Microbial Technology & Nematology Department

Last Updated: Thursday, 25 June 2015
Significant Achievements

A novel CIMAP- Trichoderma Technology was developed by our department to manage phytonematode problems in medicinal and aromatic plants especially in menthol mint. A large number of mint farmers are benefiting from this technology as it generates income and provides employment opportunities. Large number of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and endophytes have been isolated and tested their efficacy to enhance the yield of plant secondary metabolites and different plant growth parameters. These microbes significantly reduced the infestation of plant parasitic nematodes on various medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs).. Our department is also engaged in another beneficial effect of microorganisms i.e. bioremediation. We are working on the theme of utilizing plant growth promoting rhizospheric microbes for remediating Cr (VI) toxicity and our lab has already characterized several such microbes.

On antiageing front, our lab has discovered that phytomolecules from medicinal and aromatic plants have the ability to influence broad classes of physiological variables—metabolic rate and respiration, reproduction, sensory perception, stress responses and associated developmental state to extend lifespan thereby showing that lifespan is the collective outcome of many integrated processes. Our department is also engaged in age-dependent reactions of phytomolecules which relieve the stress and neurologic disorders under lifespan-altering genetic and environmental conditions.

Recently, our lab has also taken steps towards the use of microbes for modulation of natural molecules to enhance their anti-ageing activity. Presently our lab is also engaged to scrutinize the possible impact of vitamins on lifespan. We observed that vitamins mediate lifespan in worms, much like calorie restriction does in animals. This finding could pave the way for developing supplements to benefit humans. Since delayed aging is better investment than cancer therefore we also employ computational strategies based on bioinformatics and systems biology approaches to understand how ageing is correlated with cancer. As the literature addressing this issue is not adequate therefore the implementation of computational study could reveal new common potential targets of ageing and cancer thereby raising new prospective to improve the discovery of natural molecules with therapeutic potential for both ageing and cancer. Moreover, our lab is also interested to monitor environmental toxicity in a quick, simple, and inexpensive manner by using C. elegans as a biosensor. In our recent study, we examined the toxicity effects of Cr (VI) on stress-related gene expression and morphometric parameters of C. elegans to identify genetic markers for environmental pollution. We found that C. elegans has the potential to act as an efficient biosensor for figuring out the precise route of Cr (VI)-induced environmental toxicity. We believe identifying the aforesaid dimensions are required to properly define and contextualize the molecular mechanisms that ageing research is seeking. Our work is largely supported by the CSIR, DBT, DST, NMPB and UPCST funding agencies.

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