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Search for New Genes   

Search for New Genes

Editors: V. L. Chopra,
R. P. Sharma,
Dr. S.R. Bhat, and
Dr. B.M. Prasanna

Published by
Academic Foundation, New Delhi
in association with
National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS),
New Delhi.
Hard Bound Book (6¼" x 9¼") :   Pages : 331
2007  Edition   :   ISBN -81-7188-632-9
Price : Rs. 895.00 ;  US $ 79.95
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Recent progress in molecular biology and biotechnology is impacting the life sciences as well as the lives of people in unprecedented ways. Plant genetic transformation and molecular marker technologies have led to a paradigm shift in plant genetic resource management and crop improvement. Granting patent protection to genes has not only provided incentive for gene discovery and placed monetary value on germplasm resources, but also raised concerns about ownership and access to genetic resources. This book is an outcome of the presentations made during Dr. B.P. Pal Birth Centenary Symposium organized by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), New Delhi, India, in February 2006. It begins with the commemorative lectures, which trace the evolution of approaches to the search for new genes in the last seven decades, since the seminal article written by Dr. B.P. Pal on the ‘Search for new genes’ in 1936. The book provides a comprehensive update of the modern biotechnological options for biodiversity management, gene prospecting, development of ‘designer crops’ and bioremediation. The power of molecular genetics in dissection of complex biological processes, and the potential utility of the knowledge that links genes to metabolic pathways and phenotypes for plant improvement are highlighted. The book covers strategies for harnessing the community and individual knowledge for genetic resource management and gene discovery, and presents models for benefit sharing and participatory plant breeding. Written by eminent experts in the field, the book shall be of significant interest not only to the academic and research community worldwide, but also to the policy makers and science administrators.


Prof. V.L. Chopra is currently a Member of the Planning Commission of Government of India, an apex body that prepares strategic national plans and allocates budget for both Central and State government projects. He is an eminent scientist, teacher, and science administrator, who has served the Government of India as in various capacities including Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) and Director-General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He pioneered the application of biotechnology in Indian agriculture. He is a Fellow of various scientific academies, including the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), and the Third World Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded the prestigious ‘Padma Bhushan’ by the Government of India for his outstanding contributions to science and agriculture.

Dr. R. P. Sharma served as the Project Director of National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology (NRCPB) at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. His seminal contributions to Drosophila genetics have been internationally acclaimed. He initiated research work on transgenic crops in India, and has been actively involved in formulating biosafety guidelines for transgenic crops. He is a Fellow of several scientific academies, including INSA and NAAS.

Dr. S.R. Bhat is a Principal Scientist working at the NRCPB, New Delhi. A geneticist by training, Dr. Bhat is currently working on the improvement of rapeseed mustard using biotechnological approaches. The cytoplasmic male sterility systems of Brassica juncea developed by Dr. Bhat and his colleagues, under the leadership of Prof. V.L. Chopra, is now being used to develop hybrid mustard in India. He has published more than 50 research articles in international journals of repute.

Dr. B.M. Prasanna is an ICAR National Fellow at the Division of Genetics, IARI. He has been the Team Leader for India under the Asian Maize Biotechnology Network (AMBIONET), and is one of the leading practitioners of molecular marker-assisted plant breeding. He has received several awards, including Dr. B.P. Pal Medal of IARI, for his contributions to maize molecular breeding. He has published about 45 research articles in international journals of repute.




Benjamin Peary Pal: A Tribute

1. Impact of Gene Science in Agriculture
— A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

2. Dr. B.P. Pal and India’s Agricultural Renaissance
— M.S. Swaminathan

3. Search for Genes in an Evolving Agriculture
— H.K. Jain

4. The Search for New Genes: Then and Now
— V.L. Chopra

5. Genetic Improvement of Rose
— N.K. Dadlani, Sujay Rakshit and Vishnu Swarup

6. Novel Approaches for Characterisation of Genetic Resources
— K.V. Bhat and J.L. Karihaloo

7. Novel Approaches for Prospecting Genes and Promoters
— Rakesh Tuli

8. Allele Mining
— B.M. Prasanna

9. Pyramiding of Genes/QTLs for Crop Improvement using Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS)
— P.K. Gupta

