Agriculture Biotechnology

Vaccine for Indian Child With a billion-plus mouths to feed, and counting, crop biotechnology has to be a natural winner in priority terms for a country like India, especially in the era of climate change, degradation of farmlands, increased soil salinity, due to drop in groundwater as well as pollution of surface water sources, more frequent droughts and so on. Advances in gene discovery and genomics have led to the identification of several novel genes that provide excellent opportunities for effectively tackling problems of biotic/abiotic stresses, for enhancement of crop productivity, and for improvement of their nutritional quality. These scientific advances can facilitate us in accelerating pre-breeding germplasm enhancement for eventual crop improvement through effective molecular breeding. Along with pursuing basic research, genome sequencing and genomic studies for identification of useful genes, QTLs & validation of their function; developing transgenic crops and crop improvement through marker aided selection for tackling various abiotic & biotic stresses and quality traits are high priority in the agriculture biotechnology programme of the department.

Focus is also on major horticulture crops including apple with focus on, 1) Creating A genomics platform for Apple research in India and 2) Improvement of Apple through biotechnological interventions. Under saffron network focus is on developing a tissue culture protocol for corm production of desired size, develop in vitro microplants for cormlet production and develop complete agro technology for use of cormlets of small size; characterization of microflora of rhizosphere associated with Saffron crop to develop consortia of beneficial microbes; for genetic improvement of Saffron and functional genomics approaches in understanding the regulation of synthesis and accumulation of appocarotenoids

Major ongoing programmes

  • Wheat Genome Sequencing Programme
  • Rice Functional Genomics
  • Crop Biofortification and quality improvement programme
  • National Plant Gene Repository at NIPGR, New Delhi
  • Next Generation Challenge Programme on Chickpea Genomics,
  • Network project – From QTL to Variety- Marker Assisted Breeding of Rice with Major QTLs for Drought, Flooding and Salt Tolerance,
  • Root Development and Nutrition, germination, Characterisation and Use of EMS Induced Mutants of Upland Variety Nagina-22 for Functional Genomics of Rice,
  • Identification of Candidate Genes for Enhanced Water Use Efficiency in Rice through Activation Tagging, Metabolic Engineering programme,
  • Four Programme support for State Agricultural Universities,
  • Accelerated Crop Improvement Programme to bring important traits into high yielding varieties of Rice, Wheat, Chick pea, soybean, cotton, mustard and Maize.

Success Story

Contact Person for more information

Programme HeadDr. Arun K Rawat, Scientist G
Emailrrao[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone No.011-24360295
Programme OfficerDr. Sanjay Kalia, Scientist E
Emailsanjay[dot]kalia[at]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24369866