Agri-bio technology facility was established at the University of Lahore for teaching and research in the year 2013. During this period, the facility has come of age and now comprises three greenhouses, cactus garden, tissue culture lab, and chemical biology lab. Recently a full crop of off-season tomatoes has been harvested.
Furthermore, an economically important plant (Stevia) has been grown by tissue culture in large quantities. As a result, an agreement has been drawn for supplying 50,000 plants to local commercial growers. This plant is used as zero-calorie sweeteners in a large number of preparations. Using similar tissue culture techniques, a number of food crops such as potato cultivar and flowering plants such as carnation and Lilium.
a. Optimization & establishment of Plant cell & tissue culture laboratory
b. Establishment of “Chemical Biology” laboratory for Hi-tech research in medicinal plants for their health potential.
c. Establishment of “Agri biotechnology Park” for different research and commercial projects
d. Conservation of rare Cacti germplasm from Pakistan.
a. Plant cell & tissue culture research laboratory established and is in use for different research and commercial projects from last year. Research projects mainly focusing on in vitro micropropagation of ornamental and medicinal plants.
Special emphasis is on medicinal plants for their use in the in vitro production of phytochemicals by cell culture, cell suspension culture, and hairy root culture. This laboratory is working on commercial production of in vitro medicinal plants like Stevia rebaudiana at a large scale for commercial growers for the extraction of its sweetening agent to be used as a natural sweetener with zero-calorie level. Different flowering plants like Gerbera, Carnation, Lilium are also under production for the floriculture sector along with the production of different food crops for their supply to commercial growers in the agriculture sector.
b. Agri-biotech Park developed with different facilities like Greenhouses facilitated with a drip irrigation system, Mist cooling system along with pad- fan cooling system. It is in use for the acclimatization & hardening process of tissue cultured plants along with the production of off-season vegetables/fruits like Tomatoes, cucumbers, chilies, and strawberries throughout the year.
c.Chemical Biology Laboratory is fully optimized for different research projects of BS, MSc, MPhil, and Ph.D. students on health potential exploration of medicinal plants. The major focus is on extract preparation, development of active nutraceuticals, and isolation of clinically potent compounds.
d. Conservation of germplasm of rare cacti was achieved by establishing “Cactus garden” with exotic 200 rare cactus species for their use in GMOs production against drought resistance and after their multiplication, this germplasm will be sold out to different research and landscape companies across Pakistan.
e. Extension services: Agri-biotechnology Park now can offer following extension services to different agriculture sectors: Design of commercial tissue culture lab; construction services for controlled commercialized greenhouses; installation services for drip irrigation, mist irrigation, and sprinkler systems for commercialized greenhouses and Landscape models across Pakistan.