Green House Facility

Indian Institute of Science has several laboratories across the Division of Biology that carries out research in various areas of plant sciences, including study of regulators of flowering and plant architecture in rice and its relationship to model plants (Usha Vijayraghavan, MCB), organ morphogenesis in Arabidopsis and other model plants (Utpal Nath, MCB), genome organization of plant-viruses and interactions between host and virally encoded factors (H. S. Savithri, BC), secondary metabolites and metabolic engineering in plants and fungi (C. Jaybaskaran, BC), fatty acid biosynthetic pathways and their regulation in oil-seed crops (Ram Rajasekharan, BC), plant-animal interaction and pollinator biology (Renee Borges and Kavitha Isvaran, CES) and diatoms diversity in ecosystems (T. V. Ramachandra, CES). All these activities require growing plants, wild type, transgenic and experimentally infected materials on a routine basis under controlled environmental conditions.

The current facilities in the institute for plant research are a small-sized Central Transgenic Green House Facility (CGHF) and a small scale tissue/plant culture facility to handle tissue materials prior to transfer to the transgenic greenhouse. These were funded by DBT in 2002, to cater to the some of the core activities described above. In addition, there are three plant growth chambers to carry out specialized, small-scale experiments requiring highly regulated environmental growth conditions of light, temperature and humidity that were funded by the DBT as infrastructure support (2007-2012).

DBT Grant-in-Aid (2012-17) has generously supported up-gradation of the existing facilities and establishment of a small Phytotron facility that would help undertake high-precision experiments under controlled environmental conditions. The financial support has been used to maintain the existing facilities and to replace/upgrade the light and other environmental parameters of the existing Growth Chambers. Work on establishing a small Green House with humidity control has been initiated where the transgenic/mutant plants that are being generated using the CGHF facility can be grown to maturity and propagated. Work on establishing the mini-Phytotron facility is also underway where a cluster of growth chambers would be established for precision experiments. We have identified suitable companies that would make this facility and obtained quotations from them. We were supposed to have started the work in the 2nd year of the Partnership grant, but the fund for the 2nd year was not released. We have planned to establish the facility in the 3rd year of the Grant.