NAST Molecular Biotechnology Unit (previously called Biotechnology Unit) started researching at DNA level since 2002 with molecular diagnosis of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Prior to this, it was engaged in other biotechnological research activities such as production of disease free planting materials of Citrus through Shoot Tip Grafting (STG) in vitro tissue culture technique, Bacillus thuringiensis based biological pesticide, Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) diagnosis using ELISA technique and plant propagation using various plant growth regulators etc..
Current activities of this unit are:
Activity 1: PCR-based diagnosis of citrus Huanglongbing disease in Nepal
Activity 2: Molecular characterization and DNA Barcoding of high value Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) of Nepal using PCR-based and DNA sequencing based molecular markers
Activity 3: Exploration, molecular and biotechnological characterization of medicinal plants and fungal biodiversity of Manasalu Conservation Area (MCA), Central Nepal and Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), Khumbu region.
Activity 4: Exploration of hot spring Thermophiles for the production of industrially important enzymes
Activity 5: Exploration, molecular and biotechnological characterization of probiotic microorganisms of traditional dairy products of Nepal
Activity 6: Himalayan seed bank (HSB) for collection, characterization, conservation and sustainable utilization of high value medicinal and aromatic plants and wild plant biodiversity of Nepal
Activity 7: Integrated management of Alian Invasive Species (AIS) - Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) and Mikania weed (Mikania micrantha Kunth ex. H.B. K) in Nepal