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Rajasekharan, P.E.

Rajasekharan, P.E.
Designation: 
Principal Scientist
Division/Section: 
Division of Plant Genetic Resources
Specialisation: 
Biodiversity conservation, In vitro conservation, Cryopreservation, IPR and related issues
Qualification: 
M.Sc.Ph.D.PGDIPRL.,PGDHRM.,PGDE&E
Research Accomplishments: 

Research highlights In the last 25 years technology has been developed for long-term cryopreservation of Nuclear Genetic diversity. Long term cryopreserved pollen in the form of nuclear genetic diversity (NGD) of citrus, papaya, grape, mango, tomato, eggplant, onion, capsicum, rose, gladiolus, gerbera, carnation and RET species of medicinal plants are maintained in liquid nitrogen. The pollen cryobank is managed by periodic replenishment of the cryogen, for maintaining a constant cryogenic temperature throughout the storage duration. This technology developed is globally acceptable and will be useful for production of hybrid seeds in the above-mentioned crops, besides its use in gene banks. At the pollen cryobank of IIHR, information pertaining to 650 pollen samples of more than 45 species belonging to 15 families is stored using this database. The software support provided for this database was FoxPro version –2. For easy management of data one main database and three sub-databases were created. Genus, species and cultivars information is available in a separate database. Information pertaining to longevity, viability and fertility of pollen after cryopreservation, media used for pollen germination, year wise listing of collected samples, year-wise list of samples cryopreserved in different years are available within the database, which is menu driven and user friendly. Although genetic conservation through pollen storage does not accomplish whole genome conservation, a breeder involved in genetic enhancement of a given crop can have access to a Pollen Cryobank facility, for nuclear genetic diversity (NGD) inputs in his amelioration program. Besides the already existing role of pollen cryobanks in breeding, there are many promising applications, which has come to focus with the recent advances in allied bio-scientific areas. THE POLLEN CRYOBANK AT IIHR, BANGLORE FINDS MENTION IN LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS-2001. The pollen samples belonging to the following species were stored in liquid nitrogen. A total of 660 samples are there at present Effect of electromagnetism on pollen germination and viability: The effect of electromagnetism on pollen germination and vigour was studied using balsam pollen. Positive results were obtained for increase in germination profiles and vigour. The pulsed medium was also shown increase in germination and vigour in balsam pollen From 2004 onwards 1.1.2 Sustainable Management of Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Genetic Resources (Project leader) 1.1.1 Sustainable Management of fruit and medicinal Plant Genetic Resources (Project Associate) Research highlights A total of 14-exploration and collection missions in the 3 year period were carried out under this project in hotspot areas of south India. The germplasm were collected along with the passport data Externally aided projects 1)FAO sponsored Hortivar Project team member 2)Co-ordinated IIHR botanical garden activities for Botanical Garden project of Botanic Garden Conservation International (Coordinated by NBRI, Lucknow) 3)In vitro conservation of grape germplasm In the ICAR ad-hoc research project “In vitro conservation of Grape germplasm and establishment of in vitro Active Gene Bank at IIHR” Bangalore, acted as the Co-Principal Investigator 1997-1999. With the support of an ICAR Ad-hoc Scheme, protocols for conserving grape genetic resources was developed at IIHR for accessions acclimatized to Indian ecosystems. It is now possible to maintain grape vitroplants for periods ranging from 6 months to 1.5 years at low temperature without an intervening sub-culture. In vitro conservation repositories involved in conservation of grape PGRs can straight away use this technology developed. 4)National Agricultural Technology Project of NBPGR on Plant Biodiversity NATP project of NBPGR on Plant Biodiversity as a Co-CCPI for carrying out exploration, collection, domestication evaluation and conservation of endangered medicinal plant species of south India. Carried out more than 18 plant exploration missions in various parts of south India and collected many species of economic importance (1999-2004) Gist of work done Successfully completed research in the area of Plant Biodiversity carried out exploration missions in the forest ecosystems under the National Agricultural Technology Project, dealing with exploration, collection, evaluation, characterization and conservation of plant species native to Indian sub-continent. IIHR as a co-operating center of NBPGR has carried out 18 exploration missions in the Karnataka/ Kerala region So far thousand accessions of medicinal plants have been collected, comprising of live plants, seeds, cuttings, etc., a field gene bank has been established maintaining over 100 species, the collected accessions maintained as live plants. 