Molecular Genetics Laboratory

  • Major Areas
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  • The research in this laboratory largely focuses on molecular breeding and the DNA marker based conservation of forest trees.
  • Use of DNA markers in Eucalyptus breeding with marker-assisted approaches could improve the precision and efficiency of selection, leading to the accelerated development of new tree varieties. Multi-species dihybrids like E. camaldulensis x E. tereticornis, E. tereticornis x E. grandis were genotyped with ISSR, SSR and GBS-SNP markers for the development of genetic maps and identification of quantitative trait loci for traits like salinity tolerance, adventitious rooting and cellulose and lignin content. Microsatellite markers were shortlisted for hybrid purity assessment. DNA marker systems for fingerprinting of eucalypts, casuarina and teak clones were developed.
  • Forest trees need to manage with adverse environmental conditions that affect their growth and development. Trees have evolved adaptive mechanisms that enable them to survive various types climate stresses such as drought and salinity. The research in this laboratory largely focuses in the molecular genetics underlying these processes, which ultimately assist in conservation of genetic resources, improving productivity and sustainability of forests and environment. The species targeted for molecular marker based conservation approaches are Tectona grandis (Teak) and Pterocarpus santalinus (Redsanders). In the case of teak, whole genome was sequenced from six different individuals representing wide geographical regions across the country. One sample with high coverage (151x) reference genome combining Illumina technology and Nanopore (MinION) long-read sequencing technology and five samples were subjected to low coverage (15x) genome sequencing to identify the gene content, repetitive DNA elements, microsatellites and other variations.
  • Major Instruments
  • Applied Biosystems 3500 Genetic Analyzer
  • Centrifuge
  • Deep freezer
  • Thermal cyclers
  • Vertical and Submarine electrophoretic units
  • Water bath