Day 1 :
Manipur University, India
Time : 09:30-10:15
Sharma had PhD (Radiation Biology) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Post-Doctoral Research from Department of Biochemistry, Brunel University, London. He was a Visiting Professor at National Institute of Food and Nutrition Research, Rome. Recently retired as Professor (HAG), he continues as UGC-BSR Faculty Fellow (Life Sciences) at Manipur University. He has 88 publications in international journals, supervised 20 PhDs, participated in over 75 conferences and delivered 24 invited lectures in conferences held in USA, UK, France, China, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Thailand and India. He is a reviewer of 12 international journals of repute. His research areas are plant biotechnology, food irradiation, free radicals and dietary antioxidants. He is a Member, Scientific Panel on GMOs and Foods, Food Safety & Standard Authority of India, Government of India.
The broad field of free radicals and antioxidants covers an emerging area known as redox biology and has been perceived as focusing around the use of antioxidant supplements to prevent a variety of human diseases. During the events of evolution, the emergence of photosynthetic system in aerobic organisms, plants in particular, generates reactive oxygen species and has opened up a paradoxical situation compelling life confront hostile environment and to be able to adapt, the redox processes have become increasingly significant. Antioxidants/free radicals permeate the entire living systems in the cellular milieu. Life is a balance between the two like a tug-of-war: Antioxidants serve to decrease the levels of free radicals permitting them to perform useful biological functions without causing much damage. However, some damages are inevitable requiring repair systems to maintain cellular integrity and viability. Reactive oxygen species are all over the cellular environment in aerobic microbes, plants and animals. These species protect life from various types of infections and involve in critical signaling pathways. Eventually, these species also often kill cells, tissues and organs in the end. The continual damages by these species, failing repair pathways, can cause age-related tumor development, neuro-degenerative diseases and several human disorders. It would have been wonderful if life had evolved entirely in the anaerobic environment, in which case, the life-spans would have been much longer and diseases would have rarely occurred. Interestingly various medicinal plants possessing bio-active molecules can prevent human diseases. These molecules having diverse chemical structures possess high antioxidant profiles and encounter damaging radical species very efficiently at time scales of micro, nano, pico and femto seconds in cellular environment thereby preventing molecular damages to DNA and membranes. In this presentation, some of these aspects shall be discussed with reference to a few medicinal plants such as turmeric and tropical ginger.
Banaras Hindu University, India
Keynote: Physiological and biochemical strategies for relentless productivity by building tolerance in crop plants under abiotic stresses
Time : 10:15-11:00
A Hemantaranjan, Professor, has his expertise in physiology of abiotic stresses and micronutrients. His significantly established doses of salicylic acid, zinc, brassinolide and paclobutrazol in stress mitigation are commendable. He elucidated several facts of underlying mechanisms for stress tolerance in crops after 39 years of research experience; Guiding 13 Ph.D.; has 30 years of post-graduate teaching experience; several years of administrative experience in elite Central University. Published over 135 of his research papers and review articles in journals of international repute including proceedings of international/national symposia, recurrently cited world over especially in international journals, biological reviews including Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Books. Editor in Chief of the UGC Approved International Treatise Series on Advances in Plant Physiology to publish 17 volumes till date. Honoured with Agricultural Excellence Award, 2013 and Life Time Achievement Award, 2014; Member, Editorial Boards and reviewer of 16 international journals; delivering Guest Lectures/Keynote Address.
Sustained self-sufficiency and March towards food and nutritional security depend on crop improvement in rapidly limiting natural resources. Besides cereals, pulse production now needs understanding of intricate physiology by utilizing judiciously devised cutting edge technologies and consequently to develop climate resilient desirable genotypes with breeders and biotechnologists for relentlessly enhanced productivity. Abiotic stresses: drought, salinity, heat and flooding affect photosynthesis, nitrogen assimilation, protein synthesis, pollination and fertilization. In our experiments, seed hardened and foliage applied salicylic acid (SA) significantly alleviated salinity and drought in pea and chickpea respectively; brassinolide and micronutrient zinc individually mitigated salinity, whereas paclobutrazol alleviated harmful effects of flash flooding in mungbean by producing aerial roots with initiating arenchymatous tissue in roots. SA @ 1.0 to 1.5 mM; brassinolide @ 0.05mM and paclobutrazol @ 10 ppm provided protection against stresses (drought, salinity, heat and flash flooding) at critical developmental stages of seedling growth, reproduction (pollen formation, pollen, germination, fertilization) and seed development. Encouraging findings regarding SA induced micronutrients uptake with improved cellular metabolism through improved water use efficiency, enhanced antioxidative ezymes activity and synthesis of antioxidants of compatible nature under abiotic stresses were recorded, which helped in elucidating the underlying mechanisms for tolerance in crop plants. Conclusion and Significance: Stress tolerance may be achieved by the maintenance, activation, and enhanced function of physiological systems that are especially sensitive to disruption by increased levels of stress. Information on stress-inducible genes, genetic control of stress responses and signaling pathways offer a chance for creating a clearer picture of plant responses and adaptations to different stresses.