10. Molecular Genetics of Floral Induction and Flower Development
 — Jitendra P. Khurana and Mukesh Jain

11. Genetic Engineering of Metabolic Pathways: The Case of Plant Metabolomics
 — S.P.S. Khanuja

12. Molecular Pharming: Plants as Bioreactors
 — Paramvir Singh Ahuja

13. Biodegradation of Nitroaromatic Pesticides
 — Rakesh K. Jain, Debarati Paul, Anuradha Ghosh and Janmejay Pandey

14. Bioremediation of Toxic Metal Ions: A Focused View of Metal Transportomes
 — P. Maruthi Mohan, P. Kiranmayi, A. Haritha, K. PremSagar,
     Anand Tiwari and G. Raghu

15. Participatory Plant Breeding: Science or Dogma?
 — Kevin Pixley, Mario Fuentes, Lone Badstue and David Bergvinson

16. Participatory Search and Utilisation of Genes
 — V. Arunachalam

17. Community Rights and Models for Benefit Sharing
 — P. Pushpangadan

18. Harnessing Community and Individual Knowledge in Plant Genetic Resources  
— Anil K. Gupta



A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Hon’ble President of India, is a renowned aeronautical engineer, and has contributed immensely to India’s space and defence research and technology development programmes. He is an inspiring statesman and a visionary par excellence.

M.S. Swaminathan.
Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, and the present President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS). He is a world-renowned agricultural scientist, and was instrumental in ushering the ‘Green Revolution’ in India.

H.K. Jain.
An outstanding cytogeneticist, plant breeder and teacher, he was the former Director, IARI, and former Deputy Director-General, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), The Hague, Netherlands.

N.K. Dadlani.
Managing Director, DAKSH Hortitec Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, is a reputed floriculturist.

Sujay Rakshit.
Senior Scientist at the Directorate of Maize Research (DMR), New Delhi.

Vishnu Swarup.
Director (R&D), Indo-American Hybrid Seeds, New Delhi, is an eminent floriculturist.

K.V. Bhat.
Senior Scientist, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi, is an expert on DNA fingerprinting of crop plants.

J.L. Karihaloo.
Former Project Director, National Research Centre on DNA Fingerprinting at NBPGR, is an acclaimed geneticist and biotechnologist, and presently Coordinator, Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology (APCoAB), New Delhi.

Rakesh Tuli.
Director, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, is an eminent molecular biologist and biotechnologist, and is reputed for his research on discovery of novel genes and promoters.

P.K. Gupta.
Honorary Professor Emeritus, Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, is an outstanding teacher and scientist in cytogenetics, plant breeding, molecular biology and biotechnology.

Jitendra P. Khurana.
Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, South Campus (UDSC), New Delhi, is an eminent plant molecular biologist.

Mukesh Jain.
Research Associate in Dr. Khurana’s Lab.

S.P.S. Khanuja.
Director, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, is an acclaimed geneticist, plant breeder, molecular biologist and biotechnologist.

R.K. Jain.
Scientist F, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, is reputed for his research contributions in environmental biotechnology, microbiology and molecular biology.

P. Maruthi Mohan.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Osmania University, Hyderabad, is reputed for his contributions in biochemistry and environmental biotechnology.

P. Kiranmayi.
Researcher, Dr. Maruthi Mohan’s Laboratory.

A. Haritha.
Researcher, Dr. Maruthi Mohan’s Laboratory.

K. Premsagarv.
Researcher, Dr. Maruthi Mohan’s Laboratory.

Anand Tiwari.
Researcher, Dr. Maruthi Mohan’s Laboratory.

G. Raghu.
Researcher, Dr. Maruthi Mohan’s Laboratory.

P.S. Ahuja.
Director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, is acclaimed for his research on plant biotechnology, crop improvement and conservation biology.

Kevin Pixley.
Maize breeder and Director, Tropical Ecosystems Program at International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico.

Mario Fuentes.
Scientist at the Agricultural Science and Technology Institute (ICTA), Guatemala.

Lone Badstue.
Social Anthropologist at CIMMYT, Mexico.

David Bergvinson.
Maize Entomologist at CIMMYT, Mexico.

V. Arunachalam.
Distinguished Fellow and Program Advisor (Biodiversity and Participatory Plant Breeding), M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. He is an eminent quantitative and population geneticist and plant breeder.

P. Pushpangadan.
Former Director, NBRI, Lucknow, is highly acclaimed for his contributions in conservation biology, ethnobiology and ethnopharmacology.

Anil K. Gupta.
K.L. Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and Executive Vice-Chair, National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad, is an outstanding scientist in the areas of indigenous ecological knowledge-biodiversity, conservation, IPR, knowledge network, and innovation.

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