biotechnology research group

Former Genetics and Plant Physiology Division was established in Research Institute of Forest and Ranglands (RIFR) in 1991 with the aim of genetic, plant physiological and breeding investigation in forest, range and medicinal plant species. The division was divided to Plant Breeding, Tissue Culture, Molecular Genetics and Plant Physiology in order to cover all the research requirements. The division was reorganized in to Biotechnology Research Department of Natural Resources (BRDNR) in 2005.All the biotechnological projects conducted in the RIFR and its affiliated research centers in Iran are leaded in the BRDNR. Also, the major biotechnology research activities are carried out in different groups of the Department. In addition the BRDNR has relatively well established links with different universities and research institutes. Usually, MSc and PhD students from different universities are doing their research projects in the laboratories of the Department.The research areas of the four groups of the department are as follows:1- Biology and Molecular systematic Protein engineering Research Group (BMPG)2- Microorganisms and cell Bank Research Group (MGBG)3- Plant Tissue culture and In Vitro Breeding Research Group (PTIBG)4- Plant Physiology Research Group (PPG)◊ Biology and Molecular systematic Protein engineering Research Group (BMPG)To achieve the main objectives of plant biotechnology which eliminate or minimize limitations of sexual reproduction, towards creation and multiplication of desired cultivars, the BMPG is well-equipped facilities, providing relevant possibilities, in order to accomplish various molecular genetic and biochemical research studies. The research studies and projects in the BMPG are being carried out towards orientation of improvement of yield quality and/or quantity in different forest, range and medicinal plant species, used for grazing, feed, food, soil conservation, wood industries, medicine, perfumery or other industries.

 The major research activities of the group are as follows: 

Cytogenetic and cytotaxonomic studies. Plant genetic variation analyses using morphological, biochemical and molecular markets. Assessment of plant population genetics projects, Anatomic investigation for specific breeding purposes, Intergeneric and interspecific hybridization for induction or creation of variation, Reproduction (sexual and asexual) mechanisms of range, forest and medicinal plant species. ◊ Microorganisms and cell Bank Research Group (MGBG)This group is mainly involved on the following main research topics:

 

Collection, isolation, identification and preservation (mid term and long term) of microorganisms those are important for natural resources sector and related industries. MGBG including microorganisms, vectors and cloned genes, and offering services to other academia and research institutes Production of biological products for natural resources sector and related industries   

Design of bioprocesses for above mentioned products in pilot and industrial scales 

Biosafety in relation to microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and micro algae have been collected from different locations in Iran and the culture collections world-wide during the last few years. These microorganisms are either harmful for agricultural bank of the group. These microorganisms are either harmful for agricultural products or have potential useful applications in genetic engineering as well as gene transformation techniques.◊ Plant Tissue culture and In Vitro Breeding Research Group (PTIBG)In spite of the need for forest and forest products, the available lands have been shrinking for growing them, because of agriculture demands, city expansion and road development. There is a need to increase the productivity of our available woodlands. For perennial forest tree species, reduction of the breeding time which is extraordinary long is highly desirable in tree improvement process. In vitro techniques have been expected to contribute to this aspect of tree breeding. The main techniques of these methods are consisted of embryo rescue, haploid induction (anther and microspore culture), micropropagation (pre-existing meristem culture, adventitious meristem induction) and somatic embryogenesis, somaclonal cell selection, cell mutant line selection, protoplast culture, somatic cell hybridization, and in vitro pollination and fertilization. This group is dealing with all in vitro methods integrated to plant improvement activities.The major research activities of PTIBG are as follows:

 

Micro propagation of forest, range and medicinal Plant species. 

Induction of somaclonal and gametoclonal variations for breeding purposes. Investigation of factors limiting plant regeneration in range, forest and medicinal plant species. 

   Haploidy induction for breeding purposes. 

Somatic embryogenesis studies towards synthetic seed production. 

Application of embryo rescue technique to overcome incompatibility barriers 

Application of protoplast fusion as an effective and time-saving in comparison with conventional methods and also to overcome barriers in conventional methods.◊ Plant Physiology Research Group (PPG)Research at plant physiology group focuses on the impact of environment on the development and production of range, forests and medicinal soil conservation and herbage production. Research which carried out by environmental physiology aims to provide an understanding of the factors which affect plant production processes in order to increase the effectiveness of management. This general objective needs to be focused to provide a basis for research programme. Given the diversity of management problems associated with established plants, potential new plants and different environments in Iran. This group provides a whole plant focus in a continuum that ranges from studies of plants at the biochemical level to those that examine the constraints of productivity in plants and their interactions with the environment on a field scale. The group has well-equipped laboratories for, biochemistry and physiology researches in controlled environment.  The main research activities are:  Investigation of environmental stress tolerances (drought, salinity, heat, cold, nutrient deficiency etc.) potential in forests, range and medicinal plant species. 

Study of stress tolerance mechanisms in forests, range, and medicinal plant species to extend their growth habitats. 

Physiological investigations including photosynthetic capacity in forests, range and medicinal plant species under stress conditions for improving their stress tolerance. 

Study of physiological seed germination and seedling growth barriers in order to optimize sexual reproduction in forests, range and medicinal plant species. 

Study of environmental pollution tolerance in forests, range and medicinal plant species.Study of forests, range and medicinal plant species. 

Potential for absorption of environmental pollution, especially heavy metals. 

Study of forests, range and medicinal plant accessions in different ecological conditions to introduce appropriate genotypes for certain polluted area.

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