Medicinal, Aromatic and Spice plants Unit
Herbal Garden Development
The collection of herbals in the Institute harbours 1,200 taxa and covers an area of about 10 acres. It includes many educational features, and considered to be one of the best herbal gardens in the country. The different features/ sections of the herbal garden include the following :- Special groups of herbals, Herbal of the week, Medicinal- arboretum, Medicinal –shrubbery, Succulent garden, Model of sacred grove, Aromatic plant garden, Systematic garden of herbals, Collection of RET species, Piper germplasm, Ginger germplasm etc. The herbal garden also includes collections of Rauvolfia spp., Strobilanthus spp., Asparagus spp., Acrotrema spp., Phyllanthus spp., Sida spp. The herbal garden attracts a lot of visitors and it helps them to familiarize with the herbals, its growing requirements, propagation, medicinal utility etc.
Conservation of Coscinium fenestratum- a rare herbal species of the Western Ghats
Coscinium fenestratum Colebr. (Menispermaceae) is a woody climber having yellowish stem (revealed on peeling the outer skin) and therefore it is known as ‘Maramanjal’ in Malayalam (Maram-Wood, Manja- Yellowish). Mature stem of the plant is used in 62 Ayurvedic formulations, including medicines to cure eye diseases. The bioactive principle of the species is the alkaloid ‘berberine’ which possesses antiseptic property. This species is not familiar to many due to scarcity of its occurrence in the wild, and probably therefore, mature plants of the species (male and female separate) growing luxuriantly in the herbal garden of JNTBGRI, have become a curiosity to the visitors. Interestingly, regeneration of the species is also taking place in the garden by nocturnal animals, which eat its fruits.
At present, C. fenestratum is facing gene-erosion (loss of genotypes) due to over-exploitation from the wild, particularly for pharmaceutical use. Over-extraction of the species is being continued in the Western Ghats, ever since the industrial production of Ayurvedic medicines about 50-60 years back. The plant takes about 15 years to attain maturity for flowering and fruiting. Since mature plants are collected irrationally from the forests for selling out, number of plants which can reproduce become scarce and this has adversely affected natural regeneration of the species. Considering the rarity of C. fenestratum, it is included in the list of rare and threatened plants of the world, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
The living collection of the species serves as seed source for strengthening the resource base of the species. The programmes include distribution of seedlings to general public for growing in their home yards, and to the Kerala Forest Department for reintroduction in its habitat. The seeds obtained each year from the plants were also used for standardizing seed-germination, mass multiplication through tissue culture and cryo-preservation at JNTBGRI. It is worth mentioning that seed-bank group of the division has standardized a method for seed germination of the species giving 80% success rate, this finding is important with respect to conservation of the species , since it’s seeds show poor germination.
Public participation and support are essential for success of any conservation programmes. Conservation – education and extension activities possess a major role in achieving conservation of medicinal plants. Conservation of wild species is generally most effective, when there is a clear and specific need for the material. Therefore, building up public support by projecting the utility of medicinal plants in health care will be useful and appropriate for their sustainable utilization. Development of conservation- education programmes suited to different target groups – students, farmers, women etc for creating awareness among them to grow/cultivate medicinal plants is useful. In order to serve this purpose, JNTBGRI has developed several features and established a conservation – education model herbal garden- the Itty Achuthan Vaidyan’s Garden and a Model Medicinal Plant Garden at JNTBGRI.
a. Itty Achuthan Vaidyan’s Garden
By developing Itty Achuthan Vaidyan’s garden, JNTBGRI has tried to project the traditional association of physicians, herbals and patients existed in the past, which has almost vanished from the present day society. Itty Achuthan was a famous Ayurvedic physician lived about 300 years back in Kerala.He belonged to an ancient family of Ayurvedic physicians of Kodakarappally village near Shertalay in Alapuzha District and served as major collaborator of the classical work on medicinal plants of Kerala – ‘Hortus Malabaricus’ – published during the period, 1678 – 1703 by van Rheede, the then Dutch Governor of Cochin.Un-precedented floods and landslides of the years 1992 and ’93 in southern Kerala had detrimentally affected the herbal garden of JNTBGRI. Many valuable collections of herbals and attractive features like Centella lawn, Succulent garden, etc. were washed away in the floods. The reclamation works such as construction of boundary wall and refilling the eroded area with soil had begun just few months after the 1993 floods. Even after completing these civil works, the real loss was much evident in this part of the herbal garden, and felt that recasting the area in a suitable manner is a hard job and need cute planning. We were very particular that the developmental activities should blend with natural settings of the area. The developmental work of the Itty Achuthan Vaidyan’s Garden had been started on 1st February 1996. At the outset, landscaping the area and development of the following appropriate milieus for growing herbals were carried out – aquatic, marshy, open-moist and woodland. A major achievement accomplished as part of landscaping the area was the development of water bodies in the garden – a stream and two ponds – and succeeded in getting perennial water supply to the water bodies from Chittar river by just gravitational force through underground by pipe. It served as habitat for fishes, frogs and its predators – reptiles and birds. As part of providing a ‘period – room’ of ancient past to the garden, several architectural features were incorporated in the garden, which include ‘Kottyambalam’ style entrance, boundary wall made of clay – adorned with wall lamps, Kalvilakku, Thulasithara etc.
