Department of Genetics

Department of Genetics

About the Department:

The origin of Department of Genetics can be traced back to the radiation biology unit, which was established with financial assistance from BARC, for carrying out studies on the biological effects of cosmic radiation under the headship of Prof O.S. Reddy. The vision to establish a separate department for the discipline of Genetics was perceived by Prof O.S. Reddy which was strongly supported by Late Dr HomiJ Baba during one of his visits to OU.

With the strong support and strength from the then Hon'ble Vice Chancellor Late Dr D.S. Reddy, the Department of Genetics was founded under the headship of Prof O.S. Reddy in the year 1966. The department was laid on a very strong foundation with stalwarts like Prof G.M.Reddy, Prof. M. Sanjeeva Rao, Prof. Subramanyam, Prof. J.S.Murthy and Prof. Hanumanth Polasa. Osmania University achieved a unique distinction in the country by establishing an academic department for the first time, exclusively devoted to the discipline of Genetics. From the past four and half decades the department has been imparting post graduate education in Genetics with specializations ranging from microbe to man apart from PhD programmes led by our quintessential faculty. This period has witnessed revolutionary developments in Genetics with the discovery of advanced technology, which have had tremendous impacts on agriculture, human health and animal improvement.

Keeping in pace with the advancing knowledge, the department has updated the syllabus from time to time. The Department of Microbiology, Institute of Genetics and hospital for Genetic diseases and Centre For Plant Molecular Biology are the offshoots of the departments and certainly the result of the dedicated and committed work of our senior faculty.

The department is also recognized as the nodal department for M.Sc Biotechnology and advanced PG diploma in Bioinformatics. I may mention here that the course is attracting many international students to seek admission and pursue higher studies. The department has produced more than 500 Ph.D. degrees so far. Each year more than 100 students register for Ph.D. programme. Many of the students are placed well in leading institutes within and outside the country. The department has attracted funding from National and international funding agencies like UGC, CSIR and ICMR USPL 480, DBT, DST, GSK-UK. International collaborations have also been established with Clinton University, UK, Sickkids Hospital, Canada and Nebraska School of Medicine, USA.

The department has also received funds to the tune of 1482.195 lakhs from various Government Funding Agencies like UGC (COSIST, DRS, SAP and CAS) and DST FIST, DBT, ICMR in the last 12 years alone. The department has received DST FIST phase II grant of 95 lakhs for strengthening the infrastructure and UGC CAS II Programme with an outlay of more than 1 crore. Individual faculty has received extensive funding which has helped in the development of laboratory facilities and infrastructure. The research findings by the faculty and students are published in (a total of 439 research articles and review articles in the past 10 years) both in peer reviewed National and International high impact factor journals. The department was also awarded UGC-JRF Fellowships in the UGC sponsored scheme “Research Fellowship in Science for Meritorious Students” for the past 4 years which has encouraged the research scholars to perform well at the higher level. The department was also instrumental in identifying various novel findings worthy of mentioning:


M. Sc. Genetics 2 Years, 25 Seats
Ph. D. Genetics 3 Years

Human Genetics:

a).Mapped the gene for Zonalar cataract (17q11-12) Nuclear cataract(2q33-36), Low Myopia(Xq28).

b).Identification of Novel mutations in genes like Tp53 (Breast Cancer), BCR/ABL (CML), Connexin 26 to 30 (Congenital Hearing Impairment), TNN13 (DCM),Plakophilin ARVD), GATA 4 & NKX2.5 (Congenital Heart defect). PS (IPAH), MyBCP3(HCM).R2b Mitochondrial Genome (CMs), Interleukin-5 (Lymphatic Filariasis)

c)Specifically identified MyBPC3 gene in heart failure due to cardiomyopathy in South Indian population (Nature Genetics, 2009) and R2b haplotype of mitochondria in CMs.

d).Identified Internal Tandem Duplication of FLT3 gene and Nucleophosmin as a risk marker for bad prognosis in AML.

e).Sequencing of entire Mitochondrial genome of Breast cancer patients. 26 novel mutations in mitochondrial genome were identified in breast cancer patients.

f).Evaluation of Pharmacogenomics potential of CYP2D6 (CML), ERα (Breast cancer), CYP3A5, GST in the clinical management of breast cancer and Leukemia F Published a first of its kind state of the art article in the prestigious Nature Genetics (IF 35.209) titled “A common MYBPC3 (cardiac myosin binding protein C) variant associated with cardiomyopathies in South Asia”, Nature Genetics 41, 187 191, 2009

g).Contributed to the NCBI database by adding 47 novel mutations and SNPs

h).Exome sequencing of ARVD patents is in progress a new generation technique.

Plant Genetics::

a).Developed transgenic rice for insect tolerance.

b).Developed transgenic cotton for insect resistance.

c)Developed transgenic sorghum for salt and drought stress tolerance.

d).Developed transgenic tomato for both biotic and abiotic stress tolerance .

e).Developed transgenic groundnut for salt stress tolerance.

f).Isolated several genes, stress inducible promoters,transcription factors associated with biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.

g).Down regulated lignin biosynthetic pathway genes (isolated from subabul) for reduction in lignin and for increase in cellulose content.

h).Enhanced the bioactive compounds in suspensions and hairy root cultures by several folds (plumbagin, daidzein,berberin, withaferin A and withanolideA)