Plant Physiology

Dr. Padmanabh Dwivedi
Professor & Head

Introduction

The Institute of Agricultural Research was started as an offshoot of the Department of Botany, BHU in 1931 under the leadership of Dr. Bhola Nath Singh. In the very beginning, the Institute of Agricultural Sciences was imparting an integrated course with plant physiology as a base and was awarding M.Sc.(Ag.) degree in Agricultural Botany. The Department of Plant Physiology came into existence in 1967. Dr. Bhola Nath Singh, who was the founder of this department, built up a very active research group. Contributions were made despite inadequate facilities initially in terms of modern and sophisticated instruments. The Department at present has a resourceful pool of basic and advanced equipments fulfilling the need of students and research personnel. The faculty members have been recipient of awards, fellowships and other recognition for their contribution in the respective fields. The research data are being published and their usefulness is recognized world-wide with applications in numerous studies of plant physiology. The Department offers B.Sc. (Ag.), M.Sc. (Ag.) and Ph.D. Courses. So far the Department has awarded more than 250 Ph.D. and over 700 M.Sc. (Ag.) degrees in Plant Physiology including D.Sc. to a good number of scientists.

The Department has contributed immensely in the fields of irradiation, photoperiodism, vernalization, mineral nutrition, plant water relation, chemical weed control and growth substances. Intensive research in the field of photosynthesis developed innumerable methodologies and valuable techniques and ultimately led to the modification of the Blackman’s law of limiting factors in photosynthesis. Report on mango malformation, researches on sugarcane and cotton physiology and investigation on Permeability of protoplasm – a probable factor in transpiration in respect to plant water relations – were all established for the first time in this department. Micronutrients studies started in the fourth decade and studies on macro- and micro-nutrients have been going on till date. Work on chemical weed control was pioneered in this department with the understanding of uses and effects of a number of herbicides on various field crops. Research on foliar nutrition of crop plants in India was started in the fifth decade. Advance studies in the field of tree physiology were started in the seventh decade and useful findings obtained have been utilized for better germination, growth and flowering as well as on rooting in cuttings of ornamental plants and fruit trees. At present, faculty members in the Department are engaged in the field of stress physiology, seed physiology, mineral nutrition, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis and respiration, plant growth development and growth regulators, plant tissue culture of medicinal plants, physiology of plant pathogen/microbe interaction, nitric oxide signaling. The research data are being presented in national and international seminars/conferences, and research papers published in national and international journals of repute.

The Department has been organizing Guest Lectures on regular basis. Besides, it has organized National Conference of Plant Physiology, ICAR-Winter/School School, SAARC Workshop on Biodiversity Conservation, International Conference on Issues and Challenges in Doctoral Research.

The faculty members have also authored and edited a good number of books on different aspects of the subject. The Department has brought research projects funded by agencies like UGC, DST, UPCAR, CST(UP), USAID-AIP. In recognition of their scientific contributions, the faculty members of the Department have received several awards, fellowships and other distinctions such as INSA-DFG Fellowship, R D Asana Medal, Prof. Hira Lal Chakravarty Medal, Prof. Y S Murty Medal, Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship (U.K.), Best Teacher award (BHU-ICAR), Norman Borlaug Fellowship, Indo-USSR fellowship, Research Scientist ‘A’ (UGC), Fellow of Indian Society for Plant Physiology, Fellow of Indian Association of Biological Sciences, Fellow of Society of Plant Research, Fellow of Indian Botanical Society, Fellow of Cambridge Commonwealth Society (UK), Fellow of Cambridge Philosophical Society (UK), etc.

The Department is involved in Teaching/Research at Undergraduate, Post-graduate and Ph.D. Programmes. The Department offers following courses:

Degrees                       Courses                      Credits

            (a)        B.Sc.(Ag.)                         3                                 09

            (b)        M.Sc.(Ag.)                       10                                26

            (c)        Ph.D.(Ag.)                       08                                20*

UG Courses

Following Vth Dean’s committee recommendations, three courses at UG level were revised, updated and approved by Board of Studies in a meeting held on 09.09.2016. These courses are:

1.      PPH-111 Fundamentals of Plant Physiology Biochemistry & Biotechnology  3(2+1) Cr

2.      PPH-121 Fundamentals of Crop Physiology 2(1+1) Cr

3.      PPH-211 Environmental Studies & Disaster Management 3 (2+1) Cr