b. Model Medicinal Plant Garden (MMPG)
The MMPG, comprise an area of about 2 ha., located in a semi evergreen forest patch of JNTBGRI Field surveys for enumerating the naturally occurring medicinal plants of the site revealed that the area comprise about 50 medicinal plants species. The medicinal plant resource of the garden has been enriched by introducing about 40 herbal species which blend with local flora. A garden trail has also been developed with least disturbance to the vegetation of the garden. The 300m long trail, which starts from the Itty Achuthan Vaidyan’s garden passes through the forest patch, and ends near the guest house of JNTBGRI. On walking along the trail, a visitor can familiarize with herbals right in their natural habitat. Moreover, the visitors get an opportunity to watch the dynamic nature of the ecosystem. About 20 models/images of conservation-education value and about 30 educational labels were developed in the MMPG. A ’hut’ and a model home yard herbal garden in its premises are the most attractive educational displays developed in the garden. A model – ‘Traditional Vaidya’- in the posture of checking ‘Nadi’ of a patient and impressions of herbals on the walls of the ‘hut’ are some of the other educational features of the MMPG.
Development of National Field Gene Bank of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants
Government of India decided to launch National Gene Bank programme for the conservation and sustainable utilization of traditionally known medicinal and aromatic plants used in various Indian systems of treatments. JNTBGRI has recognized as one of the nodal agencies to implement this programme in 1993 to conserve select plant genetic resources of medicinal species from the Peninsular India and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands. The degree of endemism and genetic diversity found among the medicinal species of the Western Ghats and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands has a key role in the national wealth of our country in future decades. However, economic evaluation of several medicinal endemics and their related lesser-known species of the Western Ghats and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands has not been carried out so far. Unlike the cultivars, most of the medicinal species are wild in origin and their overexploitation for industrial purpose has led to considerable genetic erosion and species loss from their natural habitats. This has much relevance to the condition prevalent in India where the human population has been crossed 1.2 billion and it highlights the urgent need to prevent the genetic erosion and conservation of wilderness in terms of modern conservation methods.
Development of field gene bank of selected species is one of the best methods of ex-situ conservation, especially because of low technological inputs required for establishing the facility. The field gene banks possess the advantage of observing and studying genetic variation existing in the gene pool of the species and facilitate utilization of best available genotypes of the species for medicinal purpose and /or as source of genetic material for crop improvement. In Kerala, field gene banks of selected medicinal and aromatic plants have been established at the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute and Kotakkal AryaVaidya Sala with the support of DBT, Govt. of India. The FGB at. JNTBGRI harbours 304 accessions of 27 species. Germplasm representation of 120 species from the Andaman – Nicobar Archipelago is another hallmark of the field gen bank. Nineteen accessions of 9 species from various regions of the Peninsular India introduced at field gene bank have been received IC numbers from NBPGR. The details of the species and accessions introduced at field gene bank are given below:
Name of species
|Abrus precatorius L.||
|Adhatoda vasica Nees.||
|Aegle marmelos Corr.||
|Aloe vera L.||
|Asparagus racemosus Willd.||
|Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettsl.||
|Centella asiatica Urb..||
|Cissus quadrangularis L.||
|Costus speciosus (Koenig) Smith||
|Desmodium gangeticum DC.||
|Elephantopus scaber L.||
|Geophila reniformis D. Don.||
|Glycosmis pentaphylla Corr.||
|Hemidesmus indicus R. Br.||
|Murraya koenigii Spr.||
|Nothapodytes nimmoniana (Graham)Mabb.||
|Ophiorrhiza mungos L.||
|Pellionia heyneana Wedd.||
|Piper longum L.||
|Plumbago zeylanica L.||
|Psuedarthria viscida W. & A.||
|Gloriosa superb L.||
|Adhatoda beddoemi C.B.Clarke||
|Coscinium fenastratum (Gaertner)
|Trichopus zeylanicus ssp.travancoricus
Burkill ex Narayanan
|Anaphyllum wightii Schott||
|Rauvolfia serpentina L||
Collections from Andaman Nicobar Islands
|Name of species||Family||Distribution|
|Actephila excels (Dalz.) Muell.-
Arg. var. javanica (Miq.)
