Dr Rakhi Chaturvedi has contributed immensely to the broad field of Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. Her research group is involved in large scale propagation of plants of medicinal and commercial value using in vitro techniques. The unique capacity of plant cells called ‘Totipotency’ has found many applications in plant improvement, multiplication and conservation. This has surmount the limitations of vegetative/conventional propagation and hasten the production of clonal plant material at a faster rate, round the year, from a small piece of tissues, irrespective of seasons and regions.

The tree species with long generation cycle are mostly highly heterozygous in nature due to strict cross pollination and are considered to be recalcitrant (difficult to regenerate in vitro). The genetic improvement of these plants and development of homozygous lines (pure) is either very challenging or impossible using the conventional methods, because the cross pollination is a rule. This limitation has completely been overcome by the research group of Dr Chaturvedi while working on two complex tree species, Neem (Azadirachta indica) and Tea (Camellia species).

Prof. Chaturvedi’s laboratory has also involved in developing Plant Cell Culture Technology as an alternative to whole plant extraction for the production of secondary metabolites of medicinal and commercial values. Although these compounds can also be isolated from naturally grown whole plants, continued destruction of plants for the purpose may pose a major threat to species getting extinct. Her research group is able to identify, purify and isolate three main categories of bioactive metabolites: essential oils, coumarins and alkylamides, from in vitro elite cell lines of medicinal plants. Some of these compounds are complex triterpenoids which are difficult to synthesize chemically.

The focused research work in the laboratory are:

  • Mass multiplication by micropropagation/clonal propagation of medicinally and economically valuable plants

  • In vitro haploid and doubled haploid plant production to generate homozygous (pure) lines to produce hybrid vigour for improved plant yield

  • Triploid plant production to develop seedless variety

  • Somatic embryogenesis for synthetic seed production

  • Protoplast isolation and regeneration for single cell cloning and isolation of mutants

  • Cytological and Histological studies of in vitro raised cultures to understand their ploidy, development and origin

  • Cell biomass production in shake-flask for screening, characterization and quantification of medicinally and commercially useful plant metabolites and their scale-up in photo-bioreactors

Project Statistics

Project Title
Funding agency
1.  Mapping Yellow Mosaic Virus (YMV) tolerance trait loci in Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek using       doubled haploids

2.   In vitro production of doubled haploids in Tea (Camellia sinensis L.)

3.   Yield enhancement strategies for production of therapeutic compounds by cell and tissue        cultures of Tinospora cordifolia (willd.) Miers ex Hook. F. & Thoms.

4.   In vitro production of haploids in Tea (Camellia sinensis L.)
5.   In vitro Morphogenesis and biochemical analysis of neem  (Azadirachta indica A. Juss)