Biological Sciences & Technology

Gene silencing – A Hope for Cancer Control

When gene expression is completely stopped or drastically reduced, the phenomenon is called gene silencing.

Scientists of CCMB have demonstrated that gene silencing in plants and animals can be achieved by interfering with gene activity through the small RNA molecules, the ‘interfering RNA’ (RNAi), at specific loci during the conversion of euchromatin to heterochromatin. This outstanding achievement, which has been reported in the prestigious Journal Science demonstrates that disruption of RNAi interference mechanism in living cell blocks the formation and maintenance of heterochromatin, eventually leading to disruption of specific chromosome regions.

The diseases coupled with cell division and cell proliferation, such as various types of cancers, appear to be controlled by heterochromatin formation and it’s functioning. Therefore understanding the role of RNAi intervention in these processes might pave a way to use RNAi as a possible therapy for cancer and other related diseases, which involve cell cycle controls.

Disease Resistant Rice

In a unique collaborative effort by CCMB and Directorate of Rice Research (DRR), an applied agricultural research institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) resistant Samba Masuri and Triguna Rice lines have been developed through the application of DNA Marker Technology.

In past, several BLB resistant varieties were developed using traditional breeding methods. But, this process takes normally more than 5-7 years for in corporation of resistance and 4-5 years for evaluation and commercial release of the variety. The CCMB-DRR group in addition to using DNA markers for pyramiding BLB resistance genes from public domain for selection of disease resistant lines, has also used markers distributed through out the rice genome to select the plants that are likely to have other qualities like that of the original Samba Masuri or Triguna parents. This innovation has substantially reduced the time required for development of durable resistance to a short period of less than three years which through conventional breeding would have taken at least 5-6 years.

Presently, these varieties are showing excellent resistance to BLB under green house conditions and are performing well in limited field trials.

Study of genetic diversity in the Asiatic lions and other big cats

India is home to five of the eight majestic big cats of the world. The three major big cats namely, Lion, Tiger and Leopard, are listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Apart from the severe loss of habitat, these are continuously facing the danger of extinction mainly due to poaching and hunting for their body parts. Researchers at CCMB have developed several microsatellite markers from a partial genomic library of the Asiatic Lion, which have been found to be highly polymorphic in the Asiatic Lions as well as other big cats like Tigers and Leopards. The results obtained so far show that there is a substantial amount of genetic variation in the Asiatic Lion population. The variation in repeat size in different big cats can be easily visualized in agarose gels; the Gene Scan also reveals clear-cut variation among the big cats. This PCR-based, non-invasive method opens a new avenue towards forensic identification of big cats.

Novel therapeutic strategies to tackle leishmaniasis

The relationship of the serotonin1A receptor with its membrane environment has been explored by Fluorescence Recovery After Photo bleaching (FRAP) experiments on receptors heterologously expressed in intact cells. CCMB has shown, for the first time, that cholesterol depletion from macrophage plasma membranes using methyl- b-cyclodextrin results in a significant reduction in the extent of leishmanial infection. These results indicate a specific requirement of plasma membrane cholesterol in efficient attachment and internalization of the parasite to macrophage cells leading to a productive infection. This was supported by the fact thatthe reduction in the ability of the parasite to infect host macrophages can be reversed upon replenishment of cell membrane cholesterol.More importantly, these results are significant in developing novel therapeutic strategies to tackle leishmaniasis.

Structural, functional and stability properties of some disease associated important proteins

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a gram positive bacteria that colonizes predominantly in the upper respiratory tract of humans. This human pathogen is responsible for various life threatening diseases such as pneumonia, bactermia, meningitis and sinusitis. Hyaluronidases form a special group of polysaccharide degrading enzymes. They predominantly cleave the N-acetylglucosamine bond of hyaluronic acid producing unsaturated polysaccharides of various lengths. These bacterial hyaluronidases are called hyaluronate lyase.

Scientists at CDRI studied native S. pneumoniae hyaluronate lyase (SpnHL) structurally, which shows that the N- and C-terminal domains fold/unfold independently, suggesting absence of any significant cooperative interactions between them. The isolated N­-terminal domain of SpnHL is enzymatically active. Guanidine hydrochloride, guanidine isothiocyanate, L-arginine methyl ester and L-ariginine inhibit enzyme activity at very low concentrations, thus providing leads for designing effective inhibitors of SpnHL.

Serine hydroxymethyl transferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT) is a key enzyme in the folate pathway which provides one carbon fragment for the biosynthesis of a variety of end products like DNA, RNA, ubiquinone, methionine, etc. Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome by CDRI led to the identification of two genes, GlyA and GlyA2 proposed to be putative genes encoding for SHMTs. The studies on recombinant SHM1 and SHM2, the protein products of putative genes GlyA and GlyA2 revealed that SHM1 contains one mole of PLP per mole enzyme dimer whereas SHM2 contains two mole of PLP per mole of enzyme dimer. Unlike SHMT from other organisms, the SHM1 and SHM2 do not undergo half-transamination reaction with D-alanine, resulting in formation of apo-enzyme, a unique enzyme.

Hemolysin E

Hemolysin E is a potent virulence factor of pathogenic E.coli. CDRI has investigated the structure -function of the amphipathic leucine zipper motif. Amino acid segment 205-235 corresponding to the motif may play a significant role in binding and assembly of toxin in target cell membrane and its destabilization.

Animal models and animal substitute technologies

It is now felt that there must be reduction in use of animals in drug discovery and the emphasis should be on the development of genetically modified lower organisms (Drosophila and some prokaryotes) and transgenic animals. CDRI efforts in this direction are acquisition of acquired cell lines namely MG-63, SP 2/0 Hela THP-1, U-373 which are being maintained and routinely used in drug screening. Db/db mouse acquired from Novo Nordisk, Denmark has been established for anti-diabetic screening. Novel assays for genotoxicity i.e. Spot assay using Salmonella his deficient strains and in vitro sister exchange assayhave been standardized. Production of gerbils, mostly required for antifilarial and antithrombotic screening has been enhanced by adopting innovative methods.

Molecular biology of selected pathogens for developing drug targets

The pathogens selected for investigation at CDRI are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania donovani. The drug targets being explored from M. tuberculosis are ESAT-6 region of the genome involved in virulence, proteins responsible for enhanced survival within macrophages and those involved in host cell-pathogen interactions. In malaria the genome database is being explored for identification and characterization of putative proteins and molecular targets in P. falciparum infected erythrocytes. A new protein that polymerizes heme to hemozoin has been identified, purified and characterized. In Leishmania, a gene involved in drug resistance and another novel gene, Pteridine reductase-1 have been cloned and expressed.

Biorestoration of OB dumps through the plantation of selected efficient photosynthetic/soil conserver species in EJ area (BCCL)

The plantation of efficient soil binder and high photosynthetic plant species such as Leonotis nepataefolia, Lantana camara, Sida acuta, Saccharam benghalensis, Vetevaria zizanoides, Lemon grass among shrubby vegetation and Cassia siamea, Dalbergia sissoo, Acacia auriculiformis, Ficus religiosa, F. benghalensis, Delonix regia, Switenia microphylla, Thuja orientalis, Saraca indica from hardy species along with other suitable amendments have considerably improved the fertility status/biological activity and significantly reduced the erosional losses of the mine spoil. Bio-restoration of OB dumps/wasteland have been applied by CFRI to reclaim OB dumps of different coalfields in an eco-friendly manner, which can solve the vexing problem of ever-increasing GHGs from the surrounding environment, besides turning the overlaying waste dumps into a monetary source by means of plantation (social forestry).

Alpha arteether resistance domain in gyrase A gene of Escherichia coli mapped

CIMAP has discovered a novel selective property of the compound a-arteether, which is inhibitory against the gyr mutant strains of E. coli, but ineffective against wild type strains. Also a strategic and novel combination of a-arteether which can be used as advanced generation drug(s) to counter the resistance development itself while, having a potential to be used in treating infectious diseases particularly in those cases where drug resistant strains are known to appear very frequently has been developed. The uniqueness and most useful feature is that, in a combination of a-arteether and quinolone drugs, the spontaneous mutants which are resistant to quinolones (or their derivatives) can be killed by a-arteether and at the same time, any a-arteether resistant strains become highly sensitive to nalidixic acid. The new composition of compounds inhibits the resistance development due to mutation in the gyr A gene of bacteria, in which one component is a-arteether and the other may be nalidixic acid or any of the fluoroquinolones (comprising of Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin, Levofloxacin, Sparfloxacin, Oxfloxacin and Lomefloxacin etc.) or compounds of similar nature against which the resistance develops through a related process.

Also a sequence of nucleotides in the DNA of Escherichia coli gyrase A gene which when changed provides resistance to a-arteether to the bacteria is identified. This sequence is also defined as the a-arteether resistance domain and has wide spread application in the detection of resistance to a-arteether and related sesquiterpene endoperoxides.

High herb, phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin yielding cultivar ofPhyllanthus amarus 'CIM-Jeevan'

Phyllanthus amarus (Family: Euphorbiaceae) occurs widely all over India. It is an important medicinal plant known for its hepatoprotective and antiviral properties useful against liver infection. It is also used in stomach troubles like dyspepsia, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, dropsy and urinogenital problems and also for external application against oedematous swelling, inflammation and as an ingredient in many Ayurvedic preparations especially those used in the treatment of jaundice. Traditionally, the plant is collected from wild to be used in formulations in which the chemical components vary leading to variation in the quality. The need was, therefore, felt to develop a high yielding cultivar for large-scale cultivation saving the wild germplasm. CIMAP has developed the cultivar CIM-Jeevan of Phyllanthus amarus through directed breeding efforts having high biomass yield and defined marker chemical profile like phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin for quality validation.

Eugenol rich cultivar of Ocimum sanctum 'CIM-Ayu'

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) Family: Lamiaceae is known for traditional medicinal value and also the aromatic properties. It is used in Ayurvedic medicines and pharmaceutical preparations. Due to its anti-oxidant and anti-ageing properties, people use its fresh leaves daily in various ways. At present the production of plant herb and quality oil is quite low. The need was therefore felt to develop a high yielding cultivar for herb and essential oil with better quality. The cultivar CIM-Ayu of Ocimum sanctum has been developed by CIMAP through intensive breeding efforts possessing high yield of herb and essential oil with higher eugenol content.

DNA Marker tagged variety ‘CIM-Arogya’ of Artemisia annua for high artemisinin yield

The plant Artemisia annua (family: Asteraceae) produces a sesquiterpenoid lactone endoperoxide named artemisinin, which is a promising antimalarial drug effective against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax at nanomolar concentration. Earlier CIMAP has developed a few varieties of the plant Artemisia annua. But it is always beneficial to have diversity in genotypes in different background than a single genotype for commercial cultivation. CIMAP, with this objective, has developed a novel, distinct, high herb and artemisinin yielding genotype of Artemisia annua through systematic marker assisted breeding followed by selection of uniform population. The genotype is distinct, uniform and stable, maintainable by continuous rouging of off types in the population using DNA marker at early seedling stage from nursery itself and suitable for commercial cultivation. At the initial stage of selection the high and low artemisinin containing plants are analysed through RAPD and the band consistently present in the high artemisinin containing type is cloned and sequenced. Based on the sequence, forward and reverse primers are synthesized, which are used in subsequent generation to screen out the low artemisinin containing genotypes. One such population of plant represents CIM-Arogya.

The genotype 'CIM-Arogya' possesses the traits of increased herb yield than the other check varieties and genotypes. CIM-Arogya produces higher biomass leading to high artemisinin yield. Its genetic make up is distinct in terms of DNA profile. The genotype in the population has expressed a genetic enhancement of artemisinin content to a very high content of artemisinin through strategic marker aided selection indicating the distinctiveness from the parent genotype. The plant has a unique globular canopy.

High menthofuran producing genotype of Mentha piperita ‘CIM-Indus’

Menthofuran (3,6-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydrocoumarone) is one of the major constituents of aroma of the essential oil extracted from the leaves of Mentha piperita. Because no other compound has duplicated the aroma effect, menthofuran is important in the formulation of certain synthesized essential oils, such as peppermint oil. However, menthofuran is an expensive compound of limited availability as the plants produce 0 to 6% menthofuran (US Patent PP11,788). Considering the importance of menthofuran in aroma industry CIMAP has undertaken a systematic approach to evaluate the existing germplasm for high menthofuran biosynthesis in the Mentha piperita essential oil.

CIMAP, after thorough screening of the open pollinated seed progenies of the variety 'Kukrail' , obtained a high menthofuran and pulegone producing plant chemotype. The selected plant possesses the property of accumulating more menthofuran and pulegone at specific developmental stages. This plant is unique and clearly distinct from all other existing varieties of Mentha piperita. The new plant type ‘CIM-Indus' can be propagated vegetatively through suckers and twigs for commercial cultivation. The genotype ‘CIM-Indus’ has a characteristic oil profile which expresses differentially at different stage of growth. The menthofuran content is found to be higher at 75 days stage, which decreases during 95 days and again increases during harvesting time (115 days). The menthol content in the essential oil is negatively correlated to the menthofuran content at corresponding stages of growth. Pulegone content increases after 75 days and stabilizes after 95 to 115 days. No variation of any kind observed in this genotype for the last 3 years of trial maintaining the quality of oil and phenotype. The RAPD analysis of random plant samples in different years of trial also does not show any variation in profiles for this genotype indicating its stability. The genotype ‘CIM-Indus’ was 54.1%, 50.2% and 51.1% different from the varieties 'Kukrail', 'Tushar' and 'Pranjal' respectively in RAPD analysis establishing the uniqueness of the genotype.

