Department of Botany

 

 

1.  About the Department

The Department of Botany was established in 1924 as an undergraduate Department and later, Postgraduate courses were introduced. The Department has excellent infrastructure facilities and expert staff members in different fields of Plant Sciences. Botany is a sought after subject with vast employment potential both in the Academic and Research fields.

 The Department offers the Postgraduate M.Sc. course in Botany with an intake of 55 students with three Specializations, viz:

Applied Mycology & Molecular Plant Pathology

Applied Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology Biodiversity, Phytochemistry and Medicinal Botany.     Keeping pace with the advanced knowledge, the Department has been updating the curriculum from time to time and introduced the University initiative of Choice Based Credit System. The Department serves as the nodal Department for running the M.Sc. Environmental Science.

 The department conducts research in Plant Biotechnology & Molecular Genetics; Plant Physiology; Taxonomy, Biodiversity & Medicinal Botany; Mycology & Plant Pathology and; Phycology, Limnology & Environmental biology.

 Several Faculty members are Fellows of the Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences and recipients of several other Research and Scientific Awards including the UGC-BSR One-time grant and Best Teacher awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh state. Several of them have received Post-Doctoral training abroad and use modern methods in their teaching and labs. More than 400 Ph.D.s have been awarded and the Faculty have 2500 publications to their credit in the last three decades including research articles in National and international Journals, book-chapters, review articles, books, television programmes, teleconferences etc. besides carrying out several Research projects funded by various agencies. The Department has organized 20 National and 4 International Conferences and 10 workshops in different areas of Plant Sciences.

      In recognition of the teaching and research achievements of Department of Botany, several research and developmental grants like Special Assistance Programme (SAP from 1994 till to date of Rs. 69 Lakhs), UGC-COSIST (Rs 50 Lakhs in 1999) programme and Infrastructure Grant of the UGC (up to 2012) and Funds for Infrastructure in Science and Technology grant (FIST) from DST from 2002 to 2007 (of Rs. 30 Lakhs) were awarded. The Department has been renovated and equipped with modern scientific equipment through the above grants. Further, the Department is also collaborating in the DBT-ISLARE programme of DBT, DST-PURSE and the UPE and CPEPA programmes of UGC at present. Presently, active research is ongoing in the Department by virtue of 17 ongoing research projects sponsored by UGC, CSIR, DBT, MoEnF and others including DST-Women scientists  (2).

 

2.     Faculty Details:  

 

 

Sl.No

Name

Designation

Field of Specialization

1.

Dr.G.Bagyanarayana

Professor on FS

Mycology and Plant Pathology

2.

Dr. B. Prathibha Devi

Professor

Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics

3.

Dr. Rana Kausar

Professor

Mycology & Plant Pathology

4.

Dr.P. Ramachandra Reddy

Professor

Paleobotany, Biodiversity & Medicinal Botany

5.

Dr.C.Venkateshwar

Professor & Chairman, BOS

Anatomy, Embryology and Pharmacognosy

6.

Dr.P.Manikya Reddy

Professor.

Psychology and River Pollution

7.

Dr. P. Kamalakar

Associate Professor

Plant Physiology

8. Dr. S. Karnakar Reddy Assistant Professor Cytogenetics & Plant Tissue Culture
9. Dr. B. Kiran Kumar Assistant Professor  
10. Dr. D. Shashikala Assistant Professor  

11.

Dr. Syeda Azeem Unnisa

Assistant Professor

 

 

 

3.    Academic Programmes 

 

 

Courses offered

Duration

Approved Intake

 

1.  M.Sc. Botany

2 years

52 (Including Self-Financing Scheme)

3.  Ph.D. Botany

3 years

   --

 

Medals/Prizes

  • Prof. Jafar Nizam Medal for I Rank in M.Sc. Botany.

  • Prof. T. Navaneeth Rao Medal for securing the highest marks in M.Sc. (Previous) Botany.

  • Prof. Pannuri Rama Rao Medal for securing highest marks in Mycology & Plant Pathology in M.Sc. Botany.

