Salient Achievements of ICAR-NBPGR in 2020

Date Posted: 04-01-2021

Salient Achievements of

ICAR-NBPGR in 2020

PGR activities

  • Despite the Lockdown due to Covid 19 and the restrictions thereafter, last year a total of 29 explorations (13 from NBPGR HQ) are undertaken mostly in forests, protected areas and wastelands and collected about 1600 accessions, majority of them are crop wild relatives.
  • A total of 313 herbarium specimens, 42 seed samples/economic products were added to the National Herbarium of Cultivated Specimen (NHCP), making total collection of 24,436 herbarium specimens (representative of 4,357 species belonging to 1,544 genera and 267 families), 3148 seed samples and 740 economic products.
  • Twenty-seven new taxa, not represented earlier, were added as specimens and 342 specimens were authenticated, and digitized (bringing no. of digitized taxa to 9,319).
  • Systematics study was undertaken on less-known taxa in Cucumis and a new taxon C. melo subsp. agrestis var. alwarensis (‘arya’) was described.
  • Gap analysis is completed in cowpea and moth bean. Prepared a research paper on gap analysis in Allium.
  • 8952 accessions comprising 4,342 regenerated and 4,610 new fresh were conserved in the National Genebank, raising the total collections to 4,25,688 accessions belonging to 1,995 species.
  • Two Plant Germplasm Registration Committee meetings were held and 117 proposals were registered.
  • Upgradation and Modernization of the National Genebank was completed and now the facility is smoothly working.
  • A total of 96 germplasm accessions and 80 genomic resources were added to the Cryogenebank, while 11 accessions were added to the In Vitro Genebank. Thus, a total of 11,891 accessions and 2,194 genomic resources are now conserved in the Cryogenebank and 1,907 accessions are conserved as in vitro cultures.
  • A temperature and humidity controlled mist chamber facility for primary hardening of tissue culture raised plants was established, which will facilitate field transfer of in vitro raised plants.
  • Total 39,149 accessions of germplasm and 1,24,598 samples of trial material was imported from 26 countries. 516 import permits were issued. (Resource Generation from IP fee, handling Charges and PQ Fee was app. Rs.63,17,300/-)
  • Total 956 samples were exported to twelve countries (including ten African countries as STOL Project Partners).
  • Total 20,992 accessions of germplasm was supplied within the country to researches and other users including private seed companies and farmers (excluding material sent to other institutions and project partners for multiplication).
  • More than 1.1 lakhs (1,10,508) samples were imported and processed for quarantine. About thirteen hundred (1,340) were processed for export. For pest free conservation 5957 samples were tested for their health status. 1522 samples were X-rayed and 670 accessions of exotic legume germplasm were grown in PEQ greenhouses. 
  • Inputs for Revision of Biological Diversity Act, 2002; Biological Diversity Rules 2004 and ABS Regulations, 2014 and Draft Policy paper also prepared and submitted. Facilitated organizing Brainstorming meeting on the subject by NAAS.
  • A total of 26,320 germplasm accessions were characterized for agro-morphological traits at New Delhi.
  • Biochemical evaluation of 3,200 accessions was undertaken in different crops for oil content, fatty acid profile, protein, sugar, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and active principles
  • Trait specific and promising accessions were identified in chickpea, lentil and French bean.
  • In wheat, a total of 51 MTAs/ QTLs in nineteen different genomic regions were found to be linked with resistance to four different pathotypes at the seedling stage. i.e., 18 MTAs (T pathotype), 14 SNPs (46S119), 7 SNPs (110S119) and 12 SNPs (238S119) through Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) 
  • Identification and evolutionary analysis of polycistronic miRNA clusters in domesticated and wild wheat
  • DNA sequence analysis of seed shattering gene SHA1 was performed in 9 accessions of aromatic rice and two wild rice, namely, Oryza nivara and O. rufipogon
  • Luffa acutangula draft genome assembly was improved using public domain chromosome level NCBI data and 89267 SSRs were mined from the assembly.
  • Total  2,677 genomic accessions were added to existing facility at National Genomic Resource Repository


Mission mode projects (funded by DBT)

  1. 'Leveraging genetic resources for accelerated genetic improvement of linseed using comprehensive genomics and phenotyping approaches' – as Lead Institute
  2. Mainstreaming of Sesame germplasm for productivity enhancement through genomics assisted core development and trait discovery – as Lead Institute
  3. Germplasm characterization and trait discovery in wheat using genomics approaches and its integration for improving climate resilience, productivity and nutritional – as Lead Institute
  4. Exploiting genetic diversity for improvement of safflower through genomics-assisted discovery of QTLs/Genes associated with agronomic traits – as Major Partner
  5. Mainstreaming rice landraces diversity in varietal development through genome- wide association studies: A model for large-scale utilization of gene bank collections of rice- as Major Partner
  6. Development of superior haplotype based near isogenic lines (Haplo-NILs) for enhanced genetic gain in rice as Major Partner
  7. Exploitation of genomic resources for improvement of niger (Guizotia abyssinica L.F. Cass) through breeding and biotechnological tools as Major Partner
  8. Characterization of chickpea germplasm resources to accelerate genomics-assisted crop improvement as Partner institute


Other Projects

  • National Programme for Quarantine and GM Diagnostics of Genetically Engineered Plant Material engineered plant material, which includes both transgenics (genetically modified) and gene-edited plant material.- DBT funded
  • Discovery of trait-specific germplasm to address the current and future needs of Indian lentil breeding programs”, within the Collaborative ICAR-ICARDA Research Program


New Initiatives

  • Memorandum of Undertaking signed between National Medicinal Plants Board and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources on 6-07-2020 for the safe conservation of medicinal genetic resources at National Gene bank and imparting hands-on training on plant germplasm conservation techniques to the working group of NMPB.
  • Establishment proposal for National Safety Copy Plant Gene Bank at Keylong, Himachal Pradesh was finalized and submitted to ICAR.
  • Activities for organization of the Ninth GB meeting of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources were initiated along with Ministry of Agriculture and Treaty Secretariat
  • Work for increasing broad band, new cabling for internet in both old and new campuses completed.
  • New project on Citrus germplasm collection and conservation in NEH from DBT.
  • Exchange of temperate fruits germplasm with Uzbekistan is sanctioned from DST.
  • ICAR-NBPGR & RLB CAU Inter institutional Collaborative program initiated.
  • NBPGR-IARI (Genetics) Inter institutional Collaborative project on Lentil.
  • NBPGR-IARI (Vegetable) Inter institutional Collaborative project on Vegetable crops.
  • Establishment of CIL facility for quality evaluation of germplasm.
  • Establishment of field genebank of minor fruits at Issapur and  CWR  garden at IARI New Area Farm


Human Resource Development

  • Under the Joint Work plan between ICAR and ICFRE for Research and Education  “Training programme onForest Genetic Resources Management and Conservation” Program for Scientists from ICFRE Dehradun was organized at ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi from January 27-31, 2020.
  • Training programme on "Skill Up gradation of Skilled Supporting Staff", were conducted March 16-19, 2020.
  • A National Webinar on “Implementation of Access to Plant Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS)” was held on August 27, 2020.
  • PG Education: During the 58th PG School Convocation, two M.Sc. and four Ph.D. students were awarded degree in PGR Discipline.



  • Dr Sunil Archak, and Dr Mohar Singh, received Dr. Barwale award for Excellence in PGR conferred by ISPGR.
  • Scientists received best paper awards, and fellow of different scientific Societies.