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Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Northeast Today

Kerala, Maharashtra Researchers Keen to Develop Northeast Bioresources

Kerala, Maharashtra Researchers Keen to Develop Northeast Bioresources
June 16
16:58 2017

Realising the importance of North East now, the Directors of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram and National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS), Pune visited Northeast and signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) in Imphal.

The Directors found many unique bioresources available in Northeast, out of which a few can be commercialized for the socio-economic development of the region. The researchers appreciated the efforts taken by IBSD during the last 15 years and expressed satisfaction about the facilities at IBSD and said they have the technology for the development of the unique bioresources.

Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director IBSD, stressed on the uniqueness of this region and said that the memorandum with RCGB Thiruvananthapuram will focus on developing a Regional Facility for DNA Fingerprinting at IBSD for molecular genetic diversity analysis of the unique flora and fauna of North East India and develop unique passport data for rare plants and animals.

Dr. M. Radhakrishna Pillai, Director RGCB also mentioned that the Kerala based Institute undertakes basic and applied research in frontier areas of disease biology, and has focused on 3 major areas of research such as Infectious and Chronic Disease Biology, Plant Biotechnology and Translation Research and Technology. Prof Sahoo also said that the facility will become a training centre for scientists and students who wish to learn about the techniques used for DNA Fingerprinting and DNA barcoding for the entire North East region.

The memorandum with NCCS Pune will focus building up further the Microbial Repository Centre at IBSD which already has over 25,000 microbial isolates from different parts of North East India, and will also provide a platform for the recently launched National Human Microbiome Project, that will also conduct an in-depth study of the microbiome of North East India’s diverse ethic groups, said Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director NCCS.

North East Region of India is a genetic treasure house of plants, animals and microbial resources. This region falls among the World’s top 10 Biodiversity Hotspots. Realizing the importance of the rich biodiversity and the unique bioresources of the region, the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India established the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) at Imphal, Manipur in the year 2001.

It is not only a unique institute of its kind in India but also amongst the very few in the world. The main mandate of this institute is conservation and sustainable utilization of bioresources for the socio-economic development of the region. Research and Development activities are pursued under core areas such as medicinal plants, horticulture, algae, microbes, insects, fisheries and other aquatic bioresources with emphasis on bioresources database development, bioresources education, Human Resources Development (HRD).

The other dignitaries who participated in the program include Dr B Ravindran, former Director Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) and Mr. Jayant Sahasrabuddhe, National Organising Secretary, Vijnana Bharati.

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