Plant Sciences Division

Plants produce an array of small organic molecules, the secondary metabolites of diverse structures. Many of these natural products display interesting pharmacological activities and therefore find use as phytomedicines and nutraceuticals. The Western Himalayn region is unique in terms of its range of climatic and geographic conditions, favoring diversification of flora. For obvious reasons, the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh is rich storehouse of medicinal, aromatic and other economic plants. The plant sciences division of CSIR-IIIM is carrying out research studies of basic and applied value on medicinal and aromatic plants by using tools of different disciplines of biology such as taxonomy, ecology, ethonobotany, biochemistry and plant physiology, plant molecular biology and computational biology.


  • Vision
    • To become a centre of excellence for carrying out cutting edge research of basic and applied value on medicinal and aromatic plants.
  • Mission
    • Documentation of plant biodiversity and development of database of medicinal and aromatic plants.
    • Enrichment of Janaki Ammal Herbarium (acronym RRLH) and crude drug repository with new plants.
    • Discovery of new phytochemicals as well as finding newer uses of existing plant natural products for human health.
    • Conservation of plant varieties with desired properties and development of agrotechniques for their large-scale propagation.
    • Investigation of chemical ecology of medicinal and aromatic plants and the role of plant secondary metabolites.
    • To develop protocols for tissue culture and genetic transformation for medicinal and aromatic plants.
    • To understand the biochemical and molecular basis of biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in medicinal and aromatic plants.
    • To develop plant varieties with desired chemical profile through intervention of genetic engineering.
    • Synthetic biology for metabolic engineering of microbes for the production of high-value secondary metabolites.
    • Plant-based production of therapeutic proteins
  • Surveys, collection, bio-resource mapping, monitoring and evaluation of biodiversity coupled with EIA.
  • Ecological, taxonomical and molecular profiling and identification of plants and animal (benthos) communities.
  • Resourcing of quality raw materials (plants) for natural products and other bioactive molecules.
  • Traditional knowledge investigation through ethnobotanical and cultural aspects.
  • Experimental trials and extension of high value medicinal and aromatic plants in different agro-climatic ecosystems.
  • Two internationally recognized referral centers (1) Janaki Ammal Herbarium (acronym RRLH), and (2) Crude Drug Repository of raw and synthetic drugs derived from plant sources and their online database.
  • Bioprospecting biodiversity (plants, benthos, microbes) with state-of-the-art chemical/ biotechnological tools.
  • Conservation biology like ex-situ conservation, response to habitat change, genotype characterization, reproductive biology and adaption biology.
  • In vitro micropropagation and other techniques of plant tissue culture, In vitro secondary metabolite production, genetic transformation of plants for transgenic plant development.
  • Expertise for plant biochemicals and molecular (DNA markers) evaluation of plants.
  • Tools of plant physiology and biochemistry to study photosynthesis, pigments, C and N metabolism and enzyme activity assays.
  • Tools of molecular biology like cloning (conventional cloning, Gateway Cloning, Golden Gate assembly), plant expression construct preparation, homologous and heteologous expression of genes in plants, recombinant protein expression in plants and microbes, enzyme activity assays, Over-expression and suppression of genes in plants, genome editing, genetic transformation of model systems (Arabidopsis and tabacum).
  • Tools of bioinformatics and computational biology such as analysis of next-generation sequencing data of transcriptome and genome, gene network analysis and ecological modelling.
  • Janaki Ammal Herbarium houses more than 24200 specimens representing 3265 species. This facility is used by scientists from academia, research scholars & herbal drug Industry as a ready reference for the authentication of plants. It is recognized internationally and is registered in Index herbariorum at New York, U.S.A under the acronym RRLH.
  • Herbal Drug Repository contains more than 4200 crude drug samples of authenticated parts of the plants, used in Indian traditional system of medicine. This referral facility is accessible to pharmaceutical industry, traders, medicinal practitioners, natural product chemists, students and academics and provides ready material for laboratory scale experiments.
  • Experimental Farms at different altitudes in Jammu, Srinagar, Bonera, Yarrikha and Leh offer unique opportunity to conduct field trials on tropical, subtropical and temperate climate plants. Large scale cultivation of plants as and when required can also be carried out.
  • Well equipped molecular biology labs
  • Lab for plant physiology and biochemistry
  • Plant tissue culture facility
  • Glass house facility for growing plants in controlled environment
  • Walk-in Plant growth chamber for growing plants in controlled environment

Dr. Dhiraj Vyas
Principal Scientist

Dr. Sumit G Gandhi
Principal Scientist

Dr. Suphla Gupta
Principal Scientist

Dr. Sumeet Gairola
Senior Scientist

Dr. Prashant Misra
Senior Scientist

 Dr. Ravail Singh

Dr. Srinivas Kota

Mr. Yadunandan Sen
Technical Assistant

  • Morphological and biochemical assessment of selected Cannabis genotypes at CSIR-IIIM. (Ms/- Boheco)
  • Biotechnology of medicinal and aromatic plants (MLP-3012/CSIR)
  • Chemistry & Plant Biotechnology of Phytocanabinoids from Cannabis sativa (MLP-1001/CSIR)
  • Glycoengineering of Nicotiana tabacum using CRISPR Cas based genome editing: Glyco-optimization for humanized therapeutic protein production in plants (GAP2167/DBT-funded)
  • Collection of plant resources from selected ecological niches for novel bioactivities (MLP 1007).
  • Advance Phase of industry-sponsored CIPA Herbal Dengue product project (CNP 1313)
  • Plant endophytes for enhancing secondary metabolite production and plant productivity in Glycyrrhiza glabra and Coleus forskohlii (CSIR)
  • Optimization and preparation of RT-LAMP Kit for molecular diagnosis of COVID-19 (CSIR)
  • Setting up of platform for screening of inhibitors of SARS-CoV2 RdRp and TMPRSS2 (CSIR)
  • Understanding the role of forskolin in physiology of Coleus forskohlii (CSIR)
  • Development of functional genomics plateform in Cannabis (CSIR)