Department of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology

 Jabatan Sains Biologi & Bioteknologi

Pengurusan dan Penambahbaikan Tanaman Lestari

We are a group of researchers who primarily are experts in plant biology and physiology, breeding, stress management, integrated pest management, disease control and surveillance. The team utilizes its expertise in: (a) generating high yielding resistant varieties adapted to environment; (b) improved disease and pests management to reduce field losses; (c) efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate appropriate natural biological cycles and controls; (d) reduce negative imprint to environmental through improved farm practices; (e) sustain economic viability of farm operations; and (f) enhances the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

Crop Management and Improvement

Our research focuses on the improvement and development of crop varieties that are tolerant to abiotic stresses such as drought, submergence, salinity and low input, resistance to pests and diseases, high yielding and high quality traits using both conventional and modern plant development techniques. This includes selection, backcrossing, pedigree, mutational breeding, molecular breeding and transgenic approaches. Our objectives are to produce climate-ready, pests and diseases resistant, high yielding, and high quality crop varieties and to understand the mechanisms of plant response to climate change at morphological, physiological and molecular levels. In addition the group also looks into plant responses and regulation of biotic and abiotic stresses, secondary metabolite synthesis, carbon metabolism, protein degradation and oxygen sensing in plants and algae.

Insect, Pest and Disease Management

Insect, Pest and Disease Management is a group that is involved in identification, monitoring, prevention and control of insect and microbial populations in the field. It endeavors to identify targets of predators and beneficial insects and plants that may be utilized in the control of economical (agriculture, medical) and ecologically significant insect pest that may reduce or replace the use of pesticides. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) does this by utilizing a variety of methods and techniques, including cultural, biological and structural strategies to control a multitude of pest problems. Field surveillance and identification of pathogens and emerging disease pest is also another area of concern. This group also identifies potential biocontrol agents that may be used to control diseases in the field.

Biodiversity and Systematics in Agriculture

BIODIVERSITY AND SYSTEMATICS IN AGRICULTURE: Forest and agricultural ecosystems form complex interactions with many less conspicuous organisms such as insects, fungi, nematodes, and bacteria. These interactions can be beneficial or utterly devastating. This group will look into contribution of biodiversity and systematics in solving a problem in agriculture and forestry. Some areas of interest are biodiversity and systematics in understanding pest and influence on agriculture, biodiversity and systematics in cross border transmissions, in collection and organization of biological materials, and prevention of invasive species among various others.
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