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Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute
Palode, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695562
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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 time.
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.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
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