Forest Genetics and Biotechnology » Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding

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
  1. Reproductive biology of Teak, Ailanthus triphysa and few endangered endemic trees in the Western Ghats (Dipterocarpus bourdillonii and Humboldtia bourdillonii) have been successfully analysed.
  2. Provenance trial and evaluation is one of the main activities undertaken by the Department and there by identified the best seed sources in Gmelina arborea.
  3. 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.
  4. More than hundred plus trees of teak were selected in Kerala which were used for developing improved clones.
  5. 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.
  6. Karyotype analysis in Calamus andamanicus and C. palustris was successfully carried out. Male and female specific DNA marker development (in dioecious species like Calamus) is another activity undertaken.
  7. Initiated studies on phytochemical analysis and reproductive biology in Cinnamomum sp.
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

  1. Improvement of Teak through genetic evaluation
  2. Genetic diversity and conservation of Teak phase II
  3. Vegetative propagation of selected medicinal plants for enrichment of resources phase III
  4. Genetic improvement of teak-Phase II Establishment of clonal hedge gardens and seed orchad
  5. Genetic improvement of Teak phase - I Locating plus trees and establishment of Clonal Hedge Garden and Clonal Seed orchards
  6. Genetic improvement of selected tree species-Phase I:Plus tree selection, standardization of the propagation techniques, establishment of seed orchard
  7. Genetic improvement of selected tree species-Phase I:Establishment of germplasm collection at KFRI
  8. Genetic Improvement of Selected Tree Species- Phase I: Plus Tree Selection, Standardization of the Propagation Techniques, Establishment of Seed Orchard and Clonal Hedge Garden
  9. Development of management protocols for already established invasive alien species in the protected and other forests of Kerala
  10. Evaluation of selected clones of Teak through multi site testing to identify site specific clones for large scale plantations.

Ongoing Extension Projects

  1. Production of teak clones and maintenance of clonal multiplication area established at KFRI
  2. Improving yield and reducing the rotation age of teak plantation through superior clonal teak
  3. Publication of the proceedings of the National Seminar on ‘Forestry and Agriculture’
  4. Monitoring of teak experimental plots, clonal multiplication area(CMA) and production superior clonal plants
  5. Computer, information networking website, software and communication development

Contact: Dr. EM Muralidharan
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
Tel: +91-487-2690170
Tel: +91-487-2690251
e-mail: genetics@kfri.res.in