Bioprospecting Division

Major areas

The Division of Bioprospecting has been focused its research on the development of biopesticides against insect pests of important tree species of southern India besides concentrating on phytoceuticals. The exploration and exploitation of Non Wood Forest Produce for biopesticides and phytoproducts are also part of the divisional activities. Identification of bioactive principles from Tree born oil seeds, native flora of Western Ghats, invasive weeds and other microorganisms for biopesticides and phytomedicines is an element of the bioprospecting research.

Achievements

Research
  1. The biopesticide - Vilvekam (Bael, Aegle marmelos seed oil based formulation against teak defoliator, Hyblaea puera) was released during the Tree Growers Mela, 24th February 2011, at IFGTB, Coimbatore.  
  2. Identified biopesticidal properties from some tree born oil seeds against teak defoliator.
  3. Characterized bio-signalling molecules from Frankia culture which would be enhancing nodulation of casuarinas.
  4. A new phytoproduct from  A. marmelos (leaves, ripened and unripened fruits) was developed with due pharmacological evaluation for anxiolytic and antidepressant properties.
  5. Insecticidal property has been identified in the essential oil extracted from Lantana camara against the teak defoliator brought about more than 60 % larval mortality at higher concentration. 
  6. Plants with insecticidal properties based on ethnobotanical records have been validated against important forestry insect pests.
  7. Nineteen species of Orthopteran insects in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve have been discovered through exploratory survey.
Extension & Education
  1. Imparted training on "Instrumentation methods and chemical analysis" in  June and September, 2009 and September, 2010 for M. Sc., B.E., B. Tech students; Research scholars, College and University lecturers, and Scientists from various R&Ds.
  2. Training manual on “Instrumentation methods and chemical analysis” and  “Metabolite profiling: Current Techniques” have been released.
  3. Books entitled “An illustrate guide on insect pest of important tree species in southern India” and “Bioprospecting forest resources: An illustrative catalogue of some flora for biopesticides” have been brought out from research findings.
  4. Demonstrated various activities of the Division to various user target groups especially forest officer trainees, foresters, students at master degree level from various colleges and Universities at national level.
  5. Three students awarded Ph.D. from FRI University.
  6. 20 M.Sc., students submitted dissertation from various college and Universities worked in the Division.
Projects
  1. Studies on efficacy of secondary plant derivatives of A. marmelos on important insect pests of teak.

  2. Some phytochemical, toxicological, pharmacological investigations of A. marmelos for a new product.

  3. Evaluation of certain flora based on ethnobotanical records for their pesticidal properties against important forestry insect pests.

  4. Studies on oil: chemical composition, antifeedant, insecticidal and antifungal activities of tree borne oil seeds.

  5. Studies on Essential Oils: Chemical constituents and toxicity assessment of the Leaf oil of Lantana camara from Tamil Nadu Regions.

  6. Biotransformation of some secondary metabolites by sporulate surface cultures of Frankia strains for nodulation capacity in C. equisetifolia and C. junghuhniana.

  7. Anti-insect secondary metabolites from fungal endophytes of selected tree

  1. species

Scientific staff

Dr. S. Murugesan, Scientist ‘F’ and Head
Dr. N. Senthilkumar, Scientist ‘C’
Shri P. Manivachakam, RA-I Smt. R. Sumathi, RA – I
Smt. R. Lakshmidevi, RA -II