Department of Biotechnology Nauni,Solan (HP)

Since December 1987, this department has been engaged under the three broad mandates including academic, research and extension activities in the field of biotechnology. The department imparts quality education by offering two degree programmes viz., M.Sc. (Agri.) Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and Ph.D. Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, respectively. This department has proficient faculty and well-equipped laboratories in the field of plant biotechnology and molecular biology.The research has focused to address various basic and applied researchable issues of production, protection and genetic improvement in horticulture and forest crops through biotechnological interventions including technology transfers to the farmers’ field and impart trainings for the capacity building on plant tissue culture and other biotechnological aspects to students/farmers/entrepreneurs. The department has successfully completed 45 externally funded ad-hoc research projects funded by national and international funding agencies and has published various research papers of high impact in the reputed journals including 05 patents to its credit. The department in its journey of over 35 years has been able to generate 279 M.Sc. and 92 Ph.D. students.The alumni are well placed in various capable positions of R&D, academic, administrative services, biotech-based industries and other agri-entrepreneurship development sectors.

Mandate

  • Micropropagation of commercially important horticultural and forest crops.
  • Novel gene isolation, in vitro cell line selection and marker assisted breeding for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in horticultural and forest crops.
  • Omics and bioinformatics based interventions in horticultural and forest crops.

Strengths

  • Well-equipped laboratories for carrying out research based on Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology related aspects.
  • Trained and specialized faculty to impart good quality teaching and research at undergraduate and post graduate levels.
  • Standardized in vitro plant regeneration protocols for some commercially important horticultural and forest crops.
  • Entrepreneurial skill generation through trainings on plant tissue culture technique.

Academics

The department offers two degree programmes

Achievements

  • ‘Innovative Research Award- 2023’ awarded to Dr. Arjun Chauhan by the Association of Plant Science Researchers-Plantica Foundation.
  • ‘Best Paper Award 2023’ awarded to Dr. Kamlesh Verma by Society for Advancement of Human and Nature, Solan (HP).
  • Best oral presentation awarded to Mr. Amanpreet Singh in 2nd International Conference on Plant Physiology and Biotechnology at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Punjab (April, 2023).
  • Fifteen students qualified ICAR-JRF (Lokesh Thakur-2019, Garima-2019, Riddhi Rathore-2022),ICAR-SRF (Anamika Thakur-2019, Pooja Sharma-2019, Ashwini Zadokar-2020, Lokesh Thakur-2021, Garima-2021, Shivanti Negi-2021,Surender Kumar-2021), and ICAR-NET (Kamal Thakur-2019, Megha Sharma-2021,Pooja Sharma-2021, Shivanti Negi-2021,Surender Kumar-2021).
  • Best Thesis and Innovative Research Award- 2020 awarded to Mr. Vishal Sharma by the Association of Plant Science Researchers-Plantica Foundation.
  • Best Research Thesis Award-2020awarded to Mr. Himanshu Pandey by Agricultural Technology Development Society, India (2021).
  • Uma Dutt Mamgain Award for Best Research in Ph.D. awarded to Mr. Vishal Sharma by Society for Advancement of Human and Nature, Solan (HP) (2019).
  • Best interactive poster award received by Mr. Vishal Sharma in ‘International Conference on Next-generation Plant Production and Bioresources Utilization Technologies (2019).
  • First poster award received by Mr. Himanshu Pandey in ‘Progressive Horticulture Conclave-2019’.

