Plant Genetic Resources, Conservation, Horticulture and Population Biology

Plant diversity is being lost at an alarming rate especially the aquatic plants. It is this same diversity that supports human livelihoods and many of our most precious natural resources. One of the major goals of MBGIPS is to raise awareness of the value that plants bring to life, and the threats they face worldwide. MBGIPS is committed to working toward conserving aquatic plant diversity.

Many of the aquatic plant species are considered rare as their habitat is decreasing day by day. For many of these, a lack of basic information on where they grow is the biggest hindrance to their conservation. Little information is available about the distribution and habitat needs of many rare species, and little has been done with what data does exist. This knowledge gap makes it difficult to prioritize conservation objectives. Without a thorough understanding of the true status of rare plants, informed conservation decisions cannot be made to protect these threatened species. This can lead to uninformed, and often expensive, conservation actions which are either overly aggressive or not aggressive enough. Many species and not even rare, but seems to be extinct. We are continuously searching for few species which were strictly endemic, but could not locate in last 5 years or more viz. Nymphoides sivarajanii, Nymphoides aurantiacum, Nymphoides krishnakesara var. krishnakesara.

We do come across many wild aquatic plants of horticultural importance especially for aquarium purposes. Here we also attempt to determine what methods would effectively benefit the large-scale production of aquatic plants as a possible resource of bolstering the improvement of the ecosystems.

Ongoing projects:

  1. Systematics, Reproductive Biology and Conservation of aquatic plants.
  2. Conservation and Biosystematics of Bryophytes, Pteridophytes and Lichens
  3. Systematic studies and in vitro multiplication of RET and Aquatic Medicinal plants
  4. Propagation and Multiplication of High Value Ornamentals and Medicinal Plants
  5. Taxonomic Revision, Molecular Phylogeny and Conservation of the family Marantaceae in India (CSIR- Emeritus Scientist Scheme)
  6. Integrated conservation of Hopea erosa and Vateria indica, two threatened Dipterocarps endemic to the Western Ghats / South and Central Sahyadris, India (matching grant with BGCI)