Dr. S. Ganeshan, was a Principal Scientist & Head PGR Division, ICAR-IIHR Bengaluru, a national institution from the ICAR system. He joined ARS in 1978 and served in various capacities at IIHR. He was deputed to work as a visiting scientist to UC Davis & NSSL Fort Collins USA under FAO-UNDP project on Tropical & Sub-Tropical Fruits to carry out work on pollen Cryopreservation and in vitro conservation. Back home, he applied and received grants to develop in vitro conservation technology for grape & other fruit & medicinal crops from an ICAR Ad hoc scheme & NATP as project leader, principal investigator and has established an in vitro active gene bank for grape & other fruit and medicinal species.
His areas of research included species prospecting and their validation to horticulture, genetic resources and livelihood support, species domestication and addition of new crops to the already existing crop diversity, enhancing production and productivity levels for achieving economic returns to the stakeholders. He has published 85 papers in journals of national and international repute.
Dr Ganeshan has been playing an advisory role in the Indian plant genetic resource conservation and utilization policy, intellectual property rights, and statutory registration of varieties as per the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act. PPV&FRA nominated him as a judge for a Gene Savior Award to be successfully considered for Nutmeg germplasm repository collection maintained by a progressive farmer in Karnataka.
Cryopreservation of pollen is required for carrying out investigations in both fundamental and applied aspects of pollen biology. Besides the already existing role of pollen cryobanks in breeding, there are many promising applications which have come to focus with the recent advances in allied bio-scientific areas. Crossing desirable genotypes involves multiple and staggered plantings in order to synchronize flowering. This can be avoided when cryopreserved viable pollen is available, facilitating hybrids between genera, species and genotypes. This could effectively conserve field and greenhouse space. The international transfer of germplasm in the form of dry pollen is not generally restricted. Moreover, this will eliminate the need to grow plant populations to produce pollen. Pollen is usually subjected to less stringent quarantine restrictions. The importance of pollen cryopreservation in horticultural crops, wild species, as a gene pool component, shuttle breeding etc., is well documented. Frozen pollen technology for seed production in vegetable crops has several commercial and economic considerations, which could benefit the seed industry.