  • Prof. K.V.N. Rao Medal for I Rank in M.Sc. Botany with Plant Physiology

 

 

4.    Facilities Available

 

a.   Laboratories

 

Five well equipped Research labs of various specializations; Five M.Sc. labs and two common instrumentation labs, Walk-in-Cold room, and Tissue Culture rooms..

 

b.   Computer Facilities

 

Common Computer lab with internet facility for the students. Computers with Internet facilities are available for all the Faculty and research labs.

 

c.   Herbarium

Angiosperms

                  (180 Families)

35000 specimens (including specimens  from other countries)

Fungal Specimens

1000 specimens

        d.   Botanical Garden

                Total Area:                          11 Hectares

                Number of Species:               160 Species

                Rare & Important Species:      25 Nos

             A Herbal Garden was developed with the support from APNL Biotechnology Project and National Medicinal Plants Board.

        e.   Equipment

 

  • High Performance liquid Chromatography - Shimadzu

  • DNA Sequencer – Bio Rad

  • ELISA – Bio Rad

  • Oxygraph

  • Photosynthesis system

  • U V Visible Spectrophotometer Shimadzu

  • Phase Contrast Microscope - Leitz

  • Trinocular Research Microscope

  • Gas Chromatography

  • Plant Growth Chamber

  • Thermocyclers (2 Nos.) - M.J. Research

  • Gel Documentation Systems (UltraLum and Kodak - 2 Nos)

  • Lyophilizer

  • Chemiluminiscence apparatus

  • Particle Gun

  • Several minor equipment

 

f.   Library

 

             Department brings out one journal Indian Journal of Microbial Ecology.

  No. of books

8514

Upto August, 2012

Journals (Indian / Foreign)

7 + 2

 

 

g.   Other Facilities

 

             Conference Hall, Committee  Room, Museum, Glass houses & Green House.

 

5.   Teaching and Research activities of the Department:

 

Teaching:

 

The Postgraduate program of M.Sc. Botany is offered by the Department of Botany in the Semester system. Three specializations viz. Applied Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology; Applied Mycology and Plant Pathology; Biodiversity of Medicinal Plants are offered in the third and fourth semesters,.

The students submit assignments and present seminars on selected topics apart from their regular classes with theory and practical examinations. The students also have project work assigned to them which they complete in the fourth semester. The students also have to attend the classes and write the examination for a choice-based paper that is offered by the Department. The Department of Botany offers the Choice-based paper on Biofertilizers. We plan to offer new courses like Plant Biotechnology, Genetic engineering, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Environmental Biotechnology etc.

By assessing the demands of the Biotech industry, the Department has plans to start new specializations in order to prepare the students in tune to the industry demand.

 

Further, the Department has plans to start short certificate courses for the PG students in the practical areas of Plant Biotechnology, Genetic engineering, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Environmental Biotechnology, Medicinal Botany etc. to help them develop specialized skills to find employment in Biotech industries.

 

Research:

 

The Department has been carrying out research in almost all frontier areas of Biotechnology, Molecular biology, Plant Physiology, Environmental biology and Mycology as evidenced by the 17 (SEVENTEEN) research projects that are ongoing and those that have been completed and the publications in prestigious High impact Factor Journals. All the above achievements have been possible due to the funding received from DST (FIST), DBT, MoEnF, APNL,  and UGC SAP, UGC-COSIST and UGC Major Research projects  in the past decade.

 

Research   activities   of  different   specializations:

 

Molecular   Genetics &  Biotechnology :

        During the last two decades, the research team in the lab led by Prof. Prathibha Devi  has  completed several research projects funded by UGC and DST  and on Jatropha, Jojoba, Salacia reticulata, and several other economically important plants including medicinal plants and have completed the work on in vitro culture, physico-chemical characterization using HPLC, GC etc, molecular characterization based on RAPD and AFLP, Bioinformatics based problems besides aspects of Bioremediation of PAHs from industrial sites using bacteria.

 

       Several prestigious papers in recombinant DNA technology and Genetic Engineering  have been published in Top-Notch International Journals like Bioresource Technology, Applied Energy, Biomass and Bioenergy, Plant Cell Reports, In Vitro Cellular & Devp. Biol., Euphytica, Plant Breeding (Germany-Blackwell publ.), Scientia Horticulturae, Journal of Plant Biotechnology etc besides the CSIR publication of Ind. J. Exp. Biol.

