Head of the Division: Dr.Anitha Karun
- Genetics and Plant Breeding
The major thrust of the division is to manage the genetic resources in coconut, arecanut and cocoa for breeding high yielding varieties/hybrids with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses through conventional and biotechnological approaches, development of in vitro mass multiplication protocols and large scale production of planting material including nucleus and breeder seed for establishment of seed gardens.
Major Research Activities:
- Prospection, conservation and utilization of genetic resources targeting desirable novel traits
- Enriching the gene pool of mandate crops with gene resources for specific traits.
- Complementary conservation strategy via cryopreservation.
- Multiplication of germplasm, pre breeding and conservation.
- Germplasm characterization including molecular characterization, developing repository of donor parents and registration of trait specific lines.
- Evolving new varieties and hybrids for higher productivity, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, quality and diversified products.
- Identification and utilization of superior accessions using molecular markers for plant habit, hybridity, biotic/abiotic stress tolerance.
- Evaluation of promising lines and development of varieties.
- Establishment of mother blocks of promising varieties.
- Production of quality planting material in mandate crops.
- Application of bioinformatics tools for accelerating research on genomics, diagnostics and microbial resources.
- Bioinformatics tools for coconut whole genome sequencing.
- Transcriptomic and proteomic studies.
- Development of computational tools for crop improvement.