Brief History of the Department of Botany:
The Department of Botany was started in July 1921. Right from the beginning the Department had devotional patronage of luminary Professor Birbal Sahni, FRS, who had earlier briefly served at Benaras Hindu University. He was ably assisted by untiring efforts of Drs S.K. Mukerjee, S.N. Das Gupta and S.K. Pande. Professor Sahni’s vision, efforts and insight zeal brought this Department and the University on international scientific map and became an international hub of Palaeobotanical researches. The teaching faculty of the Department with its unabashed and sustainable efforts had provided a sound base for teaching and research in almost all the disciplines. The department had well established and renowned units of Bryology, Phycology, Plant Breeding and Cytogenetics, Mycology and Plant Pathology, Plant Nutrition and Plant Virology. The academic output of this Department has brought laurels, reputation and excellence. The rich traditions and strongly knitted academic fabric as laid down by Late Professor Sahni was nurtured further by his successors Professors S.N. Das Gupta S.K. Pandey A.R. Rao, G.S. Verma, S.C. Agarwala, B.S. Trivedi, B.N. Prasad, C.P. Sharma, N.K. Mehrotra, H.N. Verma, C. Chatterjee, S.C. Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar, R.R. Singh,Y.K.sharma, Seshu Lavania, and Geeta Asthana (present Head).
Starting with a handful of teachers, at present this Department has a strong faculty comprising of 13 Professors, 06 Associate Professors and 01 Assistant Professor representing nearly all the specializations in the subject.
The Department, presently headed by Professor Geeta Asthana offers M.Sc courses in Botany, Plant Science, Environmental Science and Microbiology; Ph.D. courses in Botany and Environmental Science. The Ph.D programme is extended to Lucknow based research institutes of the CSIR, DST, and ICAR. Besides, the Department also runs a three year Undergraduate Course. In association with Academic Staff College of the University, the Department regularly conducts Refresher Courses for in-service teachers of Botany from different Universities and their associated colleges. Several research projects have been successfully executed in the department with financial support from UGC, ICAR, DBT, DST, DOE, MoEF, USPL-480-ICAR, UPCST, UPCAR, NHM, Govt of UP and NAIP. In 1979, the Department was identified as UGC Department for Special Assistance. Thrust areas identified in the IVth phase were Bryology, Plant Physiology and Nutrition, Cytology and Plant genetics, and Plant Virology. In 1990 it also qualified for support for the development of infrastructure under the COSIST programme. Fiscal support received under these programs, as also under research projects supported from time to time by different agencies helped the Department in generating facilities for advanced research. The Department has been recipient of DST-FIST financial support.
The research output of the faculty can be judged by published research papers in national and international journals. Some of the journals are: Journal of Virology (USA), Bryologist (USA), FEBS Letters (The Netherlands), Journal of Bryology (UK), Cryptogamie (France), Indian journal of Experimental Biology (India), Israel journal of Plant Science (Israel), Journal of Basic Microbiology (Germany), Virus Genes (Germany), European Journal of Plant Pathology (The Netherlands), Archives of Virology (Germany), Lindenbergia (Denmark), Molecular and General Genetics (Germany), Photosynthetica (Czechoslovakia), Phytopathology (USA), Phytomorphology (India), Phyton (Austria), Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (The Netherlands), Plant Molecular Biology (The Netherlands), Plant Pathology (England), Plant Physiology (USA), Plant Science (Ireland), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (Japan), Plant Journal (Willey Blackwell, UK), Acta Physiologiae Plantarum (Springer), Biologia Plantarum (Springer), J. Trace Ele. Med. Biol., Plant Cell Physiology (Japan), J. Heredity (Oxford), J. Genetics (Bangalore). Protoplasma (Vienna), Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol., Current Science, Plant Stress, J. Plant Biol., International Journal of Plant Sciences (USA), Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Asian Journal of Biochemistry and Physiology, Cytologia, Bryologie, Tropical Bryology, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Biomass & Bioenergy, Bioresource Technology, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Alzheimers Dis., Seed Res., Ind. J. Agricultural Sciences, J. Plant Nutr., Russ. J. Plant Physiol., J. Phytopathol, Archive for Bryology, Journal of Mycopathological Research, J. Mycol. Plant