NICHE AREA OF EXCELLENCE
Integrated Centre for Drought Research
Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru 560 065

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Vision and Mission

The Department of Crop Physiology at the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore was formally established in 1976 with the objectives of imparting undergraduate and graduate programs in Crop Physiology,   and undertaking research in the areas related to physiology of crop plants. Over the years since its inception, the Department has strived to make its teaching and research curricula increasingly crop physiology centric, and of relevance to the overall science of crop productivity.

In the past 35 years, the Department has been addressing the research issues related to a few aspects of crop physiology with a major emphasis on plant stress biology. The major research efforts at the Department have culminated in generating information on the adaptive response of plants to water stress, and identification of germplasm lines tolerant to abiotic stress. The research outputs have greatly enriched our understanding of the plant responses to abiotic stresses and today offer a fertile field for taking up the challenging task of actually engineering plants for tolerance to drought and other stresses. In addition to this, the Department has contributed significantly for the scientific knowledge in the field of chemical regulation of plant growth, plant nutrition, reproductive physiology, bioprospecting and herbicide physiology. The research, which has been supported by a number of national and international funding agencies, and private sector institutions, has led to significant conceptual and technological outputs.

In the process of achieving the mission, the Department realizes that only way to sustain the activity is to build an army of excellent human resources that will
continue to address the issues and problems. The Department is also aggressively emphasizing on developing the necessary conceptual and experimental skills in students and young researchers. In the more than quarter century of its existence, the Department has developed into a major national centre for teaching and research in crop physiology.

The Department has a good mix of senior and junior faculty that combines the richness of experience and enthusiasm. While guarding the traditional approaches used in the studies related to crop growth and productivity, recent developments in various fields of plant physiology and molecular biology have been added to teaching and research curricula. To address the basic issues using modern technology, expertise and infrastructure facilities have been developed. The Department has excellent laboratories for abiotic stress screening, molecular biology, stress physiology, molecular breeding, plant nutrition, green house with transgenic containment facility, and field facilities with rainout shelters having options for large scale phenotyping. The department houses the National Facility for Isotopes Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) and serves as a nodal centre for all studies pertaining to the use of stable isotope in biology. The Department faces formidable challenges in the years to come, both from the increasing demands of enhancing productivity of crops and from the radical changes in the approaches to address these challenges. The Department is trying to keep pace with the recent developments in these fronts.

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