Plant Biotechnology

Medicinal and aromatic plants are known to produce secondary metabolites that find uses as flavouring agents, fragrances, insecticides, dyes and drugs. Biotechnology offers several choices through which secondary metabolism in medicinal plants can be altered in innovative ways, to overproduce phytochemicals of interest, to reduce the content of toxic compounds or even to produce novel chemicals. The plant biotechnology division at the institute focusses on studying the molecular biology of medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) secondary metabolism; developmental biology for secondary metabolite storage cells (glandular trichome) and organs (root development); plant tissue culture; DNA fingerprinting and barcoding for plant authentication purpose and Ex situ biodiversity management and genetic improvement through gene, DNA and tissue banking. Interdisciplinary research is a salient feature of the division.