 

        The ongoing and future research research comprises different aspects of molecular and physico-chemical analysis of medicinal plants, production of valuable products through biotechnological methods, and bioinformatics – related in-silico analysis. Several research papers have been published in top-notch international Journals.

 

         Research in this laboratory in the past decade has been mainly concentrated on the use of transgenic technology using molecular methods and tissue culture to obtain disease resistance in crop plants. Apart from the major work on an AP – Netherlands funded Biotechnology research project on pigeonpea, considerable transgenic research has been carried out in sorghum, green gram and chickpea. The production of fungal disease resistant transgenic pigeonpea by incorporation of the rice chitinase gene is the first and only achievement in the world so far. The other ongoing major research work in this laboratory has been devoted to standardization of tissue culture and micropropagation of economically important plants, especially the Biodiesel plant Jatropha sps and Jojoba.

 

        The laboratory has been equipped with the most modern equipment, which is aiding Molecular research work comprising the Polymerase Chain Reaction, Southern blotting, western blotting etc..

           

Plant Physiology

 

The Plant Physiology Division is carrying out research in frontier areas of Physiology and Biochemistry. During this period several research papers were published in reputed National and International journals.

  • The main focus of the work is on brassinosteroids, stress physiology and studies involving impart medicinal and aromatic plants.

  • The application of brassinosteroids improved the performance of rose scented geranium. Brassinosteroids enhanced the herbage yield as well as geraniol content in rose scented geranium. The growth enhancement was associated with elevated roots of photosynthesis and other metabolic process which have significant bearing on growth.

  • Foliar treatment of brassinosteroids to coleus plants caused substantial growth promotion. The enhanced growth was further translated into higher economic yield as reflected in increase in the yield of tuberous roots. It was also found that brassinosteroid application, showed positive impact on forskolin content of the roots.

  • Brassinosteroids were found to alleviate the stress caused by lead, cadmium and zinc in radish, the model plant for heavy metal stress studies. The amelioration of metal toxicity as conferred by brassinosteroids was found associated with increased activity of free oxy radical scavenging enzymes, reduced membrane peroxidation and accumulation of free proline and other osmoprotectants. A deep probe into heavy metal stress alleviation revealed that brassinosteroids influence the glutathione-ascorbate cycle there by combating the damaging impact of stress. Further, brassinosteroids reduced the protein oxidation and helped in sustained growth in heavy metal challenged habitats.

  • The work on impact of brassinosteroids on the growth of Cajanus plants under toxic levels of aluminium is giving promising results. Brassinosteroids reduced the inhibitory effect of aluminium on root growth there by improved the overall growth of the plants under toxic concentrations of aluminium. Studies concerning the physiological basis of aluminium tolerance as impacted by brassinosteroids are underway.

  • The studies on the influence of brassinosteroids on the performance of aswagandha, an important medicinal plant are just initiated and progressing well. The main emphasis of these studies is to improve the performance of aswagandha under dry land cultivation by exogenously applying brassinosteroids.

  • As part of the AP-Netherlands funded project on medicinal plants research, In Vitro production of secondary metabolites of medicinal value is being carried out. Vasicine, an important alkaloid has been isolated from the callus of Adhatoda zeylanica. Vasicine content has been increased by changing the concentration of micronutrients and elicitors. Aloin and Barbaloin, important Anthrone glycosides have been isolated from certain ecotypes of Aloe barbadenis.

  • In collaboration with NGO’s, attempts are made to popularize commercial cultivation of medicinal plants in villages of Nalgonda & Mahaboobnagar Districts of A.P.

  • Studies on alleviation of fluoride toxicity on plant growth by nutrient amendments were studied. Influence of fluoride toxicity on growth of medicinal plants with particular references to the production of phytochemicals with medicinal properties were undertaken.

 

Applied Mycology & Molecular Plant Pathology  :

  • The faculty has been carrying out research both in basic and applied aspects in this specialization. Several research projects have been funded by various funding agencies viz., UGC, CSIR, DBT, MoEn&F, DST etc.

  • Members of this section got their Post-Doctoral research training in reputed labs of UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, Czechoslovakia etc. Several workshops and Symposia at National level and one International Conference were conducted.