Pathol., Phykos, Braz. J. Plant Physiol., Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, App. Microbiol. Biotech., Journal of Hazardous Material, Crop Protection, J. Environ. Biol., J. Ecophysiol. Occup. Hlth., J. Appl. Biosci., Revue de Paléobiologie Genève, Journal Pal. Soc. India., J. Appl. Biosci., J. Indian Bot. Soc., J. Hort. Sci., Biotech, Sericologia, Canadian Journal of Botany, J. Biol. Sci., Food and Chemical Toxicology, Pharm. Res., Res. Env. Life Sc., Ecology and Environmental Research, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. India, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., Ind. J. Biochem. Biophysics, Post-harvest Biology and Technology, Microbiological Research, Biochem. Cell. Arch., World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, Chemosphere, Environ. Monit. Assess., Journal Geological Society, Indian Hydrobiology, Feddes Reppertorium, Ecoprint, I. J. Plant Physiol., Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding (Genetica Agraria), New Phytologist, Physiologia Plantarum, Phytopathology and plant protection, journal of functional and environmental botany, J. Hazardous Mat., The Japanese Journal of Botany, Phytotaxa, Environmental and Experimental Botany, Environmental Pollution, IJFANS, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, Intl. J App. Pure Sci Agric., Plant Science Today, Molecular Biotechnology, Plant Signal Behaviour., International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, Int. J. of Thermal and Environmental Engineering, International Journal of Phytoremediation, Ecological Engineering, Journal of Plant Physiology and Pathology, Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, Environmental Processes, Plant Cell Reports, Acta Physiol. Plant, Journal of Toxicology, Research Journal of Pharmaceutical Biological and Chemical Sciences, Research Journal of Chemical and Environmental Sciences, National Academy Science Letters, Pharmacophore, Bioinformation, Int. J. of Sustainable Water and Environmental Systems, J of Scientific & Industrial Research, Journal of Translational Toxicology, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Elixir Appl. Botany, Research Journal of Soil Biology, J. Biol. Chem. Research, Environmental and Experimental Botany, J. Translat. Toxicol., Int. J Pharm. Sci. Res., I J Agric. Biochem, Indian J Exp. Biol., International Journal of Bioassays, J Biodivers Manage Forestry, Planta, Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India., Journal Geological Society of India, Trends in Biosciences, Plant Stress, Indian Journal of Forestry, Dehradun, Env. Eng. & Manage. J, Virus Genes, Journal of Phytopathology, Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, Internat. J Biotech Bio Sci., J Biomed Nanotech, Environ Sci and Tech, Journal of Integrative Biology, Research Journal of Biotechnology, Journal of Physiology and Pathophysiology.
The present faculty of the Botany Department has a unique distinction of teaching and research in almost all the branches with a modern blend of infrastructural facilities. This reflected by the research output in the form of 1001 research publications and 02 patents.
Department of Botany, Lucknow University, takes pride in the fact that a collection of stamps was brought out by the Government of India to commemorate Professor Sahni’s contributions in Palaeobotany in his birth centenary year. Its illustrious alumni have received prestigious Padma Awards from the Government of India.
Its faculty has received Fellowships of National and International Academies/Societies:
Prof. Birbal Sahni (FRS), Prof. S.N. Dasgupta (FNA), Prof. S.K. Pande (FNA), Prof. S.C. Agarwala (FNA, FNASc), Prof. B.S. Trivedi (FNA), Prof. B.N. Prasad (FLS, FNASc), Prof. G.S. Verma (FLS), Dr D.D. Awasthi (FNA, FASc, FNASc), Prof. Ram Udar (FNA), Prof. C.P. Sharma (FNASc), Prof. H.N. Verma (FNASc), Prof. S.C. Srivastava (FNASc), Prof. Seshu Lavania (FLS), Prof. Nalini Pandey (FLS) and Prof. Alka Srivastava (FLS).
Long-term projects were granted to this Department in view of the expertise available with the faculty members:
All India Co-ordinated Project on Taxonomy (AICOPTAX) of Bryophytes and Algae (sponsored by MoEF, 1999-2012)
All India Co-ordinated Research Project on `Micro and Secondary Nutrients and Pollutant Elements in Soils and Plants’ - Sanctioned to the Department by ICAR, New Delhi, in 1967, and has continued since. The project won the Chowdhary Devilal Outstanding AICRP Award.
Department of Botany was selected for financial support by UGC-SAP (1979-2010), DST-FIST (2004-2009), DST-PURSE (2012-2015, 2016-2019), and the department was accorded as a Centre of Excellence in 2015 by UP State Government.
Activities and Achievements: