Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Systematics

Plant systematics has been revolutionized during the past decade by the application of molecular techniques to questions of evolutionary patterns and processes. Analysis of variation in the chloroplast genome in particular and, to a lesser extent, in segments of the nuclear genome has vastly improved our understanding of plant phylogeny at all taxonomic levels. The phylogenetic patterns have, in turn, led to inferences of evolutionary processes and spurred hypotheses of adaptive radiation and character evolution. Consequently, systematics has emerged as a vigorous branch of evolutionary biology, providing the requisite historical perspective for comparative biology and the phylogenetic framework for developing hypotheses of evolutionary processes.

The application of molecular techniques is rapidly transforming the study of plant systematics. The precision they offer enables researchers to classify plants that have not been subject to rigorous classification before and thus allows them to obtain a clearer picture of evolutionary relationships. Plant Molecular Systematics is arranged both conceptually and phylogenetically to accommodate the interests not only of general systematists, but also those of people interested in a particular plant family. We initiated molecular systematic studies on Limnophila, Hygrophila, Crinum and concluded a brief attempt on blue green algae.

Ongoing projects:

  1. In vitro multiplication and synthesis of nano-particles  using selected medicinal plant extracts and its biomedical applications
  2. Bio-prospecting of Lichens of the genus Parmotrema(Parmeliaceae) in Kerala
  3. Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of Limnophila R. Br. (Plantaginaceae) in India
  4. Molecular systematic of the genus Hygrophila R. Br. (Acanthaceae) in India
  5. Bioprospecting of the Endophytes from Selected Medicinal Aquatic Plants
  6. Potential applications of naturally isolated bacterial strains for the production of biodegradable plastics (DST-KIRAN)