Amal Kanti Paul Asok Kumar Biswas
Nanda Dulal Paria Krishnendu Acharya
Sumita Jha Ruma Pal
Swapan Kumar Datta Binay Chaubey (on Lien)
Bratati De Rita Kundu
Anita Mukherjee Moumita Bandyopadhyay
Subir Bera Prasenjit Saha
Sandip Mukhopadhyay Surekha Kundu


Prof. Amal Kanti Paul                                                                     

Research interest in this laboratory concentrates on the physiology and biochemistry of synthesis and accumulation of biopolyesters, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by diverse heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria isolated from natural environments. Efforts are being made to develop cost effective method for production of novel PHAs with improved properties from renewable resources and to link PHA synthesis with bacterial metabolism and differentiation.

There is a strong interest in studying intracellular utilization and mobilization of accumulated PHAs by intracellular PHA depolymerise (i-PHA depolymerise) as well as in vitro degradation of homo- and copolymers of short-chain-length hydroxyalkanoic acids (scl-PHAs) with emphasis on isolation and characterization of extracellular PHA depolymerises (e-PHA depolymarase).

Studies are also conducted on microbial ecology of serpentine soils, a naturally occurring metal-percolated ecosystem inhabited by endemic nickel hyperaccumulators. Diversity, metabolic physiology and metal resistance in serpentine and non-serpentine microflora are compared. Metal-microbe interactions in rhizo-microflora of metal hyperaccumulating plants are also studied for application in bioremediation approaches.

Microorganisms in chromite mining biotopes are another new field of research for exploring their potentials in metal prospecting and bioremediation. Bioleaching of metals from mine overburden and biosorption of metals help in removal and recovery of toxic metals. Chromium-resistant bacteria ubiquitous in chromite mine environment show bioreduction and bioaccumulation potential. Search for chromium reductases in bacteria from anthropogenic and geogenous sources are under progress.

Prof. Nandadulal Paria                                                                       

Angiosperms Taxonomy, Biodiversity and Conservation, Biosystematics, Palynology, Ethnobotany, Medicinal Plants, and Seed and Seedling Morphology.

Prof. Sumita Jha                                                                                   

Genetic enhancement in relation to secondary metabolites and metabolomics.

Transgenic elicitation of secondary metabolite accumulation in plants.

Genetic diversity and chromosome constitution as associated with difference in chemical constituents in plants

In vitro propagation and conservation of recalcitrant species

Prof. Swapan Kumar Datta                                                                   

Plant Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, genomics and Translational Research and International Agriculture policy.Single-cell development and differentiation in plants (microspore- and protoplast-derived embryogenesis and artificial seed development in cereals; in vitro laticifer differentiation; cytodifferentiation and organ induced chemodifferentiation in plants).

Developed and demonstrated stable transgene expression using protoplast, Agrobacterium and Biolistic transformation driven by tissue-specific and constitutive-promoters in rice.

Developed the genetically engineered homozygous indica rice developed from haploid embrogenic cell suspension culture derived protoplasts.

Developed and field-evaluate the hybrid Bt rice, characterize sd1gene, and pyramid transgenes (Bt, Xa21 and PR-Protein genes) and define their function in rice.

Developed and demonstrated the marker free elite transgenic indica rice cultivars with biological and molecular characterization.

Bio-engineered "Golden" indica rice with genes for beta-carotene (pro-vitaminA) and ferritin gene (iron) for nutrititious rice.

Actively participating in developing global vision of plant biotechnology and relevant use in India.

Prof. Bratati De                                                                                   

Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy

Phytochemical analysis and metabolomics

Elicitation of important plant secondary metabolites

Bioactivity of plant extracts and constituents

Prof.Anita Mukherjee                                                                          

Genetic toxicology

Current Interest:

Develop protocols/diagonistic kits for assessing genotoxicity of chemicals disposed through natural and anthropogenically mediated process

Phytoremediation of flyash by Vetiver plant

Antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects of some plants of ethnobotanical importance

Assessment of cytogenetic damage and DNA damage in vitro in human lymphocytes induced by arsenic and fluoride through drinking water

Prof. Subir Bera                                                                                        

Biodiversity of plants in the Indian sub continent since last 250 M.Y

Phytostratigraphy - Palynostratigraphy, Ecostratigraphy

Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment, Palaeogeography

Detection of Palaeoshoreline and hydrocarbon exploration

Palaeomycology, Archaeobotany, Entomopalynology, Melittopalynology, Forensic Palynology, Copropalynology

Plant - Animal Interaction and their co-evolution

Ancient-DNA analysis and Palaeophytochemistry

Dr. Sandip Mukhopadhyay                                                                          

Three major areas:

1. Comparative analysis of different in vitro plant regeneration systems for efficient clonal propagation of different medicinal plants and studies of both physical and chemicals factors responsible for organogenic and embryogenic responses during regeneration. Effects of in vitro environment on chromosome status, total protein profile and isozyme activities of the regenerates during organogenic and embryogenic responses.

2. In vitro propagation of different medicinal plants using different systems to standardize efficient, simple and cost effective protocol for conservation and improvement of medicinal principle contents by manipulating culture regimes and by addition of precursor molecules/elicitors during growth in culture to identify elite clones. Also, hairy root induction following transformation with Agrobacterium rhizogenes and subsequent root culture are also being carried out to compare the active principle contents of pharmacological importance of these plants with the values of normal culture methods adopted for improvement. The clones regenerated through different systems are compared with their mother plants with respect to their chromosomal status, total protein pattern and certain isozyme activities.

