School of Basic and Applied Sciences

Centre for Plant Sciences

Centre for Plant Sciences started to function as a part of the Centre for Biosciences in 2009 and as an independent Centre from 2015. It aims to achieve excellence in research and teaching in the areas at the interface of basic and applied plant sciences. Currently, research in the Centre is focussed on Plant Cell and Tissue Culture, Plant Microbes Interactions, Molecular Stress Physiology, Plant and Algal Biodiversity, Genetics and Applied Genomics, and Metabolic Engineering. 
With six internationally-trained and award-winning faculty members and state-of-art laboratories for carrying out cutting edge research, the Centre for Plant Sciences is committed to expand its range of activities in coming days. The faculty has excellent record in scientific research and interdisciplinary approach in teaching. In a short span of its existence, the centre has obtained grants of over 2.4 crores from National funding agencies.

Faculty

  1. Dr. Sanjeev K. Thakur (Associate Professor & COC)
  2. Dr. Felix Bast (Assistant Professor)
  3. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj (Assistant Professor)
  4. Dr. Vinay Kumar (Assistant Professor)
  5. Dr. Krishna Kumar Choudhary (Assistant Professor)

Visiting Faculty

  1. Dr. Rakesh Minocha, USDA-Forest Servicees
  2. Dr. R.N. Chibbar, University of Saskatchewan Canada 

Academic Programmes Offered

The Centre for Plant Sciences offers the following programmes:

  • M.Sc. Life Sciences with specialization in Plant Sciences
  • Ph.D. Life Sciences with specialization in Plant Sciences

It also participates in the following programmes:

  • M.Sc. in Biosciences
  • M.Phil - Ph.D. integrated program in Biosciences

Syllabi

Research Highlights

  • Plant tissue culture in preserving endangered plant species
  • Plant growth promoting metal resistant bacteria and their role in phytoremediation, agriculture and biofuels
  • Role of plant natural compounds as anti-cancer agents
  • Elucidation of mechanism of thermo-tolerance in crops
  • Functional characterization of genes for manipulations of secondary metabolites in plants
  • Phylogenetic systematics of algae and plants from the Indian subcontinent
  • Reporting of unidentified algae from Indian Ocean
  • Rewiring the active gene networks in hyper-accumulator plants
  • Deciphering out the molecular mechanism in wheat to tolerate salt stress
  • Elucidation of regulatory gene network for chilling requirement for flowering in Himalayan Rhododendron
  • Assessing the effect climate change in Himalayan tree species Rhododendron

Laboratory Facilities

Centre for Plant Sciences equipped with state-of-the-art scientific laboratories. The facilities include Confocal Microscope, Scanning Electron Microscope, and Automated DNA Sequencer.

Selected Publications (2014-2015)

  1. Gill B S, Kumar S (2015). Differential Algorithms assisted Molecular Modelling based Identification of Mechanistic Binding of Ganoderic Acids. Medicinal Chemistry Research doi: 10.1007/s00044-015-1405-x.
  2. Bast F, Rani P, Meena D (2014). Chloroplast DNA Phylogeography of Holy Basil (Ocimumten uiflorum) in Indian Subcontinent. The Scientific World Journal  doi:10.1155/2014/847482.
  3. Bast F, John, A A, Bhushan S (2014). Strong endemism of bloom-forming tubular Ulva in Indian west coast, with description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta). PLOS ONE 9: e109295.
  4. Bast F,Bhushan S, John A A (2014). DNA Barcoding of a new record of epi-endophytic green algae Ulvella leptochaete (Ulvellaceae, Chlorophyta) in India. Journal of Biosciences 39: 711-716.
  5. Choudhary S, Thakur S, Saini R G, Bhardwaj P (2014). Development and characterization of genomic microsatellite markers in Rhododendron arboreum. Conservation Genetics Resources 6: 937-940.

Papers Presented in Seminars/Conferences/Symposia/Workshops

  1. Bast, F. (2014). Strong endemism of bloom-forming tubular ulva in Indian west coast, with description of Ulva paschima sp. nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta). National Conference on Recent Advances in Algology, Mycology and Plant Pathology at University of Madras Guindy Campus, February 19-20, 2014.
  2. Bast, F. (2013). Sargassum zhangii invades India. National Conference on Climate Change, Environmental and Sustainable Development at Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, December 9-10, 2013.
  3. Bast, F. (2013). Agronomy and cultivation methods for edible seaweeds. 2nd International Conference on Agriculture, Food Technologies and Environment - New Approaches (AFTENA- 2013) at JNU, New Delhi, October 2013.
  4. Bast, F. (2013). British Phycological Society annual workshop on molecular phylogenetics of seaweeds at Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, March 13-15, 2013.

List of the Research Projects Operational in the Centre

  1. Dr. Felix Bast, Chemical and phylogenetic diversity of seaweeds in Indian sub-continent. Funding agency: Department of Science Technology; Sanctioned amount: 35 Lacs (INR).
  2. Dr. Felix Bast, Phylogenetic selection of target taxa for anti- proliferative and anti-metastatic marine natural products from sea weeds of Indian coast. Funding agency: Ministry of Earth Sciences, Sanctioned amount: 91 Lacs (INR).
  3. Dr. Felix Bast, Tracing evolutionary heritage of Indian languages using computational phylogenetics. Funding agency: Indian Council of Social Science Research, Sanctioned amount: 07 Lacs (INR).
  4. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Analyses of genetic variations and structure of Rhododendron, a rare and endangered tree species in Western Himalayas. Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).
  5. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Analyses of genetic variations and structure of Rhododendron, a rare and endangered tree species in Western Himalayas. Funding agency: Department of Science Technology, Sanctioned amount: 16 Lacs (INR).
  6. Dr. Felix Bast, Sequence-based DNA barcoding, Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of selected Medicinal Plants from Indian Subcontinent. Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, 03 Lacs (INR).
  7. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Identification and characterization of stress proteins and related Heat Shock Factors; assessment of up/down-regulated stress genes in preconditioned chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, Sanctioned amount: 03 Lacs (INR).
  8. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Differential gene expression in response to ultra-low temperature in Rhododendron arboreum by whole genome transcriptome. Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, Sanctioned amount: 03 Lacs.
  9. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Transcriptomic investigations of active gene networks in hyper-accumulator plant species in response to heavy metal toxicity. Funding agency: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Sanctioned amount: 20 Lacs.

List of the Projects Completed

  1. Dr. Felix Bast, Genotoxicity detection in drinking water from Malwa region, Punjab. Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).
  2. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Investigating the mechanism associated with temperature stress tolerance imposed by non-lethal stress conditions; Understanding metabolic relationship between cold and draught x heat stress in chickpea (Cicer arietinumL.) Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).