  • The teaching faculty of this division is involved in writing monographs in Soil Fungi, Rust Fungi and Powdery Mildews of Andhra Pradesh. Extensive studies are being carried out in the control of foliar pathogens and root borne pathogens using native antagonistic micro-organisms and plant extracts.

  • The work on Biodiversity of Leguminaceous Rust Fungi of India is in progress. Mycofloristic studies on Rust Fungi, Powdery Mildews, Cercosporeae and Hyphomycetes is well in progress. These studies have resulted in the erection of Manoharachariella as the new genus and more than 10 new species.

  • In addition molecular characterization of local isolates of Trichoderma viride is in progress. Studies on Biodiversity and taxonomy of fungi revealed 18 new genera and 60 new species and 300 additions to the fungi of India. It is interesting to report that one new genus and two new taxa have been identified. UGC has sanctioned a major research project on “Biodiversity and Systematic of Leguminaceous Rust Fungi of India. UGC has sanctioned SAP – III with Mycology and Plant Pathology and Biodiversity of higher plants and microbes as major thrust area and Systems Biology as the other thrust area.

  • During this period several research papers were published in National & International journals.

 

Taxonomy, Biodiversity & Medicinal Botany:

  • During this period several research papers were published in reputed Scientific Journals.

  • Floristics, chemotaxonomy and pharmacognistic studies of Apocyanaceae, Asclepidaceae and Moraceae.

  • Floristic studies of East Godavari Dist. are made with the help of remote sensing.

  • Studies on epidermology of Asteraceae, Malvaceae and  Portulacaceae.

  • Allelopathic studies employing certain weeds.

  • Study of secondary metabolites with medicinal properties.

  • The renovation of the Herbarium room has improved the herbarium in several aspects. It is now a repository of good collection and will prove to be of great help to the students and the Faculty.

 

Algology, Limnology & Environmental Biology:

  • Biomonitoring of the twin cities lakes i.e., Himayathsagar and Mir-alam Tank.

  • Assisted in the identification of algal flora to NGO’s on the Cyberabad lakes.

  • Eutrophication studies on some lakes of R.R. District.

  • Enumeration of the algal flora of different environs and their systematic positions.

Conferences Organized & Participated In The Last Five Years:

 

      The Department gas organized several seminars and the Faculty has attended several conferences in India and abroad.

  1. National and International seminars organized: National -15; International – 2.

  2. National seminars attended and chaired sessions, delivered invited lecturers – 150.

  3. International seminars/conferences attended – 15.

          Current Research Projects

Name of the Teacher

Title of the Project

Duration

Amount

(Lakhs)

Funding  Agency

Prof. G. Bagyanarayana

“Aspects of some economically important fungi”

2011-14

1.65 L in 2011

DST-PURSE

Prof. S. Seeta Ram Rao

“Effect of brassinosteroids on …..under aluminium toxicity”

2011-14

 

10.0 L

 

UGC

 

Prof. S. Seeta Ram Rao

Effect of brassinosteroids on ……under drought Stress.”

2011-14

1.65 L

for 2011

DST PURSE

Prof. B. Bhadraiah

 

Interaction of Trichoderma  sp. …green gram (Vigna radiata)

2011-13

 

7.65 L

 

UGC

 

Prof. B. Bhadraiah

Role of biocontrol  … Brinjal (Solanium melongeana L)

2011-14

 

1.225 L for2011

DST-PURSE

Prof. (Mrs.) B. Prathibha Devi

UGC-BSR One time grant.

 

2010-11

 

7.0 L

 

UGC

Prof. (Mrs) B. Prathibha Devi

Biochemical and tissue culture studies in S. asoca and C. wighti

2011-14

1.675 L in 2011

DST-PURSE

Prof. Prathibha Devi

Biotechnological………….in Helianthus tuberosus

2012-2015

15.00 L

UGC

Prof. S. Gangadhar  Rao

Geographical distribution ….Hemidesmus indica

2011-14

 

1.6 L in2011

DST-PURSE

Prof. P. Rama chandra Reddy

Evaluation of ethnomedicinal…AP

2011-14

 

9.043 L

 

UGC

 

Prof. P. Rama chandra Reddy

Geographical distribution, hot ………….indicus. 

