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:Establishment of germplasm collection at KFRI
- Documentation of population demography and genetic structure of teak for developing sustainable conservation strategies and resource management
- Genetic Improvement of Selected Tree Species- Phase I: Plus Tree Selection, Standardization of the Propagation Techniques, Establishment of Seed Orchard and Clonal Hedge Garden
- Authentication of major commercially traded raw drugs in the Ayurvedic systems of medicine in India
- Development of management protocols for already established invasive alien species in the protected and other forests of Kerala
- 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.
- 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
Ongoing Extension Projects
- Production of teak clones and maintenance of clonal multiplication area established at KFRI
- Improving yield and reducing the rotation age of teak plantation through superior clonal teak
- Publication of the proceedings of the National Seminar on â€˜Forestry and Agricultureâ€™
- Monitoring of teak experimental plots, clonal multiplication area(CMA) and production superior clonal plants
- Computer, information networking website, software and communication development
Contact: Dr. EM Muralidharan
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA