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Unit 1: Biodiversity and Plant Genetic Resources
Biodiversity- an overview, genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, determinants of biodiversity ,
species richness and endemism, agriculture as friend and foe of biodiversity, harmonizing biodiversity,
conservation and agricultural development, origin and history of agriculture; dynamics of domestication;
centers of crop plant origin and diversity; geographical distribution of crops of Indian origin, plant
genetic resources management importance and usefulness of germplasm, germplasm conservation,
threat of genetic vulnerability, global concerns) in situ conservation of genetic resources, collecting
genetic resources and managing genetic resources, biotechnology and germplasm conservation.

Unit 2: Exploration and Germplasm Collecting
History and importance of germplasm exploration; distribution and extent of prevalent genetic diversity;
phyto-geographical regions/ecological zones and associated diversity; mapping ecogeographic
distribution of diversity, threatened habitats, use of flora. Concept of population and gene pool,
variations in population and their classification, gene frequencies in populations, rare and common
alleles, gene pool sampling in self- and cross-pollinated and vegetatively propagated species,
non-selective, random and selective sampling strategies. Strategies and logistics of plant exploration
and collection, coarse and fine grid surveys, practical problems in plant exploration, use of in vitro
methods in germplasm collection. Ethnobotanical aspects of PGR, crop botany, farming systems,
collecting wild relatives of crop plants. Post-exploration handling of germplasm collections, collection
and preservation of specimens, importance and use of herbaria and preparation of herbarium
specimens. Present status and future strategies in collecting of major crops of Indian origin such as
rice, maize, sorghum, sesame, brassica, okra, eggplant, cotton, mango, etc.

Unit 3: Germplasm Exchange and Plant Quarantine
History, principles, objectives and importance of plant introduction; Prerequisites, conventions, national
and international legislations and policies on germplasm collection and exchange.Plant quarantine-
introduction, history, principles, objectives and relevance; Regulations and plant quarantine set up in
India; Pest risk analysis, pest and pathogen information database; Quarantine in relation to integrated
pest management; Economic significance of seed-borne pests (insects, mites, non-insect pests,
nematodes, fungi, bacteria, viruses, phytoplasma etc.). Detection and identification of pests including
use of recent techniques like ELISA, PCR etc., Symptoms of pest damage, salvaging techniques for
infested/infected germplasm, post-entry quarantine operation, seed treatment and other prophylactic
treatments and facilities. Domestic quarantine; seed certification; International linkages in plant
quarantine; weaknesses and future thrust. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically
engineered plants (GEPS), Concepts of biosafety, risk analysis and consequences of spread of GE
crops on the environment; Treaties and multilateral agreements governing trans-boundary movement
of GEPs or GMOs, Indian regulatory system for biosafety.

Unit 4: Principles and Methods of Germplasm Conservation
In situ and ex situ conservation: concept of biosphere reserves, gene sanctuaries, on-farm conservation,
field genebanks, botanical gardens, herbal gardens, in vitro repositories cryo-banks and DNA banks,
Short-, medium- and long-term conservation, concept of base, active and working collections, seed
structure and function, physiological and genetic changes during storage, theories of aging, viability
equations, predicting storage life of seeds, dormancy and germination. Genebank management:
acquisition, accessioning and processing of germplasm samples for storage, genebank standards for
various crops, ISTA, AOSA, IPGRI guidelines, monitoring and regeneration of plant germplasm. Design
of storage facilities, maintenance and operation of storage modules. Information management in
genebanks, strategies for revival and rescue of rare genetic material.

Unit 5: Principles and Practices of Germplasm Regeneration and Evaluation
Principles and practices of germplasm regeneration and maintenance, breeding systems and mode of
reproduction; maintaining sufficiently large populations for effective conservation of farmer landraces.
Germplasm characterization/evaluation procedures; evaluation of germplasm for specific traits; key
issues for the improvement of characterization, evaluation and use of plant genetic resources; concept
of core collection. Measuring diversity using agro-morphological data; gene markers and their use in
PGR management. Evaluation and maintenance of wild relatives of crop plants, genetic
enhancement/pre-breeding and use of alien/unadapted genetic resources in crop improvement.

