Professor Prof. Nikhil Chrungoo joined the Department of Botany as a lecturer in the year 1988. He has received his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Plant Sciences from the University of Kashmir and his focus of work during doctorate studies was on regulation of dormancy and flowering in saffron. Currently he is working as a Professor in this Department since 2001 and as a Coordinator, UGC-Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany. Prof. Chrungoo is also the Co-ordinator for Biopark and DBT-State level Advanced Biotech Hub. He was Head of the Department of Botany from December 2004 to December 2007 and is also a member of various academic bodies of North Eastern Hill Universitiy as well as several other Universities in the country. Prof. Chrungoo was awarded the Biotechnology National Associateship in Plant Molecular Biology for the year 1994-95 by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, New Delhi and worked under this programme at School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The research interests of Prof. Chrungoo include Nutritional genomics, dormancy regulation, underutilized crops and Biodiversity profiling.
The research group has developed a two step protocol for the purification of a 26kD basic subunit of the buckwheat seed storage protein that has 6% lysine content and 2.3% of sulphur amino acids. The protein is used to manufacture a nutritional supplement “Arginex”. The research group lead by Prof. Chrungoo has also cloned the full length gene and promoter for the protein (accession no. ). Prof. Chrungoo’s laboratory also developed a two locus barcode based on nucleotide sequences of cp rbcL and matK genes for identification of Chenopodium quinoa an important nutraceutical crop of Indian Himalayas.
Prof. Chrungoo has held assignments as a visiting fellow at various National as well as International institutes including the Indian Institute of Science, Banglore, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, Slovenia, University of Victoria (Canada) and Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). He is the Asia Pacific representative to the editorial board of Fagopyrum, the official journal of International Buckwheat Research Assiociation. He has completed 8 research projects funded by different agencies of the Govt. of India. One research project funded by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India is currently under operation. This project involves understanding the regulation of floral development and apocarotenoid biosynthesis in saffron. Prof. Chrungoo has published more than 75 research papers in major National and International Research Journals. He has also edited a book on Molecular Breeding and Nutritional Aspects of Buckwheat, an important underutilized crop with strong nutraceutical value. The research work carried out by his group has been cited in major national and international journals like Plant Science, Plant Physiology, J. Food. & Agri. Chem, Journal of Cereal Science, Nutrition Research, Journal of Protein Chemistry, Physiology & Molecular Biology of Plants.
Some of the important research publications from the group include: