Our Work

Genome profiling and Transgenic plants for Abiotic Stress Tolerance

At Plant Metabolic Engineering Lab, we have developed transgenic tomato expressing Arabidopsis Rare Cold Inducible 2A gene, which can withstand the adverse effects of chilling, salinity and drought stress by means of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The efficiency of this gene in enhancing the cold tolerance of soybean is being evaluated. Functional studies of the gene are under progress. Genome profiling of Senna alexendrina Mill.during drought stress is another project that falls under this thrust area.

Transgenic approaches for Nutritional Enhancement by Metabolic Engineering

Pilot studies of nutritional enhancement in tomato have been carried out by generating transgenic plants expressing the Alpha-Tocopherol methyl transferase gene from Arabidopsis. Also, attempts to clone the PUFA pathway genes in groundnut are underway to generate healthy groundnuts. An alternative approach of utilizing hairy root culture of radish leaves with improved quercetin content also is being optimized.

Metabolite Profiling for novel Pharmaceutical Compounds

Most of the medicines in use today have at least one plant-derived compound in its composition. Such is the importance of plants in pharmaceutical industry. We have isolated and identified several valuable compounds from medicinal plants such as tulsi, Jatropha and Plumbago. Rosmarinic acid isolated from tissue cultures of Tulsi has been found to have Radioprotective activity. Certain compounds with neuroprotective effects have also been isolated and evaluated in animal cell lines. Other compounds of tulsi, which are being investigated in the lab are eugenol, linalool etc. In Plumbago, in addition to the isolation and quantification of plumbagin, a comprehensive directory of its polar and non-polar metabolites has been developed by targeted and non-targeted GC-MS and LC-MS based approaches.

Our Facility