PLANT SYSTEMATICS AND GENETIC RESOURCES DIVISION

Profile

Exploration, collection, conservation, identification and documentation of medicinal plants of Western Ghats and adjoining areas form the major thrust area of the division. Rare, endangered and threatened plants are also being collected and conserved. These plants are grown in the National Field gene bank of Ayurvedic medicinal plants established at Kottakkal with the financial support from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India.  A herbarium, raw drug museum and an image library are also being set up. The long-term objective is to develop a unique database on the medicinal plants of Kerala. Identification of elite cultivars of medicinal plants for commercial exploitation through morphological (micro and macro), biochemical, phytochemical and molecular characterisation of germplasm collected from different agroclimatic zones in collaboration with concerned divisions is also one of the mandates.


Broad objectives

  • Exploration, collection, identification, documentation and conservation of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda from different agroclimatic zones of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
  • Establishment of a Field Gene Bank of Ayurvedic medicinal plants
  • Identification of elite cultivars in medicinal plants for commercial exploitation through morphological (micro and macro), biochemical, phytochemical and molecular characterisation
  • Establishment of
    • Seed Bank of Ayurvedic plant species producing orthodox seeds
    • Herbarium of plants used in Ayurveda and other RET taxa
    • Raw drug museum of Ayurvedic medicinal plants
    • An image library of medicinal plants and their useful parts
  • Survey and documentation of traditional knowledge of Kerala and adjoining states
  • uilding up a database on selected plant species used in Ayurveda

 

Major Achievements

 

  • Botanical exploration, collection, identification and documentation conducted in 38 forest areas of South India and 32 secondary sources
  • 2500 accessions of 350 species maintained in the AVS Herb Garden and field gene bank of Ayurvedic medicinal plants
  • Established a Field Gene Bank of 145 rare and important Ayurvedic medicinal plants with 1071 accessions from the forests areas of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
  • More than 15 new taxa published so far and 10 new taxa in press.
  • Many RET species has been rediscovered and reported to different geographical regions. 
  • 200 rare endangered and threatened plants collected and documented
  • Screening and evaluation of germplasm based on detailed macro- and micro- morphological and anatomical studies
  • Identified a superior clone of Adhatoda with double amount of vasicine content
  • Seeds of 96 accessions belonging to 35 species deposited in the Seed Gene Bank and their viability being monitored
  • A Herbarium of medicinal plants holding over 14500 sheets belonging to 160 families that includes rare, red-listed and endemic plants
  • 425 raw drug samples of 250 species maintained in the Raw Drug Museum
  • An Image library of about 6000 images of 1300 species and database of 150 plants used in Ayurveda
  • Documented traditional knowledge on the medicinal plants used for various ailments by tribal/ethnic communities of South India
  • 11 M.Sc. students have completed their placement and project work on taxonomy from this division, 1 Ph. D. completed and 3 are ongoing

Awards

  • Received the S.R. Yadav award for the best poster titled "Notes on a Few Rare, Endemic and Threatened plants in the Western Ghats of Kerala and Tamilnadu" by Udayan, P.S., K.V. Tushar, Satheesh George and Indira Balachandran at the XIVth National Seminar of Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy (IAAT) held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, during 29-31 December, 2004
  • Received the S.R. Yadav Award for the best poster titled " A Re-Investigation on the taxonomy of the genus Alseodaphne Nees (Lauraceae) in Peninsular India" by Robi A. J., P. S. Udayan, Satheesh George & Indira Balachandran at the XXth Annual conference of Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy (IAAT) and International symposium on “Taxonomy, Plant diversity and Conservation” held at Bharathiar University, Coimbatore during 26 -28 November, 2010

  • Received K. S. Manilal Award (Given for new taxa/ discoveries/ Reports in Floristics) for the Best Paper Presentation in XXII Annual Conference of IAAT and International Symposium on Innovative Prospects in Angiosperm Taxonomy by Prabhu Kumar K. M., M. Sabu, A. Rajendran and Indira Balachandran held at Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Amravati during 28-30 October, 2012. 

  • Received the Best Poster Award to the poster entitled “Systematic studies on Premna L. (Lamiaceae) in Kerala: Novelty, new record and rediscoveries” by Prabhu Kumar K. M., A. J. Robi, V. Sreeraj, Indira Balachandran & A. Rajendran in the National Seminar on Emerging Trends in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Utilization (NSBCS) organized by the Dept. of Botany, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore during 29-30 January 2014.  

  • Received best poster award (Life Science) for the research paper titled ‘Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) and Gas Chromatographic (GC) studies in different accessions of hemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br. by Satheesh George, Hashim K.M., A.B. Remashree, Anu Augustine and Indira Balachandran presented in the 21st Kerala science congress.

  • Received best poster award (Biotechnology) for the research paper titled ‘In vitro conservation studies in Hemidesmus indicus (l.) R. Br., Decalepis hamiltonii Wight & Arn. and Utleria salicifolia Bedd. ex Hook.f. by Satheesh George, Geetha S. P., Anu Augustine and Indira Balachandran presented in the 22nd Kerala science congress.

  • Received IAPT Award to Prabhukumar KM in 2012 for the best Poster Presentation in 6th International Symposium on the Family Zingiberaceae held at University of Calicut with free online access of the Journal TAXON.

  • Services:

     

    • Scientific identification of plants
    • Training in herbarium techniques
    • Training in plant taxonomy for M.Sc. students

    Publications

     

    In Journals:

     

    • Published: (66)
    • In press : (15)

    In symposium/seminar: (27)

     

    Scientists

    1. Dr. Prabhukumar K.M.( Senior Scientist)

    2. Jagadeesan R.  (Scientist)

     

    • "The Centre for Medicinal Plants Research functions as a pioneer institute in the area of research, education, conservation and popularisation of Ayurvedic medicinal plants."

    • "The Centre for Medicinal Plants Research functions as a pioneer institute in the area of research, education, conservation and popularisation of Ayurvedic medicinal plants."

    • "The Centre for Medicinal Plants Research functions as a pioneer institute in the area of research, education, conservation and popularisation of Ayurvedic medicinal plants."