1. Cell Biology : Structure and function of cell wall (extracellular matrix or ECM), cell membrane and cell organelles. Nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear pore complex (NPC), chromosome and nucleosome. Mitosis, meiosis, molecular control involving checkpoints in cell division cycle. Differentiation, cellular senescence.
2. Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology : Laws of inheritance. Concept of gene and allelomorph. Linkage, crossing over and gene mapping. Structural and numerical changes in chromosomes and gene mutations. Sex determination and differentiation. Structure and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. Genetic code. Regulation of gene expression.
Genetic engineering and crop improvement. Protoplast, cell, tissue and organ cultures. Somatic hybridization. Biofertilizers and biopesticides. Biotechnology in agri-horticulture, medicine and industry.
3. Tissue Systems : Origin, development, structure and function of primary and secondary tissues.
4. Plant Diversity and Systematics : Structure and function of plant forms from evolutionary aspects (viruses to Angiosperms including fossils). Principles of nomenclature, classification and identification of plants. Modern approaches in plant taxonomy.
Recent classification of living organism into three groups (bacteria, archaea and eukarya).
5. Plant Physiology: Water relations. Mineral nutrition. Photosynthesis. Respiration. Nitrogen metabolism. Enzymes and coenzymes. Dynamics of growth, growth movements, growth substances, photomorphogenesis. Secondary metabolites. Isotopes in biological studies. Physiology of flowering.
6. Methods of Reproduction and Seed Biology : Vegetative, asexual and sexual methods of reproduction. Pollination and fertilization. Sexual incompatibility. Development, structure, dormancy and germination of seed.
7. Plant Pathology : Diseases of rice, wheat, sugarcane, potato, mustard, groundnut and cotton crops. Factors affecting infection (host factors, pathogen factors, biotic factors like rhizosphere and phyllosphere organisms). Chemical, biological and genetic methods of disease control (including transgenic plants).
8. Plant and Environment : Biotic and abiotic components. Ecological adaptation. Types of vegetational zones and forests of India. Deforestation, afforestation, social forestry and plant introduction. Soil erosion, wasteland, reclamation. Environmental pollution and its control (including phytoremediation). Bioindicators. Global warming.
9. Biodiversity, Plant Genetic Resources: Methods of conservation of plant genetic resources and its importance. Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). Endangered, threatened and endemic taxa. Role of cell/tissue culture in propagation and enrichment of genetic diversity.
Plants as sources of food, fodder, forage, fibres, oils, drugs, wood and timber, paper, rubber, beverages, spices, essential oils and resins, gums, dyes, insecticides, pesticides and ornamentation. Biomass as a source of energy.
10. Origin of Life and Evolution: Basic concepts of origin of earth and origin of life. Theories of organic evolution, molecular basis of evolution.
1. Microbiology and Plant Pathology:
Structure and reproduction/multiplication of viruses, viroids, bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma; Applications of microbiology in agriculture, industry, medicine and in control of soil and water pollution; Prion and Prion hypothesis.
Important crop diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi and nematodes; Modes of infection and dissemination; Molecular basis of infection and disease resistance/defence; Physiology of parasitism and control measures; Fungal toxins; Modelling and disease forecasting; Plant quarantine.
Algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteridophytes – structure and reproduction from evolutionary viewpoint; Distribution of Cryptogams in India and their ecological and economic importance.
Gymnosperms: Concept of Progymnosperms; Classification and distribution of gymnosperms; Salient features of Cycadales, Ginkgoales, Coniferales and Gnetales, their structure and reproduction; General account of Cycadofilicales, Bennettitales and Cordaitales; Geological time scale; Type of fossils and their study techniques.
Angiosperms: Systematics, anatomy, embryology, palynology and phylogeny.
Taxonomic hierarchy; International Code of Botanical Nomenclature; Numerical taxonomy and chemotaxonomy; Evidence from anatomy, embryology and palynology.
Origin and evolution of angiosperms; Comparative account of various systems of classification of angiosperms; Study of angiospermic families – Mangnoliaceae, Ranunculaceae, Brassicaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Apiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Verbenaceae, Solanaceae, Rubiaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Poaceae, Arecaceae, Liliaceae, Musaceae and Orchidaceae.
Stomata and their types; Glandular and non-glandular trichomes; Unusual secondary growth; Anatomy of C3 and C4 plants; Xylem and phloem differentiation; Wood anatomy.
Development of male and female gametophytes, pollination, fertilization; Endosperm – its development and function; Patterns of embryo development; Polyembroyony and apomixes; Applications of palynology; Experimental embryology including pollen storage and test-tube fertilization.
4. Plant Resource Development:
Domestication and introduction of plants; Origin of cultivated plants; Vavilov’s centres of origin; Plants as sources for food, fodder, fibre, spices, beverages, edible oils, drugs, narcotics, insecticides, timber, gums, resins and dyes, latex, cellulose, starch and its products; Perfumery; Importance of Ethnobotany in Indian context; Energy plantations; Botanical Gardens and Herbaria.
Totipotency, polarity, symmetry and dfferentiation; Cell, tissue, organ and protoplast culture; Somatic hybrids and Cybrids; Micropropagation; Somaclonal variation and its applications; Pollen haploids, embryo rescue methods and their applications.
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