Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CISR) Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, will host a two-day 'national conference on medicinal values and sustainable utilisation of pteridophytes (ferns) from Saturday.
As many as 80 pteridologists, scientists and research scholars from its centers spread across the country will be participating in the conference titled 'National Conference on Modern Approaches to pteridophytes: Biology, Biodiversity and Bioresource'.
Elaborating about the plant species, senior scientists at IHBT RK Sud said Pteridophytes were generally known as ferns and were first seedless vascular as well as second largest evolved group of plants on the globe.
“This distinctive group of plants is blessed with its unique leaf arrangement that adds to its commercial significance as ornamental plants. The Lungru, widely consumed as seasonal green vegetable by the inhabitants of Himalayan region, also belongs to pteridophytic group of plants,” Sud said.
He added that the fern flora of India represented about 10% (around 1,200) species known in the world.
“Some pteridophytes have immense medicinal values that found mention in ancient literature. Chemical constituents like alkaloids, phenols, glycosides, and terpenoides reported from ferns have shown significant biological activities,” Sud said, adding that novel bioactive constituents and pharmacological efficacy of various ferns were still unknown and bioprospections of such underutilised plant resource for conservation and product development would be an endeavour for the social and economic benefit of the society.
“Therefore, it has become imperative to explore the potential of pteridophytes through modern scientific approaches for their sustainable utilisation,” Sud said.
Informing about the conference, Sud said that it would bring together scientists, researchers, teachers and experts from different disciplines and organisations to discuss different issues covering under various themes.
The conference will discuss survey, invetnorisation and taxonomy of pteridophytes besides, deliberations on ecology, phytogeography and environmental aspects, traditional use, chemical and molecular characterisation biodiversity assessment, conservation, product development and economic utility.
“The outcome of this conference will open new vistas of research in pteridophytes,” Sud added.