liquid nitrogen is a suitable technique for protecting endangered medicinal plants. In recent years, the culture of cell suspension and organs (stems and hairy roots) for production of secondary metabolites and the study of biosynthesis pathway of metabolites has been considered. Cell culture from a wide range of medicinal plants has been investigated and important compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and terpenoids have been produced through this way.