School of Basic and Applied Sciences

Department of Botany

The Department of Botany started to function as a part of the Centre for Biosciences in 2009 and became an independent Centre in 2015. In 2017 the nomenclature was changed and the centre was replaced with the Department. Our department aims to achieve excellence in research and teaching in the areas of basic and applied plant sciences. This department provides excellent research and training opportunities for postgraduate students and research scholars. A total of nine students have completed their Ph.D. degree requirements in the short period. Currently, research in the department is focused on Plant Cell and Tissue Culture, Genome editing, Molecular Stress Physiology, Plant and Algal Biodiversity, Floristic Diversity of Antarctica, Anticancer compounds from algae and fungi,   Genetics and Applied Genomics, and Plant Metabolic Engineering. In a short span of its existence, the department has obtained grants of over 2.4 crores from external funding agencies.
The department has well equipped laboratories with a plant growth chamber, culture room, growth rooms for designing a wide range of experiments and offers an excellent research environment in both fundamental and applied aspects of plant molecular sciences.
There are five research groups in the department mainly dealing with the plant complexities with respect to climate change. The research and teaching labs are supported by 3 technical staff  members. At present 19 Ph.D. scholars are doing research in the department.

Faculty

  1. Dr. Sanjeev K. Thakur Professor
  2. Prof. Paramjit Singh, Professor & HOD
  3. Dr. Felix Bast, Associate Professor
  4. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj Assistant Professor
  5. Dr. Vinay Kumar Assistant Professor

Non-Teaching Staff

  1. Mr. Ashvani Kumar, Technical Assistant
  2. Mr. Ravi Dutt, Laboratory Assistant
  3. Ms. Gagandeep Kaur Dhaliwal, Laboratory Attendant

Academic Programmes Offered

Department of Botanyoffers the following programmes:

  • M.Sc. Botany   
    The two year (four semesters) Post Graduate Programme is designed to give opportunity to learn modern botanical techniques and promotes a multidisciplinary approach to understand various fields of botany e.g. plant systematics,genetics,molecular biology,biochemistry,Plant Physiology,Plant Tissue culture,Metabolic Engineering,Recombinant DNA technology, Ecology, Environment and Biodiversity, Plant developmental biology, mycology and plant pathology,ethnobotany. This platform nurtures student's thinking to observe, analyze, interpret and utilize the biological techniques and phenomena in basic as well as applied fields. Presentations, assignments, tutorials, quizzes, experimental evidences, field observation, data analysis and computer applications in biology, small projects are few of the methodologies that are being applied for teaching. Student intake has been increased to 50 from the admission year 2020. Prospective candidates are encouraged to visit admission section of the university.

  • Ph.D. Botany
    PhD program at Department of Botany offers an unparalleled opportunity for the students to experience international-level research in botany with cutting-edge methodologies. Admission is only for holders of independent research fellowships (like CSIR-JRF), in addition to qualifying CUCET for our PhD program. The PhD program also include coursework in the initial two semesters as per the latest guidelines of UGC. Many of our alumni are employed at various national and international institutes. Prospective candidates are encouraged to visit admission section of the university.

Syllabi

  • M.Sc. Botany 2020-22
  • M.Sc. Life Sciences (Plant Sciences ) 2019-20
  • Ph.D. in Botany 2020

Research Thrust Areas

  • Stress biology in crops.
  • Plant Taxonomy,Molecular Systematics, Biodiversity, Conservation, Ethnobotany, Plant Ecology.
  • Adaptation of plant species to the extreme environment and effect of climate change.
  • Plant genetic and metabolic engineering.
  • Tissue Culture

Laboratory Facilities

Department of Botany is equipped with state-of-the-art scientific laboratories with avant-garde research infrastructure including low temperature deep freezers, Cytogenetic Workstation, Gradient PCR machines,  Automated DNA Sequencer, Plant Tissue culture, laminar air flow
The department also has access to the equipment in the Central Instrumentation Laboratory (CIL):

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrometer
  • Confocal Microscope
  • Flow Cytometer
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer
  • GC-MS
  • ICP-MS
  • Scanning Electron Microscope
  • UHPLC

Selected Publications (2 each from faculty)

  1. Prof. Sanjeev Kumar
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=EwqiE0kAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
    • Adhikary, A., Kumar, R., Pandir, R., Bhardwaj, P., Wusirika, R. and Kumar, S. (2019). Pseudomonas citronellolis; a multi-metal resistant and potential plant growth promoter against Arsenic (V) stress in Chickpea. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 142:179-192.  doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2019.07.006. (IF: 3.7)
    • Kiran, A., Kumar, S., Nayyar, H. Sharma, K. (2019). Low temperature induced aberrations in male and female reproductive organ development cause flower abortion in Chickpea.  Plant Cell and Environment. 42, (7) 2075-2089 https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13536 (IF: 6.3)
  2. Dr.  Paramjit Singh
    • K. Ambrish & P Singh. 2019. A New Species of Arnebia (Boraginaceae) from Jammu and Kashmir, India. Journal of Japanese Botany 94(3): 159–164.
    • Singh, SK, Agrawala, DK, Jalal, JS, Dash,SS, Mao, AA & P Singh. 2019. Orchids of India- A Pictorial Guide. Pages i-iii, 1-547,fig. 1-38 and 700+ photoplates. BSI, Kolkata. ISBN 819347583-6.
  3. Dr. Felix Bast
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=kY3reb8AAAAJ
    • Bast, F., John, A. A and Bhushan, S. (2014). Strong endemism of bloom-forming tubular Ulva in Indian west coast, with description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta). PLoS ONE 9(10): e109295. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109295
    • Sharma, S., Mehra, R. and Bast, F. (2019) Molecular Phylogeography of Ficus benghalensis Linnaeus using nrDNA ITS 1,cpDNA trnL and cpDNA rps16 from Indian subcontinent. Current Science 117 (2) 293-298
  4. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=s1H-QS0AAAAJ
    • Aasim Majeed, Aman Singh, Shruti Choudhary, Pankaj Bhardwaj. 2019. RNAseq-based phylogenetic reconstruction of Taxaceae and Cephalotaxaceae..  Cladistics 35:461-468. [IF= 4.72]
    • Shruti Choudhary, Sapna Thakur, Aasim Majeed, Pankaj Bhardwaj.2019. Exploring microRNA profiles for circadian clock and flowering development regulation in Himalayan Rhododendron. Genomics 111:1456-1463. [IF= 6.20]
  5. Dr. Vinay Kumar
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=wFR2vFgAAAAJ
    • Uniyal AP, Mansotra K, Yadav SK, Kumar V (2019) An overview of designing and selection of sgRNAs for precise genome editing by the CRISPR-Cas9 system in plants. 3Biotech 9:23-42.
    • Uniyal AP, Yadav SK, Kumar V (2019) The CRISPR-Cas9, Genome editing approach: a promising tool for drafting defense strategy against begomoviruses including cotton leaf curl viruses. Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 28; 121-132.

List of the Research Projects Operational in the department

  1. Molecular and morphological diversity in photobiont associated with Parmelioid lichens of Indian Himalaya (2018-2021)  Funded by CSIR Sponsored Research Scheme (22 lakh)
  2. DNA Sequence-based molecular systematics of marine macroalgae from Indian Coast (2020-2023) Funded by DST-SERB Core Research Grant (37.57 lakh)
  3. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Transcriptomic investigations of active gene networks in hyper-accumulator plant species in response to heavy metal toxicity. Funding agency: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Sanctioned amount: 20 Lacs.
  4. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Genetic diversity assessment of highly endangered species Taxus wallichiana and Ulmus wallichiana by DNA markers and geospatial technologies for effective conservation strategies. Funding Agency: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Sanctioned Amount: 35 Lacs.
  5. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Identification and characterization of stress proteins and related Heat Shock Factors; assessment of up/down-regulated stress genes in preconditioned chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, Sanctioned amount: 03 Lacs (INR).
  6. Dr. Vinay Kumar, “Deep Sequencing for Identification and Differential Expression Analysis of Reproductive Organ(s) Enriched transcripts after Fertilization in Chickpea” Funding agency: UGC-Start Up Research Grant, Amount 10 lakhs (INR)

