The Crop Improvement & Biotechnology division is working on propagation of Ayurvedic medicinal plants through tissue culture and conventional methods, selection of high yielding quality lines and variety development and development of cultivation practices for enhancing the resource base. Division is also working on developing DNA markers for species identification and authentication. Work is also being carried out on biosynthesis of biologically active secondary metabolites in in vitro cultures.
- To function as a facility to provide training on medicinal plant tissue culture, DNA profiling/ barcoding etc for students, researchers and to other bonafide users
- Propagation of AMPs – High demand, high value, rare, endangered species
- Large scale planting material production in selected species using micropropagation and conventional methods
- Enhancing the cultivation practices for increasing yield and quality in AMPs and basic research for developing Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP)
- Developing organic farming system for AMPs: Addressing pest and disease management and studies on influence of pest damage on active principle
- Development of a sustainable poly-house medicinal plants production system for marginal and medium-sized farmers of Kerala, in order to improve their economic status and increasing the resource availability.
- Germplasm enhancement for quality and yield in AMPs
- Studies on floral biology and breeding behaviour of AMPs
- Identification of high quality, high yielding and tolerant lines in AMPs
- Use of molecular markers for detection of adulterations in raw drug trading.
- Developing molecular markers for controversial raw drugs
- Electrophoretic protein profiling of medicinally useful seeds
Significant contributions have been made in utilizing the benefits of biotechnology for developing plant propagation protocols through tissue culture.
- Micropropagation protocols are standardized for 40 species of Ayurvedic medicinal plants.
- The protocols were scaled up in 15 species.
- Chemical fidelity of tissue culture raised plants is routinely checked by comparing the profiles with that of the mother plant.
- Genetic fidelity of tissue culture raised plants is routinely checked by comparing the RAPD and ISSR profiles with that of the mother plant.
- The planting materials of selected species have been produced in bulk and distributed to the farmers.
- Enhanced in vitro production of embelin from callus and embryogenic cultures of Embelia ribes (Vidanga), oroxylin A from Oroxylum indicum and diosgenin from in vitro microrhizomes of Costus speciosus (Chanda) have been achieved.
- Domestication and development of cultivation practices in Hemidesmus indicus, Cyclea peltata and Cissampelos periera has been attempted and is continuing.
- Selection of improved lines was attempted in Holostemma ada-kodien and Ipomoea mauritiana. In H. ada-kodien 11 high yielding lines were selected out and are under evaluation. In I. mauritiana 21 collections were made and the germplasm is under multiplication and evaluation using morphological/ phytochemical means.
- DNA markers were developed for identification of genuine and adulterants in Ayurvedic raw drugs ‘Patha’ and ‘Rasna’.
- Three scholars completed PhD, three pursuing PhD and 150 M.Sc./M.Phil students have completed their project work / training on various aspects of medicinal plants
- DNA finger printing laboratory
- Tissue culture laboratory
- Contract tissue culture protocol development
- Training in plant tissue culture, molecular biology and various other aspects of medicinal plants
- PhD programme
- Sale of medicinal plants / seeds
- Published: (27)
- In press : (5)
In symposium/seminar: (43)