Genomic database yield novel bioplastic producers

Polyhydroxy alcohols (PHAs) are a group of biodegradable plastics produced by bacteria such as Alcaligens eutrophes and Pseudomonas oleovorans under certain stress conditions. However, they are more expensive to produce than synthetic plastics. By simple bioinformatic searches of 89 complete and 34 partially sequenced genomes, IGIB has revealed 13 putative PHA producers. Among the identified organisms, Microbulbifer degradens, Burkholderia fungorum, Novosphingobium aromaticivorans and Rhodopseudomonas palustris have the ability to degrade a range of biological wastes containing carbon compounds with low nitrogen content. Except Microbulbifer, all others are highly significant since they also have the genetic makeup to produce hydrogen in addition to bioplastic.

Recognition and analysis of protein coding genes in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome associated coronavirus

The recent outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by SARS coronavirus has necessitated in-depth molecular understanding of the virus to identify new drug targets. IGIB has developed software “Gene Decipher” by using gene prediction method and has done a novel analysis of SARS genome. The software has identified three key proteins in the virus, which are required for multiplication of the virus inside the body. These proteins can act as potential drug targets. The software has also predicted the functions of at least two broad classes of SARS proteins that has so far not been realized by foreign scientists.

Rapid method for the construction of oligonucleotide Arrays

Recently, micro array has emerged as an important tool for molecular biological studies. IGIB has developed a general and simple method for construction of oligonuleotide arrays. The method is based on post synthesis covalent fixing of oligonucleotides with desired modifications on the desired surface e.g. glass polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene into regioselective fashion.

This approach offers great flexibility and accommodates different chemistries as well as surfaces of choice for the synthesis of oligonucleotide arrays.

Curcumin attenuates Allergen-induced Airway Hyper responsiveness in sensitized guinea pigs

The guinea pigs sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) develop certain characteristic features of Asthma: allergen induced airway construction and airway hyperactivity to histamine. IGIB has tested the Anti-asthmatic property of Curcumin (diferulolymethane), a natural product from rhizomes of Curcuma longa in guinea pig model of hyper responsiveness.

The curcumin (20mg/kg body weight) treatment significantly inhibits OVA-induced airway constriction and hyper reactivity and is thus effective in improving the impaired airway in the OVA sensitized guinea pigs.

(TG/CA)n Repeats in Human Housekeeping Genes

The unraveling of the human genome sequence gives a new opportunity to investigate the role of repetitive sequences in gene regulation.

IGIB has analyzed the distribution of (TG/CA)n (n ³ 6) unit repeats in human housekeeping gene on which recently released gene chip data is available. The results indicate that (i) the no. of short (TG/CA)n repeats is higher than the number of long repeats. (ii) The proportion of genes with (TG/CA) n repeats (n ³ 12 units) have lower mean expression levels compared to those without these repeats and (iii) The genes belonging to the functional class of signaling and communication have a positive association with repeats and the genes belonging to information class are negatively associated with the repeats.

Mean expression levels of housekeeping genes without (TG/CA)n repeats and with intragenic long (n ³12) (TG/CA)n repeats.

Cloning of kaurene synthase from Stevia

IHBT has successfully cloned 800 bases of kaurene synthase from Stevia that shared about 80% homology with kaurene synthase from Lactuca sativa and Cucumic sativus. Stevia rebaudiana is 300 times sweeter than sucrose and sweetness is mainly attributed to the water soluble white compounds, stevioside and rebaudioside. Steviosides are polycyclic diterpenes synthesized from geranyl geranyl diphosphate. Kaurene synthase is an important enzyme in the pathway catalysing the conversion of copalyl diphosphate into kaurene. A complete package of production technology including nursery development, cultivation practices, and processing has been developed for Stevia rebaudiana .

Amplification of cloned kaurene synthase gene from Stevia

The plant is of immense importance because of the zero calorie Steviosides and Rebaudiosides in its leaves. The crop is mainly propagated by stem cuttings. Seed germination is a problem in this plant due to high incompatibility, but cross pollination of two lines resulted in production of viable seed with 35-40% germination rate. IHBT has supplied planting materials to CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya for further extension at farmers field. Nursery plants have been provided to growers in Haryana, J&K, Karnataka, New Delhi and Uttaranchal. A process has also been developed at lab scale for the production of Steveosides.

Clone of niche pathway genes from tea

Catechins are important pharmaceutical compounds preventing cancer by inhibiting urokinase enzyme and are strong antioxidants. They are known to be the taste controller in tea. While the biochemistry of catechin biosynthesis in tea is known, the control points and molecular aspects have not been considered. To engineer the pathway for its desired modulation in the clone or the plant of choice, or to synthesize the flavonoid compounds in vitro for use in pharmaceutical and other relevant industries, it is important to clone the niche-pathway genes from tea. IHBT successfully cloned the following 3 genes of the pathway. (i) Gene for dihydroflavanone reductase (DFR): A 1.4 kb fragment showed homology with the reported sequences of DFR. The region 119 to 1078 showed 84% homology with DFR of Rhododendron simsii. Cloned sequence had a start and end codon at positions 117 and 1160, respectively. Northern hybridization confirmed the size of the fragment to be 1.4 kb. (ii) Gene for phenyl alanine ammonia lyase (PAL): A 2.3 kb fragment showed homology with the reported sequences of PAL. The region 176 to 693 showed 84% homology with PAL of Rehmannia glutinosa. Cloned sequence had start codon at 132. Northern hybridization confirmed the size of the fragment to be 2.3 kb, and (iii) Gene for chalcone synthase (CHS): A 1.4 kb fragment showed homology with the reported sequences of CHS. The region 4 to 761 showed 84% homology with CHS of Hydrangea macrophylla . Cloned sequence had start codon at position 72. Northern hybridization confirmed the size of the fragment to be 1.4 kb.

PCR Amplication of cloned full-length cDNA of DFR and confirmation of clone by northern analysis
PCR Amplification of cloned full-length cDNA of PAL and confirmation of clone by northern analysis

Alstroemeria (Alstroemeria hybridus) is an exotic high value cut flower crop belonging to the family Alstroemeriaceae. IHBT procured nine different coloured cultivars of Alstroemeria from Shimla, Ooty and Bangalore and under a project sponsored by the National Horticultural Board developed a complete agrotechnology package. High quality planting materials have been distributed to flower growers of the region. Responding to the increased demand for the plant, two demonstration units of alstroemeria were established at Kandwari, Dist. Kangra and Mohal, Dist. Kullu by IHBT.

Cultivation of Alstroemeria

Tumor inhibitors developed by rearranged diterpenoids with novel skeleton

IICB has rearranged diterpenoids possessing of the uncommon 4a-methyl tetra- or hexa-hydrofluorene skeleton like dichroanals A, B and dichronaone isolated recently from natural sources. The first total synthesis of (±) dichroanal B and (±) dichroanone have now been achieved through a common hexahydrofluorene intermediate obtained via Pd (0)-catalysed reductive cyclisation of a substituted 2-(2-bromobenzyl) methylene cyclohexane. This simple and convergent route utilises a number of novel reactions and is suitable for the preparation of other members of the family, which include potential tumour inhibitors.