Unit 6: Biotechnology in Plant Genetic Resource Management
History and importance of Tissue culture, Tissue culture media, Sterilization techniques, In vitro clonal
multiplication, Somatic embryogenesis, Meristem culture and virus elimination, In vitro conservation -
Introduction and principle, Strategies for in vitro short- and medium-term conservation, In vitro collection
, in vitro exchange of germplasm.Plant Cryopreservation-Introduction, Principle of cryotolerance,
Techniques of cryopreservation: slow cooling, desiccation, pre-growth, encapsulation-dehydration,
vitrification, droplet freezing, Cryoprotectants, Cryopreservation of seeds and pollen, Cryopreservation
of in vitro cultures, Application of in vitro cryopreservation techniques, Management of in vitro and
cryobanks, Genetic stability of in vitro conserved and cryopreserved germplasm, Importance of
database for in vitro and cryopreserved germplasm.

Unit 7: Economic Botany
Origin, evolution, botany, cultivation, genetic resource activities and utilization of genetic diversity of
important crops of cereals, millets, legumes, forage and fodder crops, medicinal and aromatic plants,
beverages, oil yielding plants, spices and condiments, wood and timber yielding taxa, fumigatory and
masticatory plants, vegetable crops, sugar, starch and cellulose yielding plants, rubber yielding plants, insecticidal and herbicidal plants, fruits and nuts, flowering agents, gums and resins, fiber yielding plants, under-utilized and under-exploited plants, new crops, pseudo-cereals, important taxa in agro-forestry, horticulture and floriculture, processing and use of crop residues

Unit 8: Information Management in Plant Genetic Resources
Statistical techniques in management of germplasm, developing core collection, estimation of sample
size during plant explorations, impact of sampling on population structure, Sequential sampling for
viability estimation, introduction of binomial, normal and negative cumulative normal, use of Probit
scales, viability equations and nomograms, estimation of sample size for storage and viability testing,Germplasm documentation; basics of computer and operating systems, database management system, use of statistical softwares, pictorial and graphical representation of data; Introduction to communication network.

Unit 9: Plant Taxonomy
Classical and modern species concepts, differentiation and evolution of species and biosystematics -
variation within species, population genetics, phenotypic plasticity, environmental effects on populations,
Modern evidences for Morphology and Anatomy, Embryology and Palynology; Biogeography and
Cytotaxonomy; Modern evidences for Comparative studies on phytochemistry, Chemotaxonomy;
Molecular taxonomy methods; Numerical methods in taxonomy; Biosystematic approaches in plant
taxonomy- some Indian case studies, Taxonomy of cultivated plants: Taxonomy of cultivated plants with
particular emphasis on Indian groups: Hybrids, domesticated species, wild-cultivated continuum; Tools
of taxonomy for identification of plant species and variation patterns therein; Field and herbarium
methods; Floristic and monographic works; Systematic and evolutionary studies, Taxonomic databases:
Taxonomic databases and documentation methods.

Unit 10: Plant Biosecurity
History and Concept of biosecurity, Components of biosecurity, Quarantine, Invasive Alien Species,
Biowarfare, Emerging resurgence of pests and diseases, National Regulatory Mechanism and
International Agreements/Conventions viz. Agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary
(SPS), Measures/ World Trade Organization (WTO), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, pest risk analysis, risk assessment models, pest
information system, early warning and forecasting system, use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and
Geographic Information System (GIS) for plant biosecurity, pest/ disease and epidemic management,
strategies for combating risks and costs associated with agro-terrorism event, mitigation planning,
integrated approach for biosecurity, Biosafety, policies and regulatory mechanism, Cartagena Protocol
on Biosafety and its implications, Issues related to release of genetically modified crops.

Unit 11: Fundamentals of Molecular Biology for PGR Management
Structure and function of DNA, genome organization, Tools for genetic manipulation, Introduction to
molecular markers, classification and comparison of markers, basis for DNA polymorphism and
principles of generating molecular markers, - RFLP, PCR, sequencing; Principles, merits and demerits
of RAPD, ISSR, SSR, SCAR, SCOT, SRAP, AFLP, SNPs markers; data handling and statistical analysis,
Overview of molecular marker applications, Introduction to transgenics, monitoring strategies and
methods for detecting transgenics.

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