Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding
The main research activities of the Department are in the fields of genetic improvement, assessment of genetic diversity using conventional as well as DNA analysis, studies on reproductive biology, DNA fingerprinting and gene flow. Some of our major activites are
- Reproductive biology of major timber species
- Provenance trial and evaluation is one of the main activities undertaken
by the Department and there by identified the best seed sources in , Tectona
grandis , Gmelina arborea. Melia dubia, Terminalia paniculata, Dalbergia,
Mahoganey, Ailanthus triphysa etc.
- A germplasm bank for teak comprising 25 provenances from all the natural teak growing states in India was established. These provenances were screened for economically important characters so as to include in further breeding programmes.
- More than hundred plus trees of teak were selected in Kerala which were used for developing improved clones.
- Genetic diversity in Indian teak was analysed, effect of human interference on genetic diversity and pollen flow in teak were evaluated. These data are important for preparing guidelines for establishing seed orchards/ seed production areas and for genetic conservation.
- Karyotype analysis and genetic variability studies of major invasive species.
- Initiated studies on phytochemical analysis and reproductive biology in selected medicinal plants and invasive species.
The department have a Molecular genetics Lab for DNA analysis with Fluorescence Microscope, which used in the studies on in vivo pollen tube growth, Karyotype analysis.
Ongoing Research Projects
- Genetic Improvement of Selected Tree Species- Phase I: Plus Tree Selection, Standardization of the Propagation Techniques, Establishment of Seed Orchard and Clonal Hedge Garden
- DNA Barcoding a promising molecular tool for timber forensis
- Evaluation of selected clones of Teak through multi site testing to identify site specific clones for large scale plantations.
- Evaluation of clonal teak plantations with particular reference to growth and wood properties
- Genome wide and geospatial approaches for enhancing the adaptive potential of threatened rattan resources in India
- Assessment of adaptive genetic diversity in teak and sandalwood to guide conservation and genetic improvement efforts
- DNA barcoding of bamboos- Phase 2
- Generation of genomic resources in Santalum album for accelerated genetic improvement.
- Standardization of vegetative propagation techniques of selected bamboo species and its field performance evaluation in different agro climatic region of Kerala- phase- I
- Genetic improvement of selected tree species Phase 1. Plus tree selection, standardization of propagation techniques, establishment of seed orchards and clonal hedge garden.
Ongoing Establishment projects
- Monitoring of Teak Experimental plots, clonal Multiplication area (CMA) and production of superior clonal plants.
- LAN, Internet and Website
- Maintenance of Field Research Station at Devikulam
- Maintenance of field research station Kottapara, Ernakulam
Contact: Dr. Suma Arun Dev
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA