Biological Resources

Dr. Anjana Giri
Tel : +977-5547368
Email: bioresources@nast.gov.np


Plant Diversity and carbon stock of Chure/ Manaslu/ Sagarmatha
Forest plots have been classified according to land use types. In each land use, permanent plots were established to assess the plant diversity and carbon stock. Anthropogenic disturbance was observed in the most parts of the studied plots. Based on field observation many high value plant species such as Asparagus racemosus are difficult to find and are on the verge of local extinction

Dendroecology of Manaslu / Sagarmatha area
Dendroecological studies are being carried out to assess the impacts of climate change on tree species. Quadrates were laid between 3600- 4000m at altitudinal differences of 100 m. In Manaslu, the upward shift of Rhododendron campanulatum were observed at the rate of 2.4m/ year. The study is ongoing.

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
The study aims to cultivate Asparagus racemosus and develop post-harvest technology. The experiment has been carried out in Sasapur VDC of Sarlahi district. Different local varieties of Asparagus racemosus were planted in four different experimental plots. The best varieties will be selected for commercial cultivation. The research is in progress.

 Mushroom Technology Research and Development

 Main Goal of the Program 

  •  To promote the domestic mushroom production/industry and diversify the mushroom portfolio of the country

 Major Activities

  • To explore and document the mushrooms from previously unexplored part of country

  • To identify promising indigenous medicinal or culinary mushrooms with their national and international market potentials

  • To collect, isolate and preserve the germplasm of mushrooms as bio-resource for food, fuel, afforestation, medicine and other novel compounds·   To develop  appropriate farming technology  for native commercial strains of highly prized medicinal or culinary mushrooms which are fit for our local environment

  • To popularize mushrooms of specialty like Flamulinna velutipes, Grifola frondosa with complete package of practice for commercial cultivation.

  • To promote medicinal mushrooms like Morchella spp., Grifola frondosa (wild germplasm available in the country) with value-addition and product diversification to cover pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries

  • To update  fungal database with input suppliers, entrepreneurs, farmers, market channels and financial institutions

  • To generate public awareness about both hazards (mushroom poisoning) & benefits of mushrooms through publications, workshops, conferences , ‘Mushroom Melas’  etc.

Nepal Fungal Database (NFD) is an open access digital database aims to collect, collate, analyze, verify and authenticate the data/information on fungal science of Nepal. It also aims to build a vibrant and active network among the stakeholders at national, regional and global level.  This is of its first kind of fungal internet portal in Nepal that provides various information on fungal species recorded within the territory and other state-of-the-art information in the field of mycology. The database is a national asset and managed by Biological Resource Unit (BRU), NAST.

Microorganisms
The study aims to isolate endophytic fungi from Rhododendron campanulatum and to evaluate their antimicrobial potential. Around 100 endophytes have been isolated. Identification and their antimicrobial properties is underway

MAPs & Development of Herbal Based Polymeric Nanoformulations
There is limitation with some traditional herbal drugs due to their poor solubility and absorption. Nano-sized novel drug delivery systems have a great potential for enhancing the activity and overcoming problems associated with herbal medicines. Our current research is focused on:

  • Analyse the antioxidant activity and phytochemicals of medicinal plants that are in traditional medical practice against stress, allergy, asthma, ageing, memory loss and other anti-inflammatory remedies
  • Prepare herbal based polymeric nanoemulsions of important traditional herbal medicines using biocompatible polymers.

 

Wild Edible Fruits Research & Development Program

  • Evaluate the antioxidant activity and nutritional composition of wild edible fruits
  • Interact with concerned stakeholders at local level on utilization practices and trade of commercially important WEFs
  • Market survey of commercially important wild edible fruits
  • Value addition of active and technically feasible candidates
  • Identify and recommend the most potential WEF for value addition and green enterprise development

 

International projects
IFS-NAST project
Influences of land use practices on soil respiration
The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of traditional land use practices on soil Co2 efflux in the community of the Himalaya region. Environmental gas monitor has been used for the measurement of CO2 flux from soil. Measurement will be conducted in three different seasons and land use types. This study is ongoing.

 NAST-EvK2 CNR Project
Antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid content of selected plants
The aim of the proposed study is to determine antioxidant property, total phenolic and flavonoid content of medicinal plants and herbal formulations that are used as anti-inflammatory remedies in traditional medicine in selected areas of Sagarmatha National Park. It is expected that the project will contribute in identifying potential natural antioxidant from the medicinal plants, locally practiced as anti-inflammatory remedies. The study provides scope for bio-prospecting of phyto-medicines and opportunities for the development of potential natural antioxidants.

Analysis of pharmacological potential of wild mushrooms
Mushrooms are relatively untapped for their pharmacological potential. Recently many novel bioactive compounds are being discovered from wild mushrooms in different geographical and climatic regions of the world. Biological diversity implies chemical diversity. However, research attention has not yet focused on pharmacological potential of indigenous wild mushrooms in Nepal. In such context wild mushrooms are medicinally characterized and various therapeutic potentials are revealed here in this study which will be useful for national pharmaceutical industry.

 

Team Members

1. Dr. Anjana Giri

2. Mr. Bishwanath Prasad Yadav

3. Ms. Prabina Rana

4. Dr. Lok Ranjan Bhatta

5. Dr. Jay Kant Raut