Plant Biotechnology Department

Plant Biotechnology Overview

The plant biotechnology group at CSIR-CIMAP is engaged in three major domains of high quality basic and translational research of medicinal and aromatic plants biology namely, prospection and alignment of secondary metabolism related genes through structural and functional genomics tools and system biology approach; transgenic MAPs designing and cell/tissue culture-based pathway engineering for improved productivity of high value volatiles and phytoceuticals and;  ex-situ biodiversity management and genetic improvement through gene, DNA and tissue banking. Emphasis is also being laid down to understand the biochemical cross-talks between primary and secondary metabolic routes to identify the limiting steps of metabolic flux at the level of enzymes, genes and cellular differentiation/specialization through transcriptom and metabolites profiling. The biogenetic pathways and their regulatory mechanisms under immediate focus and scientific scrutiny include the synthesis of artemisinin in Artemisia, morphinane alkaloids in opium poppy, terpenoid indole alkaloids in Catharanthus, phenylpropanoid and terpenoids in Mentha and Ocimum species, triterpenoid saponins in Centella and; steroidal lactones in Withania. Efforts to provide scientific basis to some of the traditional concepts of Ayurveda through modern biological approaches is another research priority of the department. The department is equipped with state-of-art infrastructure and skilled manpower for in-silico and wet lab experimentation in all areas of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and transgenics research. With an existing work-force of twelve scientists and over 60 research scholars the department is also steering several sponsored and networked projects of various funding agencies.