Identification and characterization of adsorbed serum sialoglycans on Leishmania donovani promastigotes

Sialic acid as terminal residues of oligosaccharide chains play a crucial role in several cellular recognition events. Using fluorometric high-performance liquid chromatography showing Neu5Ac and, to a minor extent, Neu5,9Ac2 IICB has confirmed the presence of sialic acid on promastigotes of Leishmania donovani, the causative organism of Indian visceral leishmaniasis,. The presence of Neu5Ac was confirmed by GC/MS analysis. Furthermore, binding with sialic acid-binding lectins Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), Maackia amurensis agglutinin (MAA), and Siglecs showed the presence of both{alpha}2,3- and{alpha}2,6-linked sialic acids. Concomitant western blotting of parasite membranes and culture medium with SNA demonstrates the presence of common sialoglyconjugates (123, 90, and 70 kDa). Similarly, binding of MAA with parasite membrane and culture medium shows three analogous sialoglycans corresponding to 130, 117, and 70 kDa, indicating that{alpha}2,3- and{alpha}2,6-linked sialoglycans are adsorbed from the foetal calf serum present in the culture medium. L. donovani promastigotes also reacted with Achatinin-H, a lectin that preferentially identifies 9-O-acetylated sialic acid in{alpha}2->6 GalNAc linkage. This determinant is shown to be present on parasite cell surfaces by cell agglutination, ELISA, and flow cytometry, where its binding is abolished by pre-treatment of cells with a recombinant 9-O-acetylesterase derived from the HE1 region of the influenza C esterase gene. Additionally, binding of CD60b, a 9-O-acetyl GD3-specific monoclonal antibody corroborated the presence of terminal 9-O-acetylated disialoglycans. The results indicate that sialic acids ({alpha}2->6 and {alpha}2->3 linked) and 9-O-acetyl derivatives constitute components of the parasite cell surface. This is a major finding as sialic acid source is very cheap.

Characterization of Intergrase and Mechanism of recombination

Characterization of the integrase gene of this phage is an important aspect as it has a wide host range. In order to purify the integrase protein, it was over-expressed in E. coli. There is very good expression though most of the protein goes to inclusion bodies. It is noticed by IMT that as the protein expresses, E. coli cells start dying. Cells death and protein expression are directly related. Further, to get the integrase protein in its native form, a vector which carries E. coli chaperone genes (groEL/groES) under constitutive promoter is used. Thus expression of chaperone genes is independent of any outside force. In this particular condition, when integrase gene is allowed to express in presence of chaperone genes, the chaperone protein does not express while under control condition where integrase is not present or some other gene is present, chaperone production does not get affected. Thus, the fate of the vectors, which carry the integrase gene as well, as chaperone genes is checked. During the course of the analysis of integrity of these two vectors, scientists of IMT discovered that the two vectors have recombined. Further analysis of the recombined product revealed that recombination has occurred in such a way that the integrase gene is intact but the chaperone gene that is groEL/groES was lost. Thus, the final recombination product is devoid of groEL/groES genes. It is further intriguing because the phage, which carries the integrase gene under study, does not infect E. coli but caused recombination in such a way that the E. coli groEU/groES gene was lost. It appears that the phage attachment site is close to or within the groEL/groES gene in other organisms as well. Because the groEL/groES gene is ubiquitous and highly conserved, apparently phage is evolved with a general mechanism of recombination and that is the reason it has such a wide host range.

Mycobacterial serine/threonine kinases characterized

Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome sequence reveals the presence of genes encoding eukaryotic-type serine/threonine kinases and phosphatases. Among eleven such putative kinases, it is found by IMT that PknA is located adjacent to the genes encoding bacterial morphogenic proteins and in close proximity of the only serine/threonine phosphatase, PPP. The results corroborated well with the phylogenetic analysis and placed PPP as a PP2C family of bacterial protein phosphatase homologue. Furthermore, mutations in a few invariant amino acid residues (Glu-24, Asp-38 and Gly-117 mutated to Ala, Ala and Asp respectively) characteristic of this group of phosphatases completely abolished the enzyme activity.

Inspection of the bacterial genomes has revealed the genetic linkage between SerThr kinases and phosphatases, suggesting that phosphatases are reversing protein phosphorylation reactions catalyzed by linked kinases. Therefore, detailed in vitro studies were carried out to assess the ability of PPP to interact with PknA. PknA has been shown to phosphorylate known exogenous substrates. The ability of PPP to dephosphorylate the artificial substrates phosphorlyated by PknA was therefore examined. Casein was labelled with y-32 Pin the presence of PknA followed by the initiation of dephosphorylation reaction by the addition of PPP. It was observed that PPP dephosphorylated labelled casein. However, dephosphorylation was not observed in the presence of boiled PPP, thereby ensuring the validity of the experiment. 1-338 deletion mutant of PknA possessing the catalytic domain and the Ala/Pro-rich region exhibited autophosphorylating ability. The mutant is also able to phosphorlyate the exogenous substrate, like casein and is efficiently dephosphorylated in the presence of PPP.

In protein-protein interaction studies, PknA is observed to phosphorylate at least a -56 kDa soluble protein from E. coli. To elucidate the possibility of dephosphorylation of this -56 kDa protein by PPP, soluble fraction of cell lysates from E. coli strain DH5a incubated for 10 h at 4°C with MBP-PknA fusion protein immobilized on amylose resin.

The observations establish that genetically linked mycobacterial SerThr kinase and phosphatase (PknA-PPP) form a functional unit in vitro.

Identification of a mediator of Rhp6 in gene silencing in fission yeast

The concept of histone code developed during the last few years envisages a dynamic and integral role of nucleosomal structure comprising various post-translatinal modifications, like acetylation, methylation and ubiquitination, in serving as important determinants of the expression or silencing of genes. IMT has identified RAD6/Rhp6 as an important molecule in this respect. It performs a role in ubiquitylation of H2B, which, in turn, is necessary for the methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 position and eventually in silencing in the budding yeast. Corresponding information regarding the mechanism of action of Rhp6 in S. pombe is lacking. The studies have led to identification of a protein called Uhp1, as a target for Rhp6-mediated ubiquitylation in S. pombe. This protein interacts with histone H28 in vitro and associates with chromatin during S phase, where it is thought to play a transient role in chromatin remodelling at the silent mating type loci.

Potent role of the vaccines prepared from macro phages infected with live bacteria in protection against M. tuberculosis and S. typhimurium infections.

The study carried out by IMT describes a novel and simple vaccination strategy, involving culturing live M. tuberculosis and S. typhimurium in syngeneic, allogeneic and xenogeneic macrophages, followed by drug treatment and gamma-irradiation to kill the bacteria. It is observed that the lymphocytes obtained from the vaccinated animals proliferated and secreted mainly IFN-y and IgG2a but not IL-4 and IgG1. The enumeration of viability of M. tuberculosis by CFU indicates a significant level of protection in the vaccinated mice upon challenge with live M tuberculosis. This vaccination strategy worked successfully not only for tuberculosis but also shows significant decrease in mortality of mice challenged with live S. typhimurium.

