DOI: 10.21276/ajptr
Fri, 21 Jun 2019

Wild Yams (Dioscorea spp.) - a Potential source for plant based steroid drugs

Nilamani Dikshit1*

1.National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Akola 444 104, Maharashtra


Wild yams contribute significantly as diets among the hill tribes of Asia and South West Africa. The nutritional compositions are similar to the cultivated yams except presence of high fibre content and acrid principle. In addition, wild yams are a source of steroid drugs.  In the present paper, extraction and chemical structure of diosgenin, recent change in diosgenin based steroid industry, new sources of steroid, microbiological production of androstanes and chemical synthesis are discussed in addition to the distribution, botanical description, cultivation and economic uses. Conservation and use of genetic resources of wild yams in a sustainable manner has been emphasized.

Keywords: Wild yams, distribution, description, steroid drugs

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