Introduction

Biotechnology is a collection of scientific techniques used to make or modify a product to improve plants, animals and microorganisms. Based on an understanding of DNA, scientists have developed solutions to increase agricultural productivity. Starting from the ability to identify genes that may confer advantages on certain crops, and the ability to work with such characteristics very precisely, biotechnology enhances breeders’ ability to make improvements in crops. Biotechnology enables improvements that are not possible with traditional crossing of related species alone. Keeping in view the benefits of these techniques Agri. Biotechnology Research Institute was established in December, 1987 as development project and was later transferred to non-development side in 1994 and its capacity was enhanced with the implementation of a series of development projects. Presently research work on many crops including cereals, fiber crops, sugarcane, fodders, oilseeds, pulses and vegetables is being carried out on different aspects like development of transgenic plants, testing of biotech crops, DNA marker assisted breeding, production of better somaclones, disease free seed multiplication etc. This institute also deals with beneficial microbes which exert positive effects on plant growth through BNF, P-solubilization and producing growth hormones for restoration of soil fertility.

Mission & Objectives

  • Genetic engineering
  • DNA marker assisted selection to accelerate  breeding programme
  • Detection, identification and quantification of Biotech crops
  • Exploitation of somaclonal variation against biotic and abiotic stresses
  • Disease free seed multiplication  through micropropagation
  • Symbiotic N Fixation, isolation and selection of efficient strains of Rhizobium
  • PGPR-crop (plant-microbe) associations in non-legumes
  • Phosphate solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) studies
  • Integrated plant nutrient management (IPNM) system
  • Soil environment and microbial activity relationship
  • Enrichment of rhizosphere with desired microorganisms
  • Development of crop specific microbial inoculants
  • Dissemination of technology through mass media to farmers

Future Plans

Biotechnology has the potential to play a significant role in increasing the agricultural productivity. It includes technologies such as gene transformation (modification and transfer), the use of DNA marker and DNA based methods of disease characterization/ diagnosis, Invitro vegetative propagation of plants, embryo rescue and transfer, wide crossing, exploitation of protoclonal and somaclonal variation, development and use of biofertilizers etc. Future targets of this institute with respect to use of latest tools of biotechnology are as under:

  • Development of crop genotypes through genetic engineering (genetic transformation), having resistance to pests, diseases, salinity, drought, heat etc. and testing of GMOs of different field crops. For this purpose eleven genes will be got synthesized for Quality traits, Male sterility, Insect resistance, Herbicide tolerance, Disease resistance and will be transformed to the major as well as orphan crops
  • DNA marker development linked to biotic and abiotic stresses in field crops for use in molecular breeding to develop stress resistant high yielding varieties
  • Genetic diversity studies of major as well as minor crops (Pulses and oilseeds)
  • Development of somaclones of various crops having resistance to different biotic and abiotic stresses like diseases, insect pests, salinity, drought, heat, frost etc. for germplasm enhancement and development of new varieties
  • Single character correction of rejected but good productive genotypes of various crops through tissue culture technology
  • Acceleration in wheat breeding by broadening genetic base through wider crosses/ transfer of alien genes. Instant homozygossity will be achieved by making wheat doubled haploids using wheat x maize crossing system for the development of new varieties in shortest possible time
  • Micro propagation in vegetative crops and orchids for disease free seed production
  • Compatibility studies on nitrogen and phosphorus fixing micro organisms for identifying efficient strains and production of high quality biofertilizers for field crops
  • Capacity building and Human Resource development in the field of biotechnology