Pax & Hoffm.
|Euphorbiaceae||Andaman – Nicobar Islands, Indo-China, Malesia|
|Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa||Rutaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast
Asia, Malesia, Tropical Africa, United States
|Aglaonema nicobaricum Hook.f.||Araceae||Nicobar Islands*|
|Anaxagorea luzonensis A.Gray||Annonaceae||Andaman Islands, Malesia|
|Ancistrocladus tectorius (Lour.)
|Ancistrocladaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Southeast Asia, Malesia|
|Ardisia elliptica Thunb.||Myrsinaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian subcontinent, Malesia|
|Areca triandra Roxb. ex Buch. –
|Arecaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Malesia|
|Azadirachta indica A. Juss.||Meliaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indo-Malesia|
|Baccaurea ramiflora Lour.||Euphorbiaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Eastern
Himalaya, Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Malesia
|Barringtonia racemosa (L.) Spreng.||Barringtoniaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Sub-continent,
Southeast Asia, Malesia, Australia, tropical
|Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.||Caesalpiniaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, South Asia|
|Calamus andamanicus Kurz||Arecaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Calamus longisetus Griff.||Arecaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Calamus viminalis Willd.||Arecaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, , Northeast India,
Southeast Asia, Malesia
|Calophyllum inophyllum L.||Clusiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Old & New world Tropics
|Camellia kissi Wall.||Theaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Eastern
Himalaya, China, Indo-China
|Canarium euphyllum Kurz||Burseraceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Caryota mitis Lour.||Arecaceae||Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Southeast Asia,
|Canarium euphyllum Kurz||Burseraceae||Nicobar Islands*|
|Chionanthus ramiflorus Roxb.||Oleaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indo-Malesian|
|Chrysophyllum sp.||Sapotaceae||Andaman Islands|
|Cinnamomum verum J.S.Presl.||Lauraceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent|
|Cissus quadrangularis L.
||Vitaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Sub-continent,
Malesia, Middle-east, Southwest Africa
|Cordia dichotoma G.Forst.||Boraginaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia, Southeast
|Corypha macropoda Linden ex Kurz||Arecaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Costus speciosus (Koen.) J. L. Sm.||Zingiberaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Southeast Asia, Malesia
|Crateva religiosa Forst.f.||Capparaceae||Andaman – Nicobar Islands, Indian Sub-continent,
|Cycas rumphii Miq.||Cycadaceae||Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka|
|Cynometra iripa Kostel.||Caesalpiniaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent, Malesia,
|Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees||Poaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian subcontinent, Malesia|
|Dillenia andamanica C. E.Parkinson||Dillanaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands|
|Dehaasia kurzii King ex Hook. f.||Lauraceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Dinochloa scandens (Blume ex Nees)
|Poaceae||Andaman – Nicobar Islands, Southeast Asia|
|Diospyros andamanica (Kurz) Bakh.
||Ebenaceae||Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia|
|Diospyros montana Roxb.||Ebenaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Malesia to Australia
|Diospyros pilosiuscula G.Don||Ebenaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Southeast Asia, Malesia
|Dipterocarpus grandiflorus (Blanco)
|Dipterocarpaceae||Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia, Malesia|
|Dipterocarpus alatus Roxb. ex G.Don||Dipterocarpaceae||Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia|
|Dracaena angustifolia (Medik.) Roxb.||Dracaenaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Sub-continent|
|Dysoxylum andamanicum King||Meliaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Elaeocarpus tectorius (Lour.) Poir.||Elaeocarpaceae||Andaman Islands, Indo – Malesia|
|Entada rheedii Spreng.||Mimosaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
|Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl.||Araceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Western Ghats, Malesia|
|Eulophia andamanensis Reichb. f.||Orchidaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Southeast Asia, Malesia|
|Fagraea racemosa Jack||Loganiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Sub-continent,
|Ficus hispida L. f.||Moraceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Malesia to Australia
|Freycinetia insignis Blume||Pandanaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Glycosmis mauritiana (Lam.) Tanaka
var. andamanensis (V. Naray.) B.C.