2012-15

9.00 L

UGC

Prof. K. Satya

    Prasad

Endophytic Fungi of Medicinal Plants,

2010-13

7.5 L

UGC

Prof. C. Venkateshwar

“Standardization of Ayurvedic drugs “Ashwagandha”

2011-14

1.225 L in 2011

DST-PURSE

Prof. P. Manikya Reddy

“Studies on the changing water spread …………… Area

2010-13

7.498 L

UGC

Dr. S.Karnakar Reddy

Soma Clonal Variation Studies in Gloriosa superba

2011-13

7.5 L

UGC

Prof. KVBR Tilak

 

Interaction of rhizosphere micro-……-arid soils.

2009-13

18.10 Lakhs

National

Academy of

Sciences

Dr. (Mrs.) A. Hindumathi

Interaction between Mycorrhiza ….. health and soil quality

 

20012-15

 

13.08

DST women Scientist-A

Dr. Sitamahalaxmi

‘Biochemical characterization ……. Aerva  lanata’

2011-13

6.0

DST women Scientist -B

 

 

 5.  Activities and Achievements during 2007-2008

 

Department of Botany organised a National Seminar on "Biodiversity, Conservation and Commercial Exploitation of Medical Plants from 8th to 10 th November, 2004", more than 300 scientists from different disciplines like Plant Science, Chemistry, Forestry, Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani participated in the seminar.  About 100 farmers and traders also participated in the seminar and empharized on the effective interaction between University, Industry and Farmers for the betterment of rural economy.  Infrastrutural facilities were added to the existing Botanical Garden.

 

Eminent Scientists, Prof. K. G. Mukerji and Prof. M. Uday Kumar delivered extension letures on recent advances in Plant Sciences in the month of February and March 2004 under UGC-SAP Programme.

 

6.  Employment Opportunities :

 

The Post-graduates and Doctorates from this Department have employment opportunities as Scientists in National labs (CSIR and allied labs), International labs like ICRISAT, Government Agricultural Organizations, Forest and Horticulture Departments, Private sector Biotechnology companies, Voluntary Organizations, and in Universities, Degree and Junior Colleges as Teaching Faculty. 

 

7.  Institution and Industry Interaction

  • Consultancy is being offered for Plant identification and authentication by Ayurvedic research labs and other research Institutions.

  • Consultancy to Biotech companies is being offered on the cultivation of rare medicinal plants (presently it is offered free).

  • Consultancy to the Biotech and Tissue Culture Companies. At present, free consultancy is being offered to some Tissue Culture Companies and Research Institutes at Hyderabad.

 

 8.  Future Plans / Activities

 

  Research collaborations are being planned with industries and research institutions both within and outside the country.   

 

9.  Supporting Staff

Sl.No

Name

 Designation

1

Dr. (Mrs.)  S. Satyavani

 Lab-Assistant

2

Dr. A. Narasimha Reddy

 Lab-Assistant

3

Mr. B. Shiva Kumar

Typist

4

Mr. K. Vijender Reddy

Jr. Asst.

5

Mrs. K. Ananthamma

R.Keeper

6

Mr. Yadaiah

Attendant

7

Mr. V. Gopal

Lab-Attendant

8

Mr. Mohd. Osman

Lab-Attendant

9

Mr. S. Devaiah

Lab-Attendant

10

Mr. T. Sattaiah

Plant Collector

11

Mr. Yadagiri

Dafedar

12

Mr. E. Sattaiah 

Mali

13

Mr. Mohd. Afzal

Mali

14

Mrs. Rajamma

Malan

15

Mrs. G. Laxmi

Malan

16

Mr. K. Narsing Rao

Farm Labour

17

Mr. B. Ravi

Kamati (TS)

18

Mr. Fareed

Mali (TS)

19

Mr. ………………

Watchman

20

Mrs. Kameshwari

Malan (TS)

21

Mr. Yadagiri

Kamati

22

Mrs. Anasuya

Kamatan

23

Srikanth

Mali

24

Mahesh

Mali

25

Shashi

Scavenger cum Kamati