List of the Projects Completed

  1. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Analyses of genetic variations and structure of Rhododendron, a rare and endangered tree species in Western Himalayas. Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).
  2. Dr. Felix Bast, Sequence-based DNA barcoding, Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of selected Medicinal Plants from Indian Subcontinent. Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, 03 Lacs (INR).
  3. Dr. Felix Bast, Tracing evolutionary heritage of Indian Languages using Computational Phylogenetics. Funding agency: ICSSR, 07 Lacs (INR).
  4. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Analyses of genetic variations and structure of Rhododendron, a rare and endangered tree species in Western Himalayas. Funding agency: Department of Science Technology, Sanctioned amount: 17 Lacs (INR).
  5. Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Differential gene expression in response to ultra-low temperature in Rhododendron arboreum by whole genome transcriptome. Funding agency: Central University of Punjab, Sanctioned amount: 03 Lacs.
  6. Dr. Felix Bast, Genotoxicity detection in drinking water from Malwa region, Punjab. Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).
  7. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Investigating the mechanism associated with temperature stress tolerance imposed by non-lethal stress conditions; Understanding metabolic relationship between cold and draught x heat stress in chickpea (Cicer arietinumL.) Funding agency: University of Grant Commission, Sanctioned amount: 06 Lacs (INR).

Foreign Students:

  1. Mrs. Odgerel Bumandalai, Researcher, Microbial Synthesis Laboratory,
    Institute of General and Experimental Biology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Mongolia supported by NAM S&T Centre Research Training Fellowship for Developing Country Scientists (RTF-DCS) (2016-17) with Dr. Felix Bast as mentor.

  2.  

Outreach

Several faculties of the department has organized several outreach activities in schools, village libraries, colleges.

Events

  1. Science Academies’- INYAS Science Leadership Workshop (India’s first Science Leadership Program), From June 22 to June 28.
  2. Lecture Workshop:”Tangled Bank” series organized in connection with UN World Environment Day jointly by INYAS (Indian National Young Academy of Sciences) and the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda.
  3. An interactive session organized by Goa Science Centre  in connection with UN World Environment Day  jointly with INYAS (Indian National Young Academy of Sciences) 5th June 2020 at 12:30 PM.
  4. Organised a webinar series entitled 'Blue Planet', in connection with World Ocean’s Day,  from 7th June till 9th June.  jointly with INYAS (Indian National Young Academy of Sciences).
  5. DAV College, Bathinda, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda and Indian National Young Academy of Science New Delhi co-organized a webinar series entitled #ZeroWaste, from 16th June till 18th June.
  6. Science Academies’ Refresher Course on Plant Taxonomy, Ecology and Phytpgeography (March, 2019)
  7. Science Academies’ Lecture Workshop in Recent Breakthroughs in Plant Sciences (2016)
  8. Science Academies’ Refresher Course in Environmental Biology (2016)

Alumni (PhD)

  1. Dr. Pushpendra Singh (Supervisor: Dr. Felix Bast): Scientist at State Forest department, Madhya Pradesh
  2. Dr. Prateek Singh (Supervisor: Dr. Sanjeev Kumar): Assistant Professor
  3. Dr. Satej Bhushan (Supervisor: Dr. Felix Bast): PostDoc at NIPGR, New Delhi
  4. Dr. Balraj Singh Gill (Supervisor: Dr. Sanjeev Kumar) : Post graduate Teacher in Higher Education Department Government of Himachal Pradesh
  5. Dr. Richa Mehra (Supervisor: Dr. Felix Bast) : Scientist at UNESCO-Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad.
  6. Dr. Pooja Rani (Supervisor: Dr. Felix Bast): Sr. Demonstrate, Dept. of Biophysics, PGIMER, Chandigarh.
  7. Dr. Sapna Thakur (Supervisor: Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj):Post Doc fellow at IHBT CSIR Palampur, H.P.
  8. Dr. Shruti Bhardwaj ((Supervisor: Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj): PostDoc at Umeå University, Sweden.