PGRC- Biotechnology

PGRC Sub unit

In-vitro conservation & Biotechnology Unit

This unit plays a significant role in germplasm conservation and evaluation with the support of novel advanced biotechnological tools. It consists of two laboratories as in-vitro conservation and molecular laboratory.

In-vitro conservation is the conservation of germplasm by growing plants under aseptic conditions inside glass vessels. This slow growth conservation technique is mainly used to conserve plants which do not produce seeds or which have recalcitrant seeds which cannot store under normal seed conservation conditions. Hence, vegetative propagated crop species such as root and tubers and many tropical fruit crop trees have to be conserved using in-vitro methods.

Biotechnology unit also conducts research on various aspects of in-vitro conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. Application of cryopreservation techniques in long term conservation of plant genetic resources is also is being implemented.

Molecular biology unit of the biotechnology unit enhances the PGR management through molecular characterization of germplasm conserved in the gene bank, species identification of unidentified germplasms through DNA barcoding techniques, diversity assessment of crop species and gene identification for important traits in crop species.

Working beyond handling conserved germplasm, research activities are extended to diverse aspects such as hybridity testing of hybrid crop varieties released by the DOA, identification of crop germplasm consisting important genes responsible for biotic and abiotic stresses and initiating crop breeding to incorporate such genes in popular varieties, ‘pre breeding’ is carried out to facilitate crop improvement programs.