|Glycosmis pilosa Naray.||Rutaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.||Malvaceae||Tropical East Africa, Introduced by Britishers
in Andaman Islands
|Hopea helferi (Dyer) Brandis
||Dipterocarpaceae||Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia|
|Hornstedtia fenzlii (Kurz) K. Schum.||Zingiberaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Horsfieldia irya (Gaertn.) Warb.||Myristicaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Southeast Asia, Malesia|
|Illigera appendiculata Blume||Hernandiaceae||Andaman Island, Myanmar, Malesia|
|Jasminum cordifolium Wall. &
|Oliaceae||Western Ghats & Andaman Islands*|
|Knema andamanica (Warb.) W.J.de Wilde
|Korthalsia laciniosa (Griff.) Mart.||Aracaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Korthalsia rogersii Becc.||Aracaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Lagerstroemia hypoleuca Kurz.
|Leea guineensis G. Don||Leeaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Malesia|
|Licuala peltata Roxb. ex Buch. –
|Aracaceae||Andaman-Nicobar islands, Northeast India,
| Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Muell.-
|Euphorbiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Southeast Asia, Malesia to Australia
|Mangifera andamanica King||Anacardiaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Mangifera camptoserma Pierre
||Anacardiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Mangifera griffithi Hook. f.
||Anacardiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Mangifera indica L.||Anacardiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Tropical Asia|
|Mangifera sylvatica Roxb.||Anacardiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Northeast India,
|Manilkara littoralis (Kurz) Dubard||Sapotaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Mapania kurzii C. B. Clarke||Cyperaceae||Andaman Island, Malesia|
|Melastoma malabathricum L.||Melastomataceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
|Magnolia champaca (L.) Baill. ex
|Magnoliaceae||Andaman Islands, Indo-Malesia, Southeast Asia|
|Mimusops elengi L.||Sapotaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent, Malesia|
|Musa acuminata Colla||Musaceae||South Asia|
|Myristica elliptica Wall. ex Hook.
f. & Thomson
|Myristicaceae||Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Myxopyrum smilacifolium (Wall.) Blume||Oleaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
|Ochna integerrima (Lour.) Merr.||Ochnaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Southeast
|Pandanus andamanensium Kurz||Pandanaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
| Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex
|Pandanaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent|
|Parishia insignis Hook. f.||Anacardiaceae||Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Malesia|
|Phoenix paludosa Roxb.||Arecaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Southeast
|Pinanga andamanensis Becc.||Aracaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Pinanga manii Becc.||Arecaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Piper betle L.||Piperaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands (wild status), Malesia,
|Piper ribesioides Wall.||Piperaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Malesia,|
|Piper sarmantosum Roxb.||Piperaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, Malesia|
|Planchonia valida (Blume) Blume||Lecythidaceae||Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia|
|Podocarpus neriifolius D. Don||Podocarpaceae||Andaman Islands, Northeast India, China, Malesia|
|Polyalthia jenkensii (Hook.f.&
Thomson) Hook. f.& Thomson
|Annonaceae||Andaman Islands, northeast India, Indo-china,
|Pometia pinnata J.R.& G.Frost||Sapindaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre||Fabaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Western Ghats, Indo-Malesian|
|Psychotria andamanica Kurz||Rubiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R. Br.||Sterculiaceae||Andaman- Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent|
|Pterocarpus dalbergioides DC.||Fabaceae||Andaman Islands*|
|Pterospermum acerifolium (L.) Willd.
||Sterculiaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent|
|Rhopaloblaste augusta (Kurz) H. E.
|Saraca asoca (Roxb.) Willd.||Fabaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent|
|Sarcostigma kleinii Wight & Arn.||Icacinaceae||Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, Malesia|
|Schefflera venulosa (Wight &
|Araliaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China|
|Spathoglottis plicata Blume||Orchidaceae||Great Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Sphenodesme involucrata (C. Presl.)