Post Graduate Teaching


Molecular characterization and population structure analysis

Research

Thrust Areas

  • Micropropagation and virus elimination
  • Development of somaclonal variants against biotic and abiotic stress
  • Plant genetic engineering
  • DNA finger printing/Molecular characterization/Marker assisted selection
  • Mining, cloning and identification of novel/vital genes
  • Biotechnological interventions to develop basal rot resistant germplasm of garlic for cultivation in hilly regions funded by Department of Environment, Science &Technology Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Molecular and agronomic evaluation of in vitro developed tolerant tomato somaclones against devastating disease Fusarium wilt funded by Department of Environment, Science &Technology Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Development of micropropagation protocols for horticultural and forest crops (apple rootstocks & varieties, crab apple, plum, peach, cherry, kiwifruit, ginger, swertia, kuth, tomato, etc.).
  • Development of somaclonal variants for biotic stress tolerance in apple, tomato and ginger using in vitro selection and mutagenesis.
  • Agrobacterium - mediated gene transfer studies using npt-II, gus, Cry IAb, Cry IAc and chitinase genes.
  • Molecular characterization, phylogenetic analysis, gene tagging and QTL analysis using molecular markers.
  • Isolation, cloning and expression of vital genes from fungus Marssonina coronaria, rol b gene from A. rhizogenes, protease and Bowman-Birk trypsin inhibitor genes from local bean cultivars.
  • Development of rol b gene construct, CALM-RNAi and HSP90-RNAi constructs.
  • Extracellular biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles by indigenous bacteria.
  • Patent granted on “Development of reproducible protocol for direct organogenesis in transgenic male plant of Himalayan poplar” (Thakur AK, Shandil RK and Srivastava D K, Indian Patent No. 354054).

Extension

Achievements

To disseminate the quality planting material to the farming community involving plant biotechnological approaches.

  • Provided in vitro raised multiplied shoot cultures of different fruit crops to entrepreneurs as per their requirement.
  • Imparted short and long term trainings to students, entrepreneurs and farmers.
  • Organized webinar titled “Plant Biotechnology-Applications, Challenges and Prospects” on March 18, 2021 funded by NAHEP-IDP.
  • Organized a training programme on ‘Recent Technological Advancements in Horticulture and Forest Crops’ from December 23-30, 2022 funded by Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility, Panjab University, Chandigarh under the aegis of Synergistic Training Program Utilizing The Scientific and Technological Infrastructure (STUTI), Department of Science &Technology, New Delhi.

Awards/Recognitions

  • Dr Parul Sharma received ‘Best poster presentation award’on ‘Plant tissue culture based interventions for the propagation of Actinidia species’ in XXII Biennial National Symposium on Climate Smart Agronomy for Resilient Production System and Livelihood Security’ held at ICAR-CCARI, Goa in November 2023. 

  • Dr Rajnish Sharma received ‘Best oral presentation award’ in the National Conference on “Future of Agriculture and Agriculture for Future: Indian Perspectives” held at SKUAST-K, Srinagar inSeptember 2023. 

  • Overseas training attended by Dr Rajnish Sharma (De Montfont University, Leicester, UK), Dr Manisha Thakur (Plant Health Institute, Montpellier, France) and Dr Anupama Singh (University of Melbourne, Australia) under NAHEP-IDP programme in March, 2023.

  • Dr Rajnish Sharma conferred with an honorary position as a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

  • Dr Pankaj Kumar received SERB-ACS-NPDF ‘Best Poster Award-2022’ for ‘Enhancement of steroidal alkaloids production using cell suspension culture and elucidating sipeimine biosynthesis in Fritillaria roylei, a high value endangered medicinal herb of Himalayas’ under biological science category in December, 2022.

  • Dr Rajnish Sharma received ‘Best oral presentation award’ in ‘International conference BioSangam 2022: Emerging trends in Biotechnology’ held at Motilal Nehru Institute of Information Technology, Prayagraj in March, 2022.

  • Dr Pankaj Kumar received ‘Young Scientists Fellowship Award’ Department of Health Research, ICMR-New Delhi in November, 2021.

  • Dr Manisha Thakur elected as a member of Plant Tissue Culture Association of India in February, 2020. 

Facilities

  • Well-equipped laboratories for carrying out plant tissue culture (micropropagation, cell line selection and secondary metabolite production, etc.) and molecular biology (gene isolation, gene cloning, nucleic acid extraction and purification, PCR and related analysis, etc.) postgraduate research work.
  • Facilities to impart hands on short/long term training to students/entrepreneurs/farmers.