The Institute has state-of -the art lab for carrying out studies in the area of proteomics, genomics and metabolomics. The facility includes Pac Bio RSII third Generation Sequencing System, Illumina Genome Analyzer II, UPLC, aminoacid analyzer, protein spot cutter & digester, LC-MS-MS, MALDI ToF, 2-D electrophoresis system, Confocal microscope, imaging systems etc. Cutting edge research is being carried out to unravel the genes involved in important biosynthetic pathway in plants for production of secondary metabolites like picroside, shikonin, catechin, stevioside etc. Several stress related genes have been isolated, cloned and their expression analyses are underway in target plants. Studies are being carried out in the area of gene silencing, epigenetics, understanding signaling and deciphering mechanism of plant adaptation under stress and changing environment. Extensive work is being carried out for identification genome wide molecular markers and high throughput genotyping for dissection of complex traits, plant diversity evaluation and genome mapping in tea, bamboo, rose, stevia and targeted plant species of north western Himalayan region. The functional facility like biolistic gun, containment facility strongly supports the transgenic work. The plant cell and tissue culture facility has exclusive media preparation area, bioreactor, culture rooms, cold culture rooms, acclimatization chamber and polyhouses. Institute has initiated studies on adaptation biology of plants in response to climate change and unique facility like FACE, tunnel and FATI along with metrological tower has been installed.
Studies have also been initiated in the area of nanobiology and infrastructure is being strengthened by installing multimode scanning probe microscope, transmission electron microscope, Atomic force microscope etc. The focus is to develop nanocatalysts, multimodal imaging systems for diagnostics and increasing bioavailability of existing drugs.
The bioinformatics facility is equipped with range of high end servers, work stations, etc. It has access to the next generation sequencing facility, Illumina Genome Analyzer II, through a Linux cluster with 10 TB disk space and 140 GB physical memory. The focus is to develop novel algorithms and tools for analysis of large and complex plant genomes.
The microbiology lab is well equipped with different type of high-end microscopes, shakers incubators, bioreactor, FAME analysis etc. Intensive work is underway for bioprospection of microbes, genes and proteins from niche locations particularly from the cold desert area of the Himalayan zone.
IHBT has established the food and nutraceutical laboratory equipped with NIR composition analyzer, mixolab, cutting mill, single screw extruder, planetary mixer, deep fryer, vacuum packing machine, lyophilizer, colour index meter and water activity meter to lead functional foods and nutraceuticals research for health and nutrition management.
The Bioresource development unit of the Institute has GIS facility, computational facility for inventorization, database development and mapping of plant resources and assessing landscape element types and land use pattern. The unit also maintains and updates the internationally recognized referral herbarium. A fernery has been developed which houses rare and economically important pteridophytes of Himalayan region. Farms and the range of polyhouses support domestication and development of agrotechnology of economically important medicinal and aromatic plants.
The Natural Plant Product Unit focuses research on chemical characterization of active constituents from plant sources, essential oil, total synthesis of biologically active compounds, molecular modification for value added compounds, natural colours and dyes. The labs are equipped with 300Mz and 600 Mz NMR, preparatory and analytical HPLC, GC, GC-MS, microwave synthesizer, Super Critical Extraction Unit with head space, spray dryer, industrial scale rotavapour, distillation units of 10Q, 4 Q and 15 Kg capacity for processing of herbals.
The Regulatory Research Center (RRC) is well equipped with facilities for animal breeding and experimentation. These include animal house to maintain and breed the small animals like Mouse and Rats and maintain the Guinea Pigs and Rabbits. Facility has been registered with central regulatory agency on animal experimentation, CPCSEA, New Delhi. The unit also has well equipped lab for BSL2 cell culture facility. The focus is to conduct toxicological safety evaluation of novel food constituents, cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals of natural origin. in-vitro and in-vivo screening to identify the lead molecules for Antidiabetic, Anti-inflammatory Nephro and hepatoprotective activities. Further, the in-vitro lab is fully equipped with the basic animal cell culture facilities with twelve different tissue representative human cancer cell lines. These cells are being effectively utilized to screen different molecules for their specific anticancer activities based on their cytotoxic potential.
Tea is one of the mandate crops of the institute and research is focused on germplasm and chemical characterization, improving processing parameters for flavor enhancement and to develop value added tea products. For promoting organic practices work is underway to develop biopesticides and Bioformulation for plant health management and improving plant productivity. To facilitate tea research, institute has a tea garden, tea factory, tea quality testing lab equipped with HPLC, GC and other routine biochemical equipment.
A floriculture field with greenhouse exist to undertake agrotechnological studies of ornamentals under open field and polyhouse conditions. Work is also being carried out to develop hybrids and mutants through conventional and non- conventional breeding programmes. The unit has a cold chamber for storing quality planting materials for further use.
The institute has done commendable work in the area of plant viral diagnostics and has a dedicated facility for identification and characterization of plant viruses, maintenance of virus cultures and raising virus free plants. Pioneering work carried out in plant virology helped in establishment of an accredited laboratory for detection of viral infection in economically important plants. Highly sensitive viral diagnostic kits of commonly prevalent viruses have been developed which enable detection of viruses at a very early stage and are extremely useful for quarantines. Virus free Chrysanthemum, Begonia, Lily and Carnations were raised through meristem tip culture, chemotherapy and thermotherapy. Genome organization has been established for several important viruses viz., Carnation mottle virus, Carnation etched ring virus and Cucumber mosaic etc.