B. L. Rob.
|Verbenaceae||Andaman Islands, Indian Subcontinent, Malesian|
|Strobilanthes glandulosa Kurz||Acanthaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Strychnos andamanensis A. W. Hill||Loganiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Tabernaemontana crispa L.||Apocynaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Terminalia bialata (Roxb.) Steud.||Combretaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Terminalia procera Roxb.||Combretaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands*|
|Ternstroemia wallichiana Ridl.
||Ternstroemiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Southeast Asia, Malesia|
|Thunbergia laurifolia Lindl.
||Acanthaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Myanmar (Tropics
|Tetracera sarmentosa (L.) Vahl.ssp.
|Dilleniaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Northeast India|
|Thottea sp.||Aristolochiaceae||Nicobar Islands|
|Thottea tomentosa (Blume) Ding Hou||Aristalochiaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Northeast India,
Southeast Asia, Malesia
|Syzygium andamanicum King (N. P.
|Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels||Myrtaceae||Andaman Islands , Western Ghats*|
|Syzygium megacarpum (Craib) Rathakr.
& N.C. Nair
|Myrtaceae||Andaman-Nicobar islands, Northeast India,
|Syzygium samarangense (Bl.) Merr. & Perry
||Myrtaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Malesia|
|Thysanolaena latifolia (Roxb. ex
|Poaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Eastwards to Southeast Asia
|Vanilla albida Blume||Orchidaceae||Andaman – Nicobar Islands, Malesia|
|Zanthoxylum ovalifolium Wight||Rutaceae||Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indian Subcontinent,
Development of MPCP
JNTBGRI in association with FRLHT developed a Medicinal Plant Conservation Plot (MPCP) which harbours many rare herbals.
Systematic Garden of Herbals
Systematic Garden of Herbals has been designed for attracting students to Plant Taxonomy. It also includes a collection of 244 RET species occurring in Peninsular India and Andaman Nicobar Islands.
Standardization of ad-hoc cultivation practices of herbals
Cultivation of medicinal plants can support both conservation and utilization of the resource species. It supports conservation of the species by reducing pressure of over exploitation of its remaining wild stands in the wilderness areas. Utilization of herbals has to be enhanced through cultivation by ensuring availability of good quality raw drug produce of required quality/ quantity to the end user. The advantages of cultivation of medicinal plants compared to their collection from the wild source are many.
The PGR division of JNTBGRI has standardized ad-hoc cultivation practices of about 15 medicinal plant species of Kerala. The division has also conducted documentation on propagation techniques of 300 medicinal plant species as a part of National Workshop on Propagation of Medicinal plants and conduct training programmes on cultivation of medicinal plants for farmers.
Biosystematic Studies on Centella asiatica
Sixty accessions of Centella asiatica collected from different parts of Peninsular India and Andaman Islands were subjected to biosystematics studies. The study revealed that the accessions vary in morphological, karyomorphological, phytochemical and molecular aspects. They showed variation in the percentage of asiaticoside ( 0 – 1.73%) and madecassoside – the bioactive compounds present in species. The plant materials subjected to chemical analyses were collected from the second generation vegetatively propagated progenies of the accessions maintained in the Field Gene Bank, after growing them in same environmental conditions to nullify the influence of the environment. Therefore, it is inferred that variation in morphology and percentage of chemical constituents, exhibited by the accessions are due to difference in their genotypes. The study showed that there is significant variation in the contents of bio-active constituents – asiaticoside (0.00 – 1.73%) and madecassoside (0.32 – 2.76%) in the accessions.
Studies on the wild Piper nigrum gene pool
The studies at JNTBGRI on Piper nigrum have revealed the occurrence of a unique lemony-scented genotype of ‘Black pepper’ in the Western Ghats region of Kerala. The genotype is named as Piper nigrum L. ‘PMM’. Chemical analyses of volatile oils of leaves/fruits and ‘piperine’ content of the fruits of the genotype were carried out. The study showed that Piper nigrum L. ‘PMM’ differs markedly from the rest of the genotypes of the species, the fruits of which contain three times higher oil content and two times higher piperine content compared to the popular cultivars of the crop. The leaves of this unique genotype contain more percentage of aroma chemicals than present in other genotypes. Due to the unique lemony scent of the genotype and presence of significantly high percentage of useful compounds Piper nigrum L. ‘PMM’ is considered as a potential genotype of the species, especially in the context of genetic improvement of ‘Black Pepper’, especially with respect to the quality of the produce.
Studies on Gingers
Developed a living collection of Zingiberaceae / Costaceae members comprising 70 species and 5 varieties belonging to 13 genera. Chemical constituents of 35 species were so far analyzed. Morphological and chemical characterization of selected species is in progress.
The PGR division conducted many training programmes for various target groups on conservation of medicinal plants.
Supply of Planting materials of Herbals
This division has taken care of supplying planting materials of medicinal plants to public / organization, as a part of popularizing herbals. Plant materials were also supplied for research purpose.