3. Studies on genome diversity of different medicinal plants utilizing cytological, cytochemical and molecular approaches. The effects of such genome diversity on in vitro responses during growth and development of these plants in culture are also being analyzed

Dr. Asok Kumar Biswas                                                                     

Plant Physiology and Plant Biochemistry

Dr. Krishnendu Acharya                                                                  

Nitric oxide as signalling molecule in SAR and ISR:

Relationship of defense related NOS with resistance and susceptibility of plant. Role of nitric oxide in the signalling network of SAR and ISR.

Drug Development & Nutracetical Research:

Development of antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, anticancer drugs from wild mushrooms.

Biological Control of Phytopathogens:

Major work focussed on isolation of potential antagonist having a wide range of defense weapon and development of a cost effective media for large scale production and formulation.

Fungal Genetics:

Genetic polymorphism and taxonomic infrastructure of wild and cultivated mushrooms as determined by RAPD analyses, isozyme profiles, characterization of plasmid and ecomorphological characters.

Dr. Ruma Pal                                                                                          

Our Research Interest is mainly focused on Algal Biotechnology in relation to Bioremediation and Aquaculture, Phytoplankton Dynamics and Ecological modeling and Microalgal diversity of Kolkata and surroundings with special reference to Genomic diversity and Molecular phylogeny of cyanobacteria.

Bioremediation study includes removal of heavy and toxic metals and radio-nuclides using Algae as bio-reagents from natural habitat and in vitro system using 'Tracer packet Technique', 'Neutron Activation methods' and 'Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry'. Separation of precious metal gold and its bio- transformation to nano-gold has already been reported by our group. To understand Algae-metal interaction at cellular level, mode of action of individual metal like Pb, Cr,Cd, Au and As for particular algal genus is also determined. Different models of Bio-filter of toxic metals have been developed using algae as bioreagent. Work is going on the algal flora of Arsenic contaminated villages of North 24-parganas to explore arsenic tolerant algal genera and to develop bio-filter. To identify arsenic tolerant gene from cyanobacteria is also included in the study.

Use of highly nutritious, non-conventional local algal genera in aquaculture feed preparation and their role in fish dietetics in relation to growth and immunity is other program of our work. Different types of fish feed like, 'Total Supplement' & 'Value Added Feed' have been found suitable for early larval transformation of prawn. Work is going on for determining the nutraceutical properties of value added algal feed for carp fishes and colored fishes. Mass production of economically useful microalgae using Photobioreactor and Open race way Pond and Regular training of the villagers for mass cultivation and feed production is also a part our Research Program.

Work is going on development of ecological model based on phytoplankton diversity in relation to seasonal variation, nutrient cycle and other physico- chemical parameters of Fresh water wetland, Estuary and Coastal area of West Bengal .


Dr. Binay Chaubey (On lien)                                                             

Hepatitis Research:

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic active hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis. There is no vaccine available against this virus and the current standard therapy for HCV entails a concoction of pegylated interferon alfa (PEG-IFN a) and ribavirin (RBV), both of which are non-specific antiviral drugs. Although this therapy has shown some promising results, it is fraught with limited efficacy, resistance problems, poor tolerability and high cost of manufacture, underscoring the need for new and more effective therapy. The present focus of research is to inhibit the viral replication using siRNA. This is highly versatile, simple, straightforward and cost effective approach, which is able to significantly down regulate, the target genes in a sequence specific manner. This is a promising approach, which can overcome the limitations associated with the existing therapy. The main strategy in this study will be to deliver multiple short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) targeted against both the host cell factors and the conserved domains of viral 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTR) and nonstructural genes through self inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vectors. The SIN lentiviral vectors unlike other vectors (adeno and retro virals) can effectively integrate even in non-dividing host cells and manifest lasting RNAi effect.

HIV Research:

Among the HIV infected people mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatocytes and other HIV infected cells is a leading cause of cellular death. Several viral proteins such as HIV-1 Vpr and Gag interact with and alter the organization of the mitochondrial membrane. This may impair oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport mechanisms resulting in depletion of cellular ATP pool and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Interestingly, presence of a high copy number of HIV-1 RNA has been reported in the mitochondrial compartment. The rationale for this accumulation is not well understood. Another pertinent question is the origin of HIV-1 RNA with in the mitochondria. These questions need to be addressed meticulously and carefully so that drugs directed to the mitochondria can be designed in order to contain the viral propagation in the mitochondria as well as sustain the mitochondrial integrity. The results expected from these studies will provide a new insight in our understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction associated with HIV-1 infection and antiretroviral treatment. This may significantly influence the ongoing treatment decisions of AIDS patients and aid in better drug designing and consequently improved management and control of AIDS patients.

Dr. Rita Kundu                                                                                    

Cell cycle, Phytoremediation
Dr. Moumita Bondyopadhyay                                                              

Molecular cytogenetics; Genetic transformation and metabolic engineering

Dr. Prasenjit Saha                                                                              

Stress biology; Plant Molecular Biology

Dr. Surekha Kundu                                                                               

Molecular mechanism of circadian rhythm in Neurospora.

DNA fingerprinting of edible mushroom of West Bengal and making a data base.

Cultivation of wild edible mushrooms