Agharkar Research Institute
Established in 1946 as Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science (MACS), Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Later, as the research activities started expanding, the MACS Research Institute was given a separate identity. The institute was renamed as ARI in 1992 to honour its founder Director, late Professor S. P. Agharkar.
The institute has a distinguished faculty, modern infrastructural facilities, well-equipped laboratories, a guest house and students hostel. It is affiliated to the S.P. Pune University for postgraduate research (M.Sc. and Ph.D.).
The current research and development activities of ARI span across all areas of life sciences spread over six different themes, namely Biodiversity & Paleobiology, Bioenergy, Bioprospecting, Developmental Biology, Genetics & Plant Breeding, and Nanobioscience.
Divisions in Agharkar Research Institute
Biodiversity and Palaeobiology
This thematic group has been created to consolidate ARI’s research activities related to biodiversity of archaea, bacteria, diatoms, fungi, lichens, plants, viruses, as well as fossils. ARI scientists are currently exploring the distribution and diversity of archaea, bacteria, diatoms, fungi, lichens, plants and viruses in Indian subcontinent, with particular emphasis on the two biodiversity hotspots, viz. Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats.
Palaeobiology research deals with the taxonomic descriptions of fossil forms that helps us trace back lineages that once existed and offers a holistic interpretation of paleo-ecology and palaeo-environment that led to the modern day earth.
The current research activities of the Bioenergy group are focused on “exploring and exploiting microorganisms for sustainable energy”. Under this theme, specific research activities are as follows:
- Exploitation of microbial diversity of extreme/pristine/niche environments for sustainable energy.
- Development of biological processes for production of methane, hydrogen, butanol ethanol and other biofuels from variety of agricultural residues/wastes.
- Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR)
- Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons.
- Scale-up of developed processes up to field level.
- Microbial community and metabolite profiling of digesters and reactors for monitoring and enhancing process performance
Current areas of research in this theme includes:
- Semiochemicals as attractants and repellents.
- Understanding mechanisms of metabolic and neurological disorders and cancers for the development of novel treatments based on natural and synthetic molecules.
- Development of neutracuticals for metabolic and neurological disorders.
ARI is focused on understanding how behaviors of cells in the developing embryo direct distinct processes and how genes contribute to the overall development. It uses a diverse group of model organisms and paradigms to address some of the fundamental questions in animal development. These include Hydra, Drosophila, zebrafish and the chick embryo.
Genetics and Plant Breeding
Current research activities involves:
- Developing high yielding, disease resistant wheat, soybean and grape varieties for India, in general and peninsular zone, in particular.
- Identification and utilization of the genetics stocks from Indian and exotic germplasm to enhance drought and heat tolerance as well as water use efficiency under drought environment.
- Development and utilization of functional molecular markers in breeding crops for various desired traits such as enhanced grain yield, tolerance to abiotic & biotic stresses as well as improved nutritional & end-use quality.
- Dissemination of latest technology of crop production directly on farmer’s field.
Nanobioscience group was established in 2007 as a spin-off of the erstwhile ‘Metal-Microbe Interactions’ group of the Microbial Sciences Division. The group pioneered a new approach for the synthesis of metal-based nanomaterials, viz. ‘Materials Science and Engineering through Microbiology’.
Agharkar Research Institute
Gopal Ganesh Agarkar Road,
Pune – 411004 Maharashtra,
Phones: 91-20-25325000 / 91-020-25653680
ARI Telephone Directory to view extension numbers