Tree Improvement & Propagation Division




       Genetic diversity within and between tree species provide scope for selection of superior genotype within and between the species for immediate use and further improvement through traditional and non traditional approaches.  Sandal (Santalum album), Teak (Tectona grandis), Rose wood (Dalbergia latifolia), Red sander (Pterocarpus santalinus) are most the important tree species of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.  In addition, Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Casuarina (Casuarina equisetifolia) and Acacia auriculiformis and A. mangium are exotic species planted in large area for paper, pulp, fuel, pole, etc., and considered key species in plantation in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.  Dendrocalamus strictus, Bambusa arundinaceae and Pseudoxytenanthera stocksii (only in Karnataka) are important bamboo species of these above cited states.


       Planting stock Improvement Programme aims at the use of improved planting material for large-scale plantation programs.  It is a fact that the inherent characteristics of superior mother trees are transmissible to the progeny.  Considering this fact, standard criteria for the selection of phenotypes must be considered for selection in order to get the maximum genotype improvements. 


       The tree improvement strategy involves the short term and long-term measures for ensuring immediate and sustained supply of quality planting stock.  The immediate measures encompass establishment of Seed Production Areas, whereas the establishment of Seedling Seed Orchards and Clonal Seed Orchards are the long time measures.


       All tree improvement programmes must have seed production at some stage of their development, if continued gains are to be achieved, since they function both as breeding population and as the propagation population.  The modern trend of producing wood and wood products from plantation forests implies requirement of enormous improved quantities of seed.


       In order to exploit optimum/full worth of plus trees, superior genotypes, elite clones, novel hybrids, macro/micro propagation (cloning) is highly desirable to produce true to type plants for clonal trial to select site specific clones and operational planting to achieve enhance productivity and quality of end products.



       Conservation, improvement of planting stock, enhanced productivity and improved quality of end products for process



  • Selection and conservation of genetic variability for improved planting stock and its sustainable utilization.

  • Genetic improvement of economically important tree species.

  • Development and demonstration of sound propagation (in vivo and in vitro) technologies.

  • In vivo / in vitro propagation and conservation of threatened / endangered tree species.

  • Generation of database on the genetic improvement and propagation of    multipurpose/important tree species.


Thrust Areas

  • Planting stock improvement of regionally important, economic/industrial tree species. >

  • Employment of Biotechnological tools for the genetic improvement of tree species of  commercial/industrial importance.

  • Molecular markers based genetic mapping for diversity, identification of noval genes (growth, insect-pest resistance) and certification of clones from end user perspective.

  • Genetic engineering for wood modification/disease/insect pest resistance.

  • In situ and ex situ conservation of threatened tree species including medicinal plant species.

  • Seed related studies on recalcitrant lesser-known species including threatened tree species.

  •  Development of modern nursery practices of the important tree species and lesser-known species including medicinal plants.

  •  Development and demonstration of sound micro/macro propagation technologies of important tree species and lesser-known tree species.

  •  Evaluation of existing agro forestry practices/models and development of new agri-silviculture models and socio-economic and watershed development activities.

  • Use of GIS tools for analysis and mapping of tree genetic resources, trees outside forest (TOF) and biodiversity assessment.

  • Conduct training programmes and demonstration of technologies.


Research Achievements


Developed modern root trainer based nursery technique for production of quality planting stock of sandal

  • Standardized container size, type, potting medium, sieve size of potting medium, stage of host requirement, screening of primary host, biofertiliser and supplementary nutrition for mass production of quality planting stock of Sandal in 270 cc root trainers/600 cc poly bags within 6 months period.

Refinement in the micro propagation protocol of teak

  • Standardized period of collection of stem cuttings, age and size of cuttings, auxin type and concentrations, rooting medium and transplanting stage in containers after root induction.  Under ideal conditions about 60 per cent cuttings induce roots and within 5-6 months period, plantable clonal planting stock can be raised.

Refinement in the micro propagation of clones of Eucalyptus tereticornis

  • Standardized age of source cuttings, size, type, concentration of auxin, potting medium, fertilizer application regime/interval, hardening conditions and durations.  Under ideal conditions on an average 70 percent leafy green stem cuttings will induce roots within 2-3 weeks.  Plantable clonal planting material can be obtained within 4-5 months period.

Rapid and simplified method of in vitro cloning of teak

  • Optimized physico-chemical conditions for shoot induction and rapid shoot multiplication.  About four-fold shoot multiplication can be achieved within 4 weeks period.  In vitro root induction could be achieved within three weeks period on MS/4/white basal medium with IBA

  • High frequency (above 90 percent) ex vitro rooting could be obtained from in vitro shoots.  Cloned plants of plantable size can be obtained within 4-5 months period from ex vitro rooting and hardening stage.

Rapid in vitro cloning of Eucalyptus tereticornis

  • Rapid shoot multiplication rate (4-5 fold) achieved within 4 weeks period from 4th -5th passage onwards on modified MS medium with BAP and additives.  Sub-culturing was found essential within 4 weeks period. Shoots can be multiplied without deterioration on shoot multiplication medium.  In vitro rooting could be achieved on MS/4 or white basal medium with IBA.

Ex vitro rooting of more than 90 per cent in vitro shoots, could be obtained by pulse treatment with IBA and later on transferred in soilrite in bottles or trays under mist chamber/green house conditions.  Rooted plants grow vigorously in containers.  Plantable clonal planting material can be obtained within 4 months period from ex vitro rooting onwards.


Facilities and Equipments

  • Tissue Culture Laboratory

  • Shade House

  • Seed Technology Laboratory

  • Molecular Biology Laboratory

  • Mist Chamber

  • Green house 

  • Modern R & D and Small Scale Production nursery facilities


Research Staff

  1. Dr. T.S. Rathore, Scientist-F, Head of the Division

  2. Dr. Syam Viswanath, Scientist-E

  3. Dr. Geeta Pandey, Scientist-D

  4. Dr. A.N. Arun Kumar, Scientist-D

  5. Mr. Ashutosh Srivastava, Scientist-C

  6. Mr. P. Somashekhar, Research Assistant, Gr.-I

  7. Mrs. Vijaya Kumari, UDC

For Further Information, Please Contact:


    The Head

    Tree Improvement and Propagation Division

    Institute of Wood Science and Technology

    P.O. Malleswaram

    Bangalore-560 003 (India)