Relation between organochlorines and breast cancer in India

Organochlorine pesticides are widely distributed among the general population and could be risk for breast cancer among women in India. ITRC has studied the environmental exposure of organochlorines pesticides considering it as potential risk factor for breast cancer. The scientists collected blood samples from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi and monitored the level of DDT, DDD, DDE and isomers of HCH in the blood and surrounding breast tissues and tumor in women suffering from benign or malignant breast diseases.

Results show that p. p' -DDE level was significantly higher both in benign and malignant specimens as compared to other pesticide’s level (p<0.05). Pesticide levels in blood were higher in malignant than benign cases. This preliminary data based on only 50 cases reaffirms the suspicion of organochlorines as one of the risk factors for breast cancer in women and lays down the basis for further study with larger sample size involving all the confounders of the disease to arrive at a statistically significant association between exposure to organochlorine pesticides and breast cancer.

Persistent chlorinated pesticides and intra-uterine fetal growth retardation: a possible association

ITRC has studied the association between DDT (dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane) and HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane) exposure and intra-uterine growth retardation. There seems to a statistically significant association between maternal blood levels of a-HCH, g-HCH, d-HCH total HCH and p, p’­ DDE and IUGR after adjustment for potential confounders. A significant association between cord blood levels of g-HCH, d-HCH total HCH and IUGR was also found after adjusting for potential confounders. A significant negative correlation between body weight of newborn babies and p, p'-DDE in maternal blood and d-HCH and p, p'-DDE in the cord blood is noticed after accounting for the gestational age. The results suggest an association between organochlorine pesticide levels and higher incidence of IUGR in pregnant women.

Paraneural cell transplantation in animal model of Parkinson's disease

Fetal neural transplantation approach is the recent approach for restorative potential in neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's diseases, Alzheimer's etc). In order to substitute the fetal brain cells for transplantation in animal model of Parkinson's disease, ITRC used paraneural cells olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC), which have substantial advantages in providing the trophic support for long-term functional restoration of fetal cell. Significant long term functional restoration was observed in rodent model of Parkinson's disease where OEC are co-transplanted with dopaminergic rich fetal brain cells (ventral mesencephalic cells) over the group of animals transplanted fetal dopaminergic rich cells. Functional restoration was assessed using neurobehavioral, neurochemical& immunohistochemical parameters. Functional viability of dopaminergic cells in co-transplanted animals is reflected in the Immunohistochemical studies of specific transplanted brain region.

Development of electrochemical technique based on transition metal complex modified electrode for detection and oxidation of phenol

A new octahedral high spin Ni (II) and Co (II) mixed ligand complex with cyclam (14 ane N4) and thiocyanate is synthesized and characterized by UV, visible, fluorescence and electrochemical techniques. Metal-cyclam-thiocyanate complexes are quite stable under ambient conditions. Redox properties and fast electron transfer properties of these complexes have been determined by electrochemical analysis by ITRC scientists. These properties are attributed to existence of the higher oxidation states of central metal ion in these complexes.

The synthesized complexes can be used as catalysts for detection and catalytic oxidation of the phenolic compounds in wastewater effluent samples.

The complexes are used for construction of chemically modified electrodes by incorporating them in graphite paste to achieve the catalytic oxidation of the organic compounds. Due to their fast electron transfer property these complexes have potential to detect and oxidize the ppb level of the phenolic compounds viz. (phenol, chlorophenol and aminophen etc.) in waste water/effluent samples.

The direct beneficiaries of these findings are soap, fertilizer and tannery industries that might be in quest of such technology to detect phenolic contents in the effluents. In addition, regulatory bodies may be indirect users of the technology.

in vivo genotoxicity of cypermethrin in Drosophila melanogaster evaluated using alkaline Comet assay

Use of animal models that are alternative to mammals, for research, education and testing, is the need of the hour. The insect, fruit fly Drosophila, has been recommended by different agencies for toxicological studies. ITRC has evaluated in vivo genotoxicity of synthetic pyrethroid pesticides, cypermethrin. Freshly emerged first instar larvae (22+2H) were exposed to the food that contained different concentrations of cypermethrin (0.0004, 0.0008, 0.002, 0.2 and 0.5ppm), and were allowed to grow. At 96±2h stage, brain ganglia and anterior mid gut from control and treated larvae were dissected out, single cell suspension was prepared, and single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) comet assay, was performed. The results reveal a significant dose-dependent increase in DNA damage in the cells of brain ganglia and anterior mid gut of Drosophila melanogaster as compared to control. The cypermethrin manifested in vivo genotoxicity, even at very low concentrations, affirms the concept that comet assay of Drosophila can be a very successful model for in vivo genotoxicity assessment.

The data provide new insights into the use of Drosophila melanogaster as an alternate animal model for in vivo genotoxicity assessment using comet assay. The usefulness of the modified method of comet assay for the evaluation of in vivo genotoxicity in Drosophila melanogaster will be further validated using known genotoxicants.

The Novel Insecticidal D - Endotoxin Developed for Plant Protection

NBRI has designed a hybrid d-endotoxin protein with insecticidal activity against the larvae of a polyphagous lepidopteran insect pest Spodoptera litura, which is tolerant to most of the known d-endotoxins. The hybrid d-endotoxin has been created by replacing amino acid residues 530 to 587 in a poorly active natural Cry1Ea protein, with 70 amino acid region of Cry1Ca in domain III. The truncated d-endotoxins Cry1Ea, Cry1Ca and the hybrid protein Cry1EC accumulated in Escherichia coli to form inclusion bodies. The solubilised Cry1EC made from E. coli was four fold more toxic to the larvae of S. litura than Cry1Ca, the best-known d-endotoxin against Spodoptera sp. A gene coding for the novel hybrid toxin was designed for high level of expression in dicot plants and introduced in tobacco and cotton. The resulting transgenic lines were highly resistant to the target pest. Studies on the d-endotoxin protein showed that the protein folds into a functionally more active form in plants rather than E.Coli. The d - endotoxin proteins developed at NBRI are of interest to agriculture since these can be deployed for developing transgenic insect resistant cultivars. The research at NBRI has led to the development of such cultivars of cotton. The transgenic lines have been licensed by NBRI to cotton seed industry.

Revegetating Fly-Ash Landfills with Prosopis juliflora L

NBRI has evaluated the feasibility of growing a legume species, Prosopis juliflora L., on fly ash ameliorated with combination of various organic amendments, blue green algal biofertilizer and Rhizobium inoculation. Significant enhancements in plant biomass, photosynthetic pigments, protein content, and in vivo nitrate reductase activity were found in the plants grown on ameliorated fly ash in comparison to the plants growing in unamended fly ash or garden soil. There is higher growth in fly ash amended with blue green algae than farmyard manure and press mud, a waste from sugar industry, the growth attributed to the greater contribution of plant nutrients, supply of fixed nitrogen and increased availability of phosphorus. Nodulation is suppressed in different amendments of fly ash with soil in a concentration-duration dependent manner, but not with other amendments. Plants accumulated higher amounts of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Cr in various fly ash amendments than in garden soil. Further, inoculation of the plant with a fly ash tolerant Rhizobium strain conferred tolerance for the plant to grow under fly ash stress conditions with more translocation of metals to the above ground parts. The results showed the potential of P. juliflora to grow on fly ash landfills and to reduce the metal contents of fly ash by bioaccumulation in its tissues.

Transgenic Cotton Lines

Transgenic cotton cultivars that express d - endotoxins have been globally accepted as a solution to enhancing cotton productivity, saving farmers from toxic exposure to the pesticides and providing an environmentally safe technology. NBRI has designed and chemically synthesized two genes coding for the insecticidal D - endotoxin proteins targeted against pests that defoliate cotton crop and seriously damage the bolls. The genes have been deployed for the development of transgenic cotton lines. This is the first agronomically valuable transgenic technology developed in India that has been accepted by seed industry for commercialization. The cotton cultivars made transgenic with the NBRI d - endotoxin genes provide a globally competitive agribiotech solution to the problem of insects in agriculture.

Seven reputed Indian cottonseed companies, including Nuziveedu Seeds, who own the largest market share and together represent 30% of Indian cottonseed market, have joined together to make a consortium. The NBRI Bt – cotton has been licensed to the consortium, registered as Swarnabharat Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad.

High Yielding Varieties in Opium Poppy

On the basis of multilocational performance, a high yielding variety NBRI-10 of opium poppy has been developed following pedigree method of cross IC30 x IS 10 and released for commercial cultivation. On the basis of 3 years locational trial following standard cultural practices, the average yield is around 63.0 kg opium yields per hectare and 13.0 q seed yield per hectare. The morphine content in opium latex appears to be as high as 17 percent. It has recorded 22.0%, 15.0% and 10.0% higher yield for opium, seed and morphine content respectively over local check ‘BROP-1’- a synthetic and commercial variety of the region and about 26.0% (opium yield), 24.0 %(seed yield) and 13.0% (morphine content) over national check IC-42.

High yielding Opium Poppy

This variety is moderately resistant to downy mildew, tolerant to lodging and widely adoptable.

Nutraceuticals / Functional Foods developed [i1]from Natural Antioxidants

NBRI has identified certain promising plant sources of carotenoids (Carotenoids 30-50 mg/100g; antioxidant activity >80 % Fresh wt) available in abundance to develop functional foods/nutraceuticals based on the results of screening programme. These natural sources can be used for large-scale extraction of carotenoids. The results may be of significant importance for utilization of under utilized parts from herbal industries, weeds and agricultural waste etc. for their phytonutrients/phytochemicals and nutraceutical potential in order to identify the low cost basic raw material for the isolation of antioxidants.

Aspartic protease inhibitor

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) requires the HIV protease enzyme in order to multiply, making this enzyme an excellent target for developing drugs against the virus. The enzyme inhibitors have not only provided effective therapeutic agents for the treatment of diseases but also have led to a detailed understanding of enzyme mechanisms.

NCL has isolated an extremophilic Bacillus sp, which produces an aspartic protease inhibitor (ATBI). ATBI has been shown to inhibit recombinant HIV-1 protease, pepsin, and the protease from the fungus Aspergillus saitoi. ATBI inhibited human pathogens like Candida kyfer and Aspergillus species effectively as seen in the microscopic studies. Based on the amino acid sequence of the natural inhibitor a peptide was synthesized. Currently the potency of the synthetic peptide and the analogues is being evaluated against HIV-1 protease in vitro. A few peptidic inhibitors isolated from plant and microbial sources are being characterized.

Biochemical molecular studies on non-mulberry silkworms

The muga silkworm, Antheraea assama is very susceptible to bacterial infection called "Flacherie" caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and develops certain symptoms such as poor appetite, retarded growth, black body fluid and hanging upside down. Several known outer membrane permeabilizers increase susceptibility of a highly resistant pathogenic strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa AC-3 to different antibiotics and plant extracts. Of all the chemicals tested RRL-Jorhat found, EDTA, sodium citrate and sodium hexametaphosphate (HMP) potent permeabilizers as shown by enhanced lysis of the bacteria in the presence of lysozyme. In the presence of EDTA and sodium citrate susceptibility of the strain to gentamicin and rifampicin increased markedly. The strain was resistant to vancomycin but became susceptible when grown in the presence of increasing amounts of EDTA and sodium citrate. RRL-Jorhat found EDTA to be most potent permeabilizer in enhancing the activity of the plant extracts. The strain P. aeruginosa AC-3 causes heavy economic loss to farmers by damaging entire broods of muga silkworm.

In vitro micropropagation of High Altitude Himalayan plant Hedychium spicatum

RRL-Jammu has standardized rapid in vitro micropropagation protocol for mass propagation of H.spicatum collected from the Darjeeling hills. The vegetative propagation through rhizomes is very slow and takes 2-3 years. Multiple shoot cultures were established from pre-existing buds of rhizomes on MS medium. Liquid medium is more suitable. A successful protocol was developed that gives 99 % root formation and 80-85% survival in the field. The rhizome extracts of the plant are used as pharmaceutical in blood purification, bronchitis, indigestion, eye diseases and inflammations.

Micropropagation of Hedychium spicatum

Hyperforin isolated from St. John’s Wort,Hypericum perforatum bySemipreparative HPLC technique

RRL-Jammu has developed a novel HPLC process for the isolation of 98% pure bioactive constituent, Hyperforin from St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum. Hyperforin is the natural antidepressant compound. The earlier reported extraction and isolation method uses antioxidants. The HPLC method does not use antioxidants and the yield is 1% of dry plant material.

Micropropagation of antidepressant plant-St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum

RRL-Jammu has developed rapid in vitro and ex vitro micropropagation protocols for mass propagation of St. John’s Wort , one of the popular herbal remedies for mild and moderate depression. The compounds involved in antidepressant activity are hypericins and flavonoids. The mass propagation of 5 cm long in vitro developed shoots in 10-15 days minimizes the propagation period. More than a lakh plantlets were developed.

Immunopotentiating properties of Cryptolepis buchanani

In Ayurvedic system of medicine,

Cryptolepis buchanani

is used as antidiarrhoeal, antibacterial, antiulcerative, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, for cough and for lactation for women and for rickets in children. RRl-Jammu has conducted experiments in animal models, which show immunostimulant activity of the plant. This shows the plant could be used in immunodeficiency associated with diseases like AIDS and cancer.

A novel enantioselective hydrolysis from

Bacillus subtilis

RRL-Jammu has isolated a novel enzyme designated BBS1 from Bacillus subtilis, exhibited enantioselectivity (ee= 99%) with acyl derivatives of unsubstituted and substituted 1-(phenyl ) ethanols and 1-(6-methoxy –2 napthyl) ethanols. The enzyme is purified to above 90% and the yield was 26%. The purified enzyme was a 45KD monomer. The optimum activity is reported at 37O C, pH 8.0 and is stable up to 40 OC, pH 6-10. The bacterial lipases are used as catalysts for both hydrolysis and synthesis of long chain acyl glycerols with high regioselectivity and enantioselectivity. The microbial lipases have wide application in organic chemistry and biotechnology.

A new rat urinary metabolite of piperine identified&amp; characterized

Piperine, an active alkaloid of black pepper has great clinical significance as a bioenhancer. RRL-Jammu has detected a new major urinary metabolite in rat urine. The metabolite is partially purified by using reverse phase column chromatography. The metabolite has a unique structure when compared to the earlier reported metabolites that the methylenedioxy ring and conjugated double bonds are retained whereas the piperine ring is modified to form propionic acid group. In rats, the kidney seems to be the major excretion route for piperine metabolites as no metabolite could be detected in faces. LC/NMR-MS studies were conducted to understand the metabolism of the new metabolite.

Extraction and purification of natural edible colours Bixin from Annatto

Annatto is the seed of the tropical bush Bixa orellana and its products are bixin and norbixin. These products have shade of yellow, yellow-orange to orange and are used as natural edible colours. RRl-Jammu has optimized the process of extraction and purification of Bixin from Annato seeds through solvent extraction which yielded 6.8% of crude bixin. The purification method has been standardized to get pure bixin with 18.6% carotenoids. The process has a capacity of 10 Kg level.



  • Hands on Training Course on “DNA markers: Development and Applications” – February 25 to March 12, 2004
  • A Two-Day Symposium on “Comparative and Functional Genomics” on February 23&amp; 24, 2004
  • Workshop on Digital Library Development for Information Workers in South Asia organized by UNESCO-DSIR-CCMB was held from 28th Jan to February 7, 2004, wherein 18 persons from all over South Asia participated
  • Indo-French Interactive Seminar on Bioinformatics and Proteomics was held on December 15&amp; 16, 2003, wherein 50 participants took part.
  • Workshop on “Priorities of research and HRD in fisheries biotechnology” was held on August 25, 2003, wherein 45 persons from all over India participated.
  • Innnovative approach of training by collaboration
  • CCMB conducts Summer Training Programme for M.Sc. students every year in the month of May-June. During the year, about 28 M.Sc. students were chosen on a national basis for a hands on research training.

  • During the year, 38 M.Sc. students have carried out their 6 months Project work in the area of human genome diversity in tribal populations.

Training under cooperation with Indian Universities

  • CDRI has provided six-months training (PS II) to 18 students of Birla Institute of Technology&amp; Science (BITS), Pilani on monthly stipend in various R&D disciplines of the Institute.
  • One scientist of IHBT was trained at CDRI in the field of sophisticated instruments.
  • More than two hundred post-graduate students from Indian Universities& sponsored personnel were trained in the field of Tissue Culture, Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular& Structural Biology.
  • Seven sponsored personnel from Industry& Academia were trained in Management of Laboratory Animals, Drug design and Synthesis, Clinical& Experimental Medicine and Quality Control& Drug Delivery system.
  • Short-term training was given to one WHO sponsored fellow from Bangladesh in Pharmacological evaluation& Endocrinology& one fellow from Netherlands in Toxicity evaluation.


  • CIMAP Summer School was organised on "Molecular Techniques in Bioprospection and Biodiversity Analysis" during 1 June - 15 July, 2003 to expose the young students and investigators to the modern biological techniques such as DNA cloning, bio-prospecting bio-active molecules and gene (s), plant transformation and plant DNA fingerprinting.
  • CIMAP Winter School on "Recent techniques in gene cloning, DNA analysis and Functional Genomics" was held at CIMAP, Lucknow during 1-10 December, 2003
  • CIMAP organized the CSIR sponsored CIMAP Refresher Course (CRC-2003) at Lucknow during 6-26 April 2003. Twenty participants from CSIR, ICAR and Universities participated in the programme that covered lectures on recent advances in traditional and modern subjects of biological sciences in plant system.
  • CIMAP organized the two days CPYLS (CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science) programme during 19-20 December, 2003 for the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • CIMAP organized eleven training-cum demonstration programmes in different parts of the country through which 550 persons were provided technical knowledge and guidance for cultivation, processing, marketing, etc. for quality production of medicinal and aromatic plants of economic importance.

  • Two days training-cum-demonstration programme was organized by CIMAP’s Resource Centre, Pantnagar on 7-8 February for technical staff of Horticulture Department, Uttaranchal Govt., regarding cultivation and post harvest technology of medicinal and aromatic plants related to hilly areas of Uttaranchal.

  • A Farmer’s demonstration programme on medicinal plants was conducted on 21.01.2004 at CIMAP’s Resource Centre, Bangalore where 42 farmers including 22 women participated. Cultivation and post harvest techniques and handling of medicinal plants and advantages of intercropping were explained and they shown the live demonstration. Officer from BABARD explained the activities of the bank to the farmers and a meeting with CEO of Karnataka State Medicinal Plants Authority was also arranged.

  • To create awareness about the production of vermicompost from distillation and other farm waste, training was imparted to 180 farmers at CIMAP on March 5, 2004, where demonstration on raising of menthol mint nursery, transplanting, distillation and practices followed in vermicomposting were arranged.


  • 34 Ph.D. scholars (JRF/SRF) joined IGIB.
  • 35 students summer trainee/project trainee worked for completing their post-graduate degree.
  • 22 medical practitioners were trained in the field of Respiratory Allergy during 30th workshop on “Diagnosis and Management of Respiratory Allergy” organized jointly by IGIB and V .P. Chest Institute from June 4-10, 2003.
  • CPYLS organized for students of Punjab&amp; Chandigarh.
  • Training Programme on “Fungal Taxonomy: Classical& Molecular Approaches” was conducted by Microbial Type Culture Collection during March 3-19, 2004.


  • Training of Tea Planters
  • One day training-cum-awareness meeting for the tea planters of Himachal Pradesh was organized on May 1, 2003, The main objective of this meeting was to sensitize the tea planters of Kangra valley on value addition and tea product diversification. The meeting was attended by forty participants including tea planters from different tea growing zones of the state, representatives of Regional Cooperative and private tea manufacturing units, and Technical Officer (Tea), Department of Agriculture, H.P. Government.
  • Two-day programme on field management of tea, was organised by the Institute on October 8-9, 2003. Twenty nine participants including tea growers from Bir, Baijnath, Palampur and Dharamshala divisions and personnel from the State Department of Agriculture stationed at "Chay Bhawan", Kalu-di-Hatti attended the training. During the training, the tea planters observed that the improved agrotechniques and state-of-art manufacturing process should be adopted for higher production of better quality tea.
  • In addition to these trainings, under CSIR Rural Development Programme regular advisory services were provided to the tea planters of the region and interactive meeting organized to apprise them about the tea management practices and tea processing techniques.
  • Training on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
  • A training entitled “Cultivation, Processing and Quality Evaluation of Medicinal and Aromatic Crops for Income Generation and Marketing” conducted during October 20-24, 2003. It was sponsored by Regional Training Centre for IWDP (PAU), Ballowal Saunkhri, Tehsil Balachaur, Distt. Nawanshahr (Punjab) Twenty participants attended the programme.
  • Technology demonstration cum training course entitled “Cultivation, Processing and Quality Evaluation of Medicinal and Aromatic Crops” was conducted during November 10-14, 2003. There were twenty participants from ICAR institutions, State Agricultural Universities, Forest departments, Industrialists, and progressive growers.
  • One-Day Awareness Programme on “Cultivation and Processing of Medicinal& Aromatic Plants for Members of Self Help Groups” conducted on November 19, 2003, sponsored by Child Development Project Officer, Chamba (HP), which was organized at Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur (HP). There were 30 women participants.
  • IHBT and Wild Life Institute, Dehradun organized a training programme on Bioresource for School children from 23.05.2003 to 04.06.2003. The aim of the programme was to generate awareness about the nature. Twenty seven children from different schools from Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh participated in the programme


  • Summer Training Programme for M.Sc. (Biotechnology)
  • Winter Training Programme for M.Sc. (Biotechnology)
  • Training Programme on Fungal Taxonomy: Classical and Molecular Approaches conducted by Microbial Type Culture Collection


  • A 10-day South Asian Regional Training Workshop for “Empowerment of Women with Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Utilization of Local Biological Resources” was organized by NBRI from April 7-16, 2003.
  • NBRI organized the 2nd Indo-Sudanese workshop on “Medicinal and Aromatic Plants”.
  • 1st Indo-China Workshop on Quality Control and Standardization of Traditional Medicine organized at NBRI during January 8-10, 2004 under the bilateral collaboration of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
  • National Workshop on Ayurveda Research Scenario-Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects for Excellence: A three-day workshop was held at Arogyadham, Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), Chitrakoot in association with NBRI during May 24-26, 2003.


  • CPYLS Programme: CSIR Programmme on Youth for Leadership in Science for the meritorious senior secondary students of J& K state was organized. It was attended by 59 students.
  • Summer School Training: Seventy two M.Sc., M.C.A., B.Tech, B.Sc Engineering/IT students from different universities and institutes from all over the country undertook 1 to 6 months trainings for their project work in the relevant areas of research.
  • National workshop on quality control &amp; assurance - Challenges for R& D and export Industry. More than 60 delegated participated.
  • Training programme on intellectual property rights : The workshop was attended by more than 78 delegates from all over India who were educated on various aspects of IPR Management by eminent experts in the field.
  • Five days Indo-US Workshop on Application of Flow Cytometry in Drug Mechanistics. Thirty delegates were imparted training by eminent experts in the field.


  • A three-day Training-cum-orientation Programme on Cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Bank Officials and NGOs was organized in the laboratory during 03-06 December 2003. Twenty participants from North Eastern States attended the programme. The training was aimed at providing a thrust for cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants in this part of the country.


Padma Shri for distinguished services
FICCI award for R&D in Life Sciences including Agriculture & Bio-technology
Vigyan Gaurav Award by Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
Dr. Lalji Singh, CCMB
Fellow of Indian National Science Academy Dr. Veena K Parnaik, CCMB
National Bioscience award for career development of the year 2003-04 by DBT Dr.Ramesh V. Sonti, CCMB

CSIR Technology Award for Biological Sciences & Technology for “A novel in-vivo assay system for screening and validation of drugs”

Dr. L. S. Shashidhara & team, CCMB
Selected as Maruis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering  Dr. G.R. Chandak, CCMB
Dr.B.N. Ghosh Oration Award of Indian Pharmacological Society 2003 Dr. C.M. Gupta, CDRI
Dr. S.B. Pandey Oration Award of Indian Pharmacological Society 2003 Dr. Gautam Palit, CDRI
K.G. Nair Oration Award of the Indian Society of Hypertension Dr.Ashim Ghatak, CDRI
Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore Dr. Vinod Bhakuni, CDRI
Indira Gandhi Official Language Award Dr. V.N. Tiwari, CDRI
Fellow of Indian Society of Agricultural Biochemists Dr. S.P.S. Khanuja, CIMAP
President of Lucknow Chapter of Indian Society of Soil Sciences Dr.D.D. Patra, CIMAP
Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) Dr.E.V.S.P. Rao, CIMAP
CSIR Young Scientist Award  Dr. Taruna Madan, IGIB
B. K. Bachhawat Oration Award  Prof. S. K. Brahmachari, IGIB
P.H. Gregory Contest Award for presentation of research paper  at 12th National Conference on Aerobiology, Department of Botany, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan Rashmi Sharma, IGIB
Recognition granted by Molecular Biochemistry & Diagnostics Divisions Dr. Taruna Madan, IGIB
Invited as Specialty Council Member by World Allergy Organization

Nominated as member standardization committees on the methodology for allergen monitoring in Asia-Pacific for patients and physicians

Dr. A. B. Singh, IGIB
Young Investigator Prize at International Conference on Recent Advances in Biomedical & Therapeutic Sciences, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh Ms. Jyotsana Gupta, IGIB
Elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Science, Allahabad Dr. Jagmohan Singh, IGIB
Dr. B.C. Guha Memorial Award for outstanding achievements Prof. Samir Bhattacharya, IICB
Fellow of National Academy of  Sciences (FNA), India Dr. H.K. Mazumdar, IICB
Fellow of National Academy of  Sciences (FNA), India Dr. Samit Adhya, IICB
National Young Woman Scientist Award, DBT Dr. Rukhsana Chaudhary, IICB
Elected as a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (INSA). Dr. Amit Ghosh, IMT
Best Invention -2nd Prize for “Fermentation Technology for the Production of various Gluconate Salts”  during 64th All India Industrial Exhibition ( 1stJanuary to 15th February 2004)  organised by  The Exhibition Society , Hyderabad. Dr. G. N. Qazi & Dr. R. Prasad,  RRL-Jammu




National Academy of Sericultural Sciences, India (NASSI) National Fellow Award for meritorious scientific contribution in the field of sericultural research during last two decades. Dr S.N. Chaudhary, RRL-Jorhat

President’ visit to RRL-Jammu

Hon’ble President of India His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited RRL-Jammu. He has shown keen interest in R&D work of the Laboratory.

On this occasion Hon’ble President had remarked“Delighted to visit RRL(Jammu). I can see excellence in many areas of herbal plant (end to end solution). My best greetings to Director and the team and to the inspirer (Mashelkar)”.