Progress in the understanding of plant science, from research to the latest developments, were highlighted in a webinar conducted by the Department of Botany at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), New Delhi.
Titled ‘Recent Trends and Emerging Technologies in Plant Sciences’, the webinar saw participation of over 600 faculty members, students and research scholars from across the country.
Explaining the growing importance of herbal drugs, NK Dubey, the head of the Department of Botany, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, pointed out that medicinal plants are considered rich resources of ingredients that can be used in drug development for the treatment of ailments affecting different parts of the body.
“Since plants synthesise hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defence against insects, fungi, diseases, and herbivorous mammals, the new research and the latest developments in the field have become of utmost importance,” said Dubey.
Speaking on ‘Genetic Improvement of Medical and Aromatic Plants through Biotechnological Approaches’ in his guest lecture, Laiq-ur Rahman, senior principal scientist in the Department of Plant Biotechnology, CSIR-CIMAP Research Centre, Lucknow, emphasised the importance of the conservation of medicinal plants by utilising alternative techniques like the plant tissue culture.
He discussed secondary metabolite production through callus and suspension culture, genetic transformation, somatic hybridisation and hairy root culture in selected medicinal plants.
Presiding over the programme, Wasim Ahmad, the dean of Faculty of Life Sciences, highlighted the achievement of the Department of Botany faculty members and their contributions to cutting edge research. He also gave a brief introduction of the Faculty of Life Science to the guest speakers.
Ghazala Parveen, the organising secretary of the programme and chairperson of the Department of Botany, delivered the welcome address and spoke on advanced research in plant sciences.