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Syllabus for the ICAR JRF Exam in Plant Biotechnology

Syllabus for the ICAR JRF Exam in Plant Biotechnology

Code 01: Major Subject Group - Plant Biotechnology 

(Sub-Subjects: 1.1: Plant Biochemistry/Biochemistry 1.2: Plant Biotechnology & Molecular Biology/Biotechnology 1.3: Plant/Crop Physiology)

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Unit I:

  • Importance of agriculture in national economy
  • Basic principles of crop production
  • Cultivation of rice, wheat, chickpea, pigeon-pea, sugarcane, groundnut, tomato, and mango
  • Major soils of India
  • Role of NPK and their deficiency symptoms
  • General structure and function of cell organelles
  • Mitosis and meiosis
  • Mendelian genetics
  • Elementary knowledge of growth, development, photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration
  • Elements of economic botany
  • General structure and function of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes, and vitamins
  • Major pests and diseases of rice, wheat, cotton, chickpea, sugarcane, and their management
  • Organic farming
  • Bio-fertilizers
  • Bio-pesticides
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Transgenic crops
  • Important rural development programmes in India
  • Organizational set up of agricultural research, education, and extension in India
  • Elements of statistics

Unit II:

  • Importance of biochemistry in agriculture
  • Acid-base concept and buffers
  • pH
  • Classification, structure, and metabolic functions of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins
  • Structure and function of nucleic acids
  • Enzymes: structure, nomenclature, mechanism of action
  • Vitamins and minerals as coenzymes and cofactors
  • Metabolic pathways: glycolysis, TCA cycle, fatty acid oxidation, triglyceride biosynthesis
  • Electron transport chain
  • ATP formation
  • Photosynthesis: C-3, C-4, and CAM pathways
  • Nitrate assimilation
  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Colorimetric and chromatographic techniques

Unit III:

  • Characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms
  • Differences between fungi, bacteria, mycoplasms, and viruses
  • Physical and chemical basis of heredity
  • Chromosome structure
  • DNA replication, transcription, and translation
  • Genetic code
  • Operon concept
  • Genetic engineering
  • Restriction enzymes
  • Vectors
  • Gene cloning
  • Gene transfer
  • Plant cell and tissue culture
  • Micro-propagation
  • Somaclonal variation
  • Transformation
  • Recombination
  • Heterosis
  • General application of biotechnology
  • Molecular and immunological techniques
  • Concept of bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics

Unit IV: Plant Physiology/Crop Physiology:

  • Plant physiology – importance in agriculture
  • Seed germination, viability, and vigor
  • Photosynthesis – significance of C-3, C-4, and CAM pathways
  • Photorespiration and its implications
  • Translocation of assimilates
  • Dry matter partitioning
  • Harvest index of crops
  • Growth and development
  • Growth analysis
  • Crop-water relationship
  • Plant nutrients and their functions
  • Phytohormones and their physiological role
  • Photo-periodism, vernalization
  • Pollination/fertilization in flowering plants
  • Post-harvest physiology and its significance


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