» R & D » Health, Food and Agriculture

Core R & D Areas

New crop varieties in oil seeds and pulses. Using radiation-induced mutagenesis and hybridization, 39 crop varieties have been developed, released and Gazette-notified for commercial cultivation
A large number of mutants in various crop plants and their registration with the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi

Micropropagation protocols for banana, sugarcane, pineapple, potato, turmeric, ginger and medicinal plants

Protocols for direct and indirect somatic embryogenesis have been established in banana, grapes and sugarcane

Cellular and molecular basis of stress tolerance in bacteria and plants

Biological systems for remediation of organic and inorganic pollutants and development of biosensors

Transgenic plants for improving biotic resistance and enhanced remediation of heavy metals

Understanding the extreme radiation resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans and the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium, Anabaena

Uranium sequestration by marine cyanobacterium, Synechococcus elongates

Preservation, disinfestation or hygienization of primary, secondary and tertiary food products and also for quarantine treatment of exportable agricultural commodities

PET and Nuclear Medicine

Biological and health effects of chronic high level natural radiation on human population residing in high background radiation areas of Kerala

Mechanism of radiation effects in mammalian systems at low doses, radiation signaling and bystander effect

Tumor micro environment and modulation of effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic agents

Identification of new radioprotectors from natural sources and studies on mechanism of their action
The interaction of different clinical isolates of M.tuberculosis with cells of immune system and development of diagnostic kits

R&D activities in Life Sciences at BARC span a wide range of thrust areas in contemporary biological research. Radioisotopes and radiation technologies prove as useful tools in biological research. These tools have been extensively used in R&D (both basic and applied), in agriculture, for improving crop productivity and to reduce post harvest losses. In addition, molecular mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance, molecular marker techniques for marker assisted selection, development and characterisation of transgenic plants, enzyme microbial technology and pest management studies are also being undertaken. Nisargruna biogas technology has been used for treatment of domestic and industrial organic waste.

Research on radiation processing of agricultural commodities with an emphasis on development of new products and application for extension of shelf life of Ready To Cook (RTC) vegetables and food products, Indian meat products, protein powders, sprouted legumes and blendarised food for immuno-compromised patients is being carried out. In health-care, in vivo nuclear medicine diagnostic as well as therapeutic studies involve Positron Emission Tomography (PET), scintigraphy and radioiodine therapy. For in vitro diagnosis of thyroid disorders, a large number of radioimmunoassay (RIA) procedures are also being carried out. Apart from thyroid, diagnostic investigations related to cancers of various organs and functional imaging of heart, bone, kidney, lungs, GI tract etc. are being done routinely. A PCR-based diagnostic kit has been developed for tuberculosis.

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Radiation processing of food (a) Shelf-life extension of pumpkin samples (b) Meat products (Samples on the left are controls and on the right are irradiated)

Radiation processing of food
(a) Shelf-life extension of pumpkin samples
(b) Meat products (Samples on the left are
controls and on the right are irradiated)


Atomic beam fluorescence spectrometer developed for high precision measurements of isotope shifts and hyperfine structure

Trombay mutant crops in field (a) Mungbean

Structure of [UO2Cl2(DPPFO2)]

Trombay mutant crops in field b) Groundnut

Structure of [UO2Cl2(DPPFO2)]

Trombay mutant crops in field
(c) A farmer displaying Trombay groundnuts