Brief History of Department
The Department of Studies in Botany during 1980’s felt the need for M.Sc., Microbiology course considering the increasing importance of Microbiology. Accordingly, the Department developed the curriculum and designed the course with expertise available in the Department. In 1992, M.Sc. Microbiology was started without any financial burden on the University and with the sole aim of offering another relevant course, considering the requirements of the society. During 1999, it was identified as a separate section of the Department and it was housed in the Department of Studies in Botany. Prof. Shankara Bhat was the founder Professor and Coordinator of the section. Department of Microbiology was then separated from Botany and established as Department of Studies in Microbiology on 23rd July 2008 which is now housed in the Life Science Building. Prof. V. Ravishankar Rai is presently serving as Chairman of the Department of Studies in Microbiology.
The vision of the Department is to be an effective provider of knowledge and skills in Microbiology that will empower the students, through awareness of the significance of microorganisms in plant, animal and human health, environment, industry and general human welfare by a problem based and skill oriented curriculum. The Department seeks to produce scientific and technical manpower necessary for achieving the national goal of trained Microbiologists.
The Department has well established research laboratory facilities. It also offers free consultancy services to the farming community, plantation growers, officials of Forest Departments and plant nurseries in identifying the causal pathogenic organism and suggesting the control measures to overcome and manage the plant diseases through Plant clinic programme. This is unique in the country through which several thousands of diseased samples are screened, identified and remedial measures suggested to the farmers.
The Department offers both M.Sc. (IV semesters) and Ph.D Degrees in Microbiology. Since, Microbiology is an important and wide ranging discipline within the life sciences, covering a range of subjects relevant to human health, diseases, environmental studies and industrial/ biotechnological application, the syllabus is highly oriented towards the complete knowledge of the subject, which includes the basic as well as contemporary applied aspects of Microbiology including molecular biology and genetic engineering.
The Department has a dedicated faculty crew of five members which includes one Professor, two Readers and two Senior Scale Lecturers along with guest faculties. In 2009, the Department of Studies in Microbiology was recognized by DST under the FIST Programme. A Visiting Professor under Sir M. Vishveshwarayya Chair was appointed in 2010. In 2012, UGC under the Innovative Programme has provided financeial assistance of Rs. 58.5 lakhs to the Department to introduce PG Diploma course in Food quality and safety. The faculty members also run Major Research Projects funded by various agencies such as UGC, NMPB, ICMR, DST, DBT etc.
Thrust areas of research
- Structural elucidation of antimicrobial and other bioactive compounds from microbes and medicinal plants.
- Fungal diversity and applications of molecular marks
- Isolation and purification of secondary metabolites from endophytic fungi
- Forest pathology and management of diseases
- Genetic transformation of the microbes
- Hospital acquired infections
- Post harvest diseases of fruits and vegetables
- Food – borne diseases and virulence factor against oxidative stress
- Biofilm and quorum sensing
Infrastructural facilities available:
The Department has excellent infrastructural facilities for carrying out teaching and research on par with reputed international research institutions. The department is housed in a new building which offers a plenty of workspace for teaching and research activities. Laboratories are equipped with PCR machine, biophotometer, UV spectrophotometer, incubation chambers, shaker incubators, laminar air flow units, autoclave, heaters, microwave, hot air ovens, electrophoresis unit, TLC instruments, deep freezers, refrigerators, high speed centrifuges with cooling, growth chamber, multimode microplate readers, vertical flow biosafety cabinet. The department also has computational and networking facility, internal library, a well furnished seminar hall and a microbial culture chamber.