37 accessions have been characterized from among the collections In vitro conservation protocols have been optimized for 25 species. 85 accessions in the form of seed, live plants, cuttings & in vitro plant material have been deposited with NBPGR. The program supported inventorization of indigenous plant diversity distributed in the sub-continent, besides attempting to identify potentially new species, which could be brought under cultivation mode. My self was actively involved in o Planning & execution of exploration and identification of plant species missions for collection of plant species from forest ecosystems o Domestication, Evaluation and Characterization, conservation and documentation of PGR o 32 of the 40 species listed as per priority have been collected from the exploration missions conducted. Strategies for exploration and collection, evaluation and conservation of vegetable and ornamental species devised and implemented in the ongoing project on Management of Horticultural Genetic Resources Established a field gene bank for medicinal plants The co-operating center has carried out 17 exploration missions in the Karnataka/Kerala region assigned under zone-II sub-zone-8. A total number of 970 accessions have been collected, comprising of live plants, seeds, cuttings, etc., A field gene bank has been established maintaining 100 species collected accessions as live plants. 20 unique accessions were collected from the 17 exploration missions carried out by our center. 32 species of the 40 species listed as per priority have been collected from the exploration missions conducted during 1999- 2003. 37 accessions have been characterized from among the collections In vitro conservation protocols have been optimized for 24 species 111 accessions in the form of seed, live plants, cuttings & in vitro plant material have been deposited with NBPGR. 5) Collection, chemical and molecular profiling, domestication and conservation of Mappia foetida an endangered medicinal plant GO/KR-12/2007 from National Medicinal Plants Board, New Delhi Research highlights: 1. Exploration and collection missions Eight explorations were carried out for collecting Mappia foetida in Shimoga and Yercaud in Salem. Near Shimoga a four-year plantation established by Sri N.G Pai in Sagar, under open field conditions and the growth of the plants was not satisfactory. All the plants were slow growing populations in the forest near Kodluthatte. Unlike the captive populations these natural population was healthy. Leaves were big in comparison with the captive population; all plants were growing under shade. An exploration and collection mission to Yercaud in Salem district, Tamil nadu was carried out during January 2008 to collect Mappia foetida. Sri. V. R. Puasalkar, of Aruna Planta Medica has established Mappia foetida in 100 acres Coffee plantations in Yercaud, a hill station 222 km from Bangalore. In both explorations root, shoot and leaf samples were collected for chemical and molecular analysis in additions to the seedlings. Exploration and collection missions to Agumbe, Joida, Amboli ghat, Khanapur and Jambotti, Sirsi, Wayanad, Dhakshina Kannada, Idukki District of Kerala, Coorg were carried out to collect seeds, materials for chemical and molecular profiling( leaves, root bark, stem bark etc). Seedlings were also collected. In situ evaluation of populations were also carried out to see how each population deferred from each other in terms of diversity in morphological trait Tissue culture systems: Efficient in vitro systems were established using embryos as explants. In vitro conservation using low temperature and low light was successful in Mappia and up to one year the cultures could be maintained at 10°C without subculture. Genetic fidelity of tissue cultured Mappia foetida seedlings were tested using ISSR markers. Mapping of Nothapodytes nimmoniana in Western Ghats Using the passport data the distribution of Nothapodytes nimmoniana species were mapped using DIVA GIS software. The results are the form of maps. Domain model DIVA GIS (Hijmans et al, 2003) was used to predict the potential distribution of Nothapodytes nimmoniana in Western Ghats. BIOCLIM climate parameters were used for this study. The distribution of the N. nimmoniana species was mapped using the primary data which obtained from the various exploration and collection missions. The latitude, longitude and altitude of the locations were obtained using a Global Positioning System. The geographical coordinates from the primary data set (n=75) was digitalized. Prediction of species distribution patterns With the help of Bioclim /Domain tool extracted the data from the climate database for point locations and predicted the possible occurrence of N. nimmoniana FGB: A field gene bank was also established for Mappia foetida with the accessions collected during the exploration and collection missions from Western Ghats 6) Acted as Principal Investigator of 2.37 Crore Network project on RET medicinal plants ex situ conservation and utilization in South and North East India Gist of work done IIHR as a lead center in the network project on RET medicinal plants , sponsored by NMPB, exploration and collection missions were undertaken in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Out of 31 collection missions-374 accessions collected The collected accessions were brought to Bangalore and established ex situ in Field gene bank for further studies. Mapped areas of distribution and predicted the possible areas of distribution- for 32 targeted species using DIVA GIS software A seed bank was also established for Oroxylum indicum(140), Decalepis hamiltonii(6), Holostemma adakodien(3) Embelia tsjeriamcottam(3), Eemeblia ribes (1). maintaining Accessions from diverse locations. Voucher samples were deposited in national gene bank of NBPGR and IC Nos obtained – for 32 seed propagated species. Accessions of Kaempferia galanga(11) Kaempferia galanga( 8), Holostemma adakodien (4), Oroxylum indicum (9), Embelia ribes (2), Celastrus paniculatus (23), Decalepis hamiltonii (6), Aristolochia tagala (3), Saraca asoca (6), Alpinia galanga19,Kaempferia galanga 26,Rauvolfia serpentina10 could be established in the FGB of IIHR. In vitro conservation In vitro multiplication and conservation protocols were optimised for Alpinia calcarata, Kaempferia galanga and Acorus calamus.. Seed: Seed cryopreservation were initiated with the following RET medicinal plant species. 1. Oroxylum indicum 2. Operculina turpethum 3. Holostemma adakodien 4. Celastrus paniculatus 5. Decalepis hamiltonii Documentation A database for these 32 selected RET Medicinal Plants. Visual basic 6.0 and MS access 2003 was used for developing this database which is named as “RET Medicinal plant Database”( RETMED base). MS Access is a powerful RDBMS. The passport data, evaluation data (morphological chemical and molecular) were entered in MS. Access. Visual Basic 6.0 is simple as well as user friendly and was used as the front end ie. as a user interface and MS Access was used as the back end, ie: as a data storage part. Database connection is established by using ADO data control, one of the ActiveX control used for data access from databases to VB 6.0. Coding was done in such a way that, the user can access all the data, generated in RET Medicinal plant species from a single window. In the database home window consist of menu buttons for accessing passport data, evaluation data and abstracts of published research papers different RET medicinal plant species. The distribution and prediction maps generated through DIVA GIS software for each species were also incorporated in the database. Other than this the database includes the photos of each RET Medicinal plant(habit and habitat, flower, fruit seed and economical parts) data from exploration, field gene bank, in vitro studies , anatomical studies. Pollen studies were also incorporated . Molecular characterization : Molecular characterisation of ,Acorus calamus, Alpinia galang, Alpinia calcarata,Kaempferia galanga, Decalepis hamiltonii, Orxoxylum indicuam and Mappia foetida from different locations(western ghats and North east region) were subjected to ISSR analysis. Chemical characterization Decalepis hamiltonii , Oroxylum indicum , Celastrus paniculatus , Alpinia galanga and Kaempferia galanga chemically profiled Research at Biotechnology laboratory of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute Kasaragod ,Kerala Clonal propagation of Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq),coconut ,cardamom and cashew carried out for about four years as Senior research Associate(from 28-05-1985 to 03-09-1986) and Technical Assistant T-II-3(03-09-1989).During that period I was involved in the in vitro conservation of coconut embryos by using minimal medium and low temperature. After joining as scientist (06-06-1989) I underwent a core training programme at National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi for six months from 7-11-1989 to 27-4-1990.In that training programme, various aspects of Plant genetic resources activities like collection, evaluation and conservation of plant germplasm components such as seed, pollen, in vitro material under low temperature and cryogenic condition iii. Technologies developed / Technological contributions • Technology has been developed for long-term cryopreservation of Nuclear Genetic diversity. Long term cryopreserved pollen in the form of nuclear genetic diversity (NGD) of citrus, papaya, grape, mango, tomato, eggplant, onion, capsicum, rose, gladiolus, gerbera, carnation and ret species of medicinal plants are maintained in liquid nitrogen. The pollen cryobank is managed by periodic replenishment of the cryogen, for maintaining a constant cryogenic temperature throughout the storage duration. This technology developed is globally acceptable and will be useful for production of hybrid seeds in the above-mentioned crops, besides its use in gene banks. IT FINDS MENTION IN LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS-2001 • Effect of electromagnetism on pollen germination and tube growth studied in detail • Effective pollen collection, germination protocols developed for a wide array of species of horticultural importance (vegetable, ornamental, fruits and medicinal species • First time in the world mango pollen was cryopreserved and pollination with the same resulted in fruit and seed set • Character transfer using cryopreserved pollen was established for the first time using cryopreserved trifoliate orange pollen • Pollen of wild relatives of capsicum, tomato and solanum were cryopreserved for the first time and used in the pollination with cultivated species resulting in fruit and seed set • Exhaustive studies on gametophytic selection using pollen for heat tolerance in vegetable crops viz., tomato, brinjal and caspsicum and papaya • Protocols for in vitro culture optimization, multiplication and in vitro conservation of Carnation • Protocols for in vitro culture optimization, multiplication and in vitro conservation of Chrysanthemum • Protocols for in vitro multiplication and conservation for jack fruit • Protocols In vitro system for jack using embryonic axes • Design establishment of Field Gene Bank for RET medicinal plants • Protocols for Nothapodytes nimmoniana Tissue culture systems and in vitro conservation • Distribution mapping of RET medicinal plants POLBASE- DIGITIZATION OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR POLLEN CRYOBANKS was developed. At the pollen cryobank of IIHR, information pertaining to 600 pollen samples of more than 45 species belonging to 15 families is stored using this database. The software support provided for this database was FoxPro version–2. For easy management of data one main database and three sub-databases were created. Genus, species and cultivar information is available in a separate database. Information pertaining to longevity, viability and fertility of pollen after cryopreservation, media used for pollen germination, year wise listing of collected samples, year-wise list of samples cryopreserved in different years are available within the database, which is menu driven and user friendly

Important Publications: 

Raju. C. R., K.K., Sajini., S.M.,Balachandran.,K.V.Saji.,K. Geetha Maheshan.,P.E. RAJASEKHARAN., L. Getha and K.V.A. Bavappa, 1989. Clonal propagation of Oil Palm. ( Elaeis guineensis Jacq ) Journal of Plantation Crops,16(Supplement): 17-20. Alexander M .P., S. Ganeshan and P.E.RAJASEKHARAN, 1991. Freeze Preservation of Capsicum Pollen (Capsicum annuum L.) in liquid nitrogen (-1960) for 42 months. I. Effect on pollen viability and fertility-Plant Cell Incompatibility Newsletter 23, 1-4. Alexander, M.P., and P.E. RAJASEKHARAN,1990. Magnetic stimulus A Novel Tool for Papaya Pollen germination, Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources.3(2) :9-12, N.B.P.G.R , New Delhi M. P. Alexander and P. E. RAJASEKHARAN. 1992. Effect of electromagnetically pulsed nutrient medium on germination and tube length of Impatiens balsamina L. pollen. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources. 5(2):83-88. P. E. RAJASEKHARAN, M. P. Alexader and S. Ganesahan 1994. Effect of longterm pollen cryostorage on fruit set,seed set and germination in egg plant(Solanum melongena L.)Cv. ‘Arka Kusumakar’ .Indian J Pl.Genet Resources 8(2):237-240. P. E. RAJASEKHARAN and S. Ganeshan, 1994. Freeze preservation of rose pollen in liquid nitrogen:Feasibility,viability and fertility status after long-term storage The Journal of Horticultural Science.69(3):565-569 P. E. RAJASEKHARAN, S. Ganeshan and V. Thamizharasu. 1994. Expression of trifoliate leaf character in C.limonia X P.trifoliata hybrids through cryofrozen pollen. The Journal of Horticultural Science.70:485- 470 U.K. P. E. RAJASEKHARAN, T. M. Rao., T. Janakiram and S. Ganeshan.1994.Freeze preservation of Gladiolus pollen Euphytica 80:105-109. P. E. RAJASEKHARAN and S. Ganeshan. 1995. Effects of high temperature stress on papaya pollen: viability and ability to set fruits and seeds. J of Palynology 31:383-388. P. E. RAJASEKHARAN and S. Ganeshan. 1995. Conservation of haploid genetic diversity through pollen cryopreservation in Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium: Evaluation of pollen viability ,Vigour and fertility.J of Palynology 31: P. E. RAJASEKHARAN, M. P. Alexander and S. Ganeshan 1995. Effect of long term pollen cryostorage on fruit, seed set and germination in Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) Cv. ‘Arka Kusumakar ‘Ind.J.Pl.Genet. Resources, 8(2) 237-240 (Special Issue 3) P. E. RAJASEKHARAN and S. GANESHAN 1995. Effects of high temperature stress on papaya pollen: Viability and ability to set seeds. Vistas in Palynology Perspectives and prospects. Dr.P.K. K.Nair Commemoration Volume.J.Palynol.,31 335-340. P.E.RAJASEKHARAN and S.GANESHAN 1995. Conservation of haploid genetic diversity through pollen cryopreservation in Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium: Evaluation of pollen viability , vigour and fertility. Vistas in Palynology perspectives and prospects. Dr.P.K.K.Nair Commemoration Volume: J.Palynol., 31 383-388. RAJASEKHARAN, P. E. , M. P. Alexander and S. GANESHAN. 1998. Long term pollen preservation of wild tomato brinjal species and cultivars in liquid nitrogen Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources: 11:117-120 M.Sudha and P.E.RAJASEKHARAN 2001.Application of economic criteria in prioritisation of conservation methods and valuation of plant genetic resources. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources.14:281-283. P.E.RAJASEKHARAN and S.Ganeshan.2001. Pollen cryopreservation in vegetable and ornamental species: retrospect and prospects. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources.14:294-296. P.E.RAJASEKHARANS.Ganeshan and Sunitha Bhaskaran.2001.Conservation of endangered medicinal plants: Challenges and options Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources.14:296-297. P.E.RAJASEKHARAN S.Ganeshan 2002. Conservation of medicinal plant biodiversity – an Indian perspective in Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants.3 (1):125-140. P.E.RAJASEKHARAN S.Ganeshan 2002. Conservation of medicinal plant biodiversity – an Indian perspective. Journal of Medicinal Aromatic Plants.24: 132-147. P.E.Rajasekharan, S.Ganeshan2003.Feasibility of pollen cryopreservation in Capsicum sp. Capsicum and Eggplant Newsletter 22:87-90 P.E.RAJASEKHARAN S.R.Ambika and S.GANESHAN 2004. IN VITRO CONSERVATION OF COLEUS FORSKOHLII- AN ENDANGERED MEDICINAL PLANT JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOY 7(2) 135-141 Shashikala, C.M S.Shashidhara and P.E.Rajasekharan 2005.in vitro regeneration of Centella asiatica L. Plant cell Biotechnology and Molecular Biology 6(1&2):53-56. Mahantesh Kameri ,S.Shashidhara and P.E.Rajasekharan 2005.In vitro multiplication of Wedelia chinensis (osbeck)Merr. Plant cell Biotechnology and Molecular Biology 6(3&4).147-150. DAS K K, DANG R, KHANAM S, SHIVANANDA B G, RAJASEKHARAN P.E 2005 (Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560 027) : In vitro methods for production of stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana. Indian J nat Prod, 21(1), 14-15. Kuntal Das, Raman Dang and P E Rajasekharan 2006 Establishment and maintenance of callus of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni under aseptic environment NATURAL PRODUCT RADIANCE 5(5) 373-376 S.Ganeshan and P.E.Rajasekharan 2005. Conservation and management of Haploid genetic diversity through pollen cryopreservation in Journal of palynology 39-48 V. Revadigar, S. Shashidhara, N.S. Pradeep, B. Murali, P.E. Rajasekharan, R. Prakashkumar 2008 VARIABILITY IN THE CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS IN THE ROOTS OF COLEUS FORSKOHLII FROM DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS OF INDIA ISHS Acta Horticulturae 765:245-254 Kuntal Das , Raman Dang, Nagesh Ghanshala and P E Rajasekharan 2008. In vitro establishment and maintenance of callus of Taxus wallichiana Zucc. for the production of secondary metabolites. Vol 7(2),. pp.150-153 Kavitha,P.T.Vasantha Kumar ,P.E. Rajasekharanv.K.Abdul Kareem and V.K. Rao. 2010. Captothecin and 9 methoxy captothecina anticancer alkaloids in Nothapodytes inimmoniana from western ghats of india. JMAPS 32(2) 129-132 S.Ganeshan & P.E.Rajasekharan 2010. Palynological contributions to conservation continuum vistas of palynological science.Prof. M.S. Swaminathan Festschrift Volume Journal of Palynology46: 193-204 . V.K. Abdul Kareem, P.E. Rajasekharan, B.S. Ravish, S. Mini, Anuradha Sane, T. Vasantha Kumar Analysis of genetic diversity in Acorus calamus populations in South and North East India using ISSR markers Original Research Article Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, Volume 40, February 2012, Pages 156-161

Contact Details
Address for Communication: 
No. 141, A6, Janapriya Greenwood, Somashetti Halli, Chikkabanavara Post, Bengaluru-560 090.
Email Address: 
pers@iihr.res.in
Telephone #: 
9448756629
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