||TBGRI, situated right
in the lap of the Western Ghats in 300 acres of
natural forest land, is at its developmental process
with enormous scope for furtherance of its activities.
Our objectives mainly centre around conversation
of plant diversity for the delightedness of present
and future humankind and development of useful plant
products in sustainable manner with the application
of cutting edge science and technology.
Over a period of 33 years, we have enriched our
garden, which is a natural tropical forest, with
live collections of more than 50,000 accessions
of plants belonging to about 3500 species. Six Research and Development Divisions of this institute
carried out advanced research in diverse areas of plant
sciences which are given division along with Visitors
Management Centre performs the huge task of maintaining
and improving the vast Garden, facilitating the visitors
and executing different extension activities. Several new species were introduced in the Garden this
year. Live collection of Orchids, Bamboos and palms are the real attraction; saplings/seedlings of several important
species of bamboos were distributed to the public.
Intra species genetic variability studies and marker development to
sort out active principle producing accessions is in the
anvil. Palynological information is employed in several conservation biological
studies, especially in pollination related investigations.
TBGRI has earned national and international recognition
in herbal drug research. This year, for the first time,
the anti-inflammatory property of Chlorophyll-a and its
degradation products was observes by TBGRI scientists.
Chlorophyll-a involved in photosynthesis is having pharmaceutical
value also. The mechanism of action of Chlorophyll- a
appears to be inhibition of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB).
An aphrodisiac principle isolated form Vanda tessellata
was shown to stimulate specifically neuronal and endothelial
Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS). This observation is of great
significance in view of the involvement of this enzyme
in the synthesis of physiologically import second messenger
NO (nitric oxide).
Plumbagin, known to be present in Plambago rosea, a medicinal
plant was discovered in the pitchers of Nepenthes khasiana.
The volatile chemical profile of Curcuma haritha
was determined throughout its life cycle for the first
Biotechnological intervention is made in the area of conservation
and production of bio-active compounds. Molecules, characterization
and variability analysis of selected RET (rare, endangered
and threatened) species are being carried out. DNA barcoding
of selected medicinal plants are also in progress. Data
Base of Sacred Grove plants was prepared; Digitalization
of herbarium was done. Standardization of agrotechnology
development fro selected medicinal plants being done.
A model medicinal plants cultivation centre was developed
at Kanjikuzhi Grama Panchayat, Alappuzha, as an extension
work to, mainly, empower women.
The traditional knowledge related to plants used for food
and medicine was documented from several grama panchayaths
of Kerala. Ongoing studies in Ethnopharmacology include
screening of plants for pharmacological activities based
on ethnomedical leads. “Herbs for all and Health
for all” - a programme to enable the villagers to
grow and use medicinal plants for their health care -
registered remarkable success.
The plant taxonomy group discovered 3 new mushrooms and
one variety of flowering plant in addition to two rediscoveries
after type and five new distributional records. The collections
also include 465 endemics and 126 RET species of the Western
Ghats. An Actinomycete and 3 new species of micro fungi were also described.
I am happy to keep on record the achievements and other
activities outlined in online the resource are the outcome
of the concerted efforts of all members of TBGRI staff.