By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 8 Sep: Two research scholars from the Himalayan School of Biosciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, bagged the top honours at the International Conference ‘GangaAyurCon-2022’.
Anjali Uniyal and Sweta Upadhyay won the first and second positions, respectively, in the Scientific Poster Category.
The Conference on “Medicinal Plants of Ganga River Basin and Their Therapeutic Importance in Indian System of Medicines,” was held at the Gurukul Campus, Uttarakhand Ayurvedic University, Haridwar, from 5 to 6 September.
Anjali Uniyal presented her perspective on, ‘Genetic Diversity Assessment Using Molecular Markers for the Conservation of Rheum Species’. This has been her research topic as well, which she is conducting along with Akhilesh Kumar, Sweta Upadhyay, Sanjay Gupta and Vijay Kumar.
Sweta Upadhyay, a PhD Scholar at Himalayan School of Biosciences, SRHU, was awarded 2nd position in Scientific Poster Category. The title of her presentation was ‘Molecular analysis of micropropagated Rheum emodi plants using RAPD and ISSR markers for ascertaining Clonal fidelity’. Her co-researchers in the above research are Anjali Uniyal, Vijay Kumar, Sanjay Gupta and Akhilesh Kumar.
Overwhelmed with the achievement of SRHU’s students, Vice Chancellor Dr Vijay Dhasmana stated that it is a matter of pride for him that SRHU bioscience students are working on issues that will be hugely beneficial to mankind in the future. “Their research topic has huge relevance to the welfare of humanity. Their main projection is that cultivation of plants can be planned to meet the needs of the industry in required quantities and at required time. If efforts are made for systematic cultivation of medicinal plants instead of collecting them from the wild, many of the problems like unplanned harvesting and threats to the plant species would be minimised. Properly identified, certified and biochemically characterised planting material can be supplied to the growers. Unintentional adulteration can be avoided and it will be easier to check deliberate adulteration.”
The Duo’s Research Topics
Rheum preparations are well known for their medicinal properties. Pharmacologically, besides the purgative effect, which is widely known, this genus has antimicrobial, anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory activities. Emodin and rutin have been isolated for anti-tumour activity. The presence of the substituted tricyclic anthrones of emodin and its derived anthrones in a diverse range of natural products, namely purpuroquinone, olivine and resistomycin suggest that emodin might serve as a starting material for the synthesis of these compounds. The plants growing in the wild are dependent on soil, seasons and weather conditions and, hence, they may not be available throughout the year. Thus the protocol developed under this project for mass in vitro clonal multiplication of the plant species will help in their multiplication, conservation and plant material could be made available throughout the year.
This proposal is also to develop efficient routine procedures and facility for obtaining genetic data on large numbers of samples in order to specify and detect the variation among the distinct geographical sources through molecular markers, which will be used for the authentication of the plant material. Hence the herbal wealth of the State could be utilised for the benefit of mankind and ultimately will lead to the uplift of the society.
Upgrading of plant tissue culture facility at Himalayan School of Biosciences, SRHU, Dehradun, will help in implementation of improvement programme for medicinal plants of the State of Uttarakhand more vigorously.
Thus, the Rheum species will be subjected to in situ conservation through tissue culture technique. Commercial exploitation of the mentioned plant species through tissue culture will be achieved by developing the protocol for in vitro mass multiplication, cell suspension cultures and active component profiling. Further the plant under study will be assessed through the molecular markers for the assessment of pure germplasm. Thus, it is proposed to standardise and isolate genomic DNA from the individuals of different populations. Standardise PCR conditions (polymerase chain reaction) for the amplification of the specific segment/region of the genes and assess the somaclonal variation. This is aimed to detect and eliminate the various persisting among the clonally propagated plant material. The project was given to Dr Sanjay Gupta as Principal Investigator and Dr Vivek Kumar, Co-PI, by the Uttarakhand Council for Biotechnology, Haldi, Government of Uttarakhand.