Research Library





The Co-ordinator

Dr. B. C. Guha Centre for genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (4th Fl)

University College of Science & Technology, University of Calcutta

35 Ballygunge Circular Road

Kolkata 700 019

West Bengal, India

Phone: 91-33-2461 3683

Emial :



The Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (GCGEB) has been named after the legendary Dr. Biresh Chandra Guha, one of the most celebrated teachers of Calcutta University and the father of modern Biochemistry in India. As a fitting tribute to this great visionary who laid the foundation stone for teaching and research in Biochemistry and Biotechnology in the country, Calcutta University established the Dr. B. C. Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology with the unflinching support of Dr. (Mrs.) Phulrenu Guha, the illustrious wife of late Prof. Guha as well as an active social worker and an ex- Minister of Social Welfare, Govt. of India, who sold her personal properties including her residential building to donate money to the University of Calcutta for the development of the Dr. B. C. Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

The M.Sc Program in Biotechnology of the Calcutta University started in a humble 1600 square feet room in the University’s campus in Ballygunge (Taraknath Palit Sikhsha Prangan) on December 31, 1997. The Centre as well its M.Sc Program in Biotechnology gradually received worldwide recognition and accolade and with that came an encouraging flow of moral and financial support both from abroad and the Government of West Bengal. This witnessed the establishment of an entirely new wing in the same campus opposite to the existing Geography Department. The new wing, built to meet the needs of state-of-the-art research in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering was inaugurated by the Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharya on March 22, 2005 and marked the beginning of an entirely new chapter in the history of Calcutta University and its research and teaching program in applied bioscience.

Academic programs
The two-year M.Sc program started in the year 1998 with only six students. Thereafter it picked up momentum to become one of the best M.Sc programs in Biotechnology in the country with ten students. The program started with two yearly evaluations and then switched to a four-semester based evaluation with each semester covering six months. The curriculum syllabus was also thoroughly revised from the academic year 2006 to keep pace with the rapid advances in the field and the evolvement of newer knowledge.

Two-year M.Sc. course in Biotechnology, Calcutta University (C.U.)  

1.       The University of Calcutta shall provide instructions leading towards course for M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology.

2.       A candidate who has passed the 3-year B.Sc. Examination with Honours (Major) in all Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, B.Agr, B.Tech (Biotechnology) and M.B.B.S. will be eligible for admission to this course after admission test.

3.       A limited number of seats, at par with the UGC guidelines, will be available to the non-C.U. candidates. These students, however, will have to satisfy the same eligibility criteria applicable to the students of University of Calcutta.

4.       The duration of the course shall be two academic years and the examination for the M.Sc. degree Biotechnology shall be held in four semesters over a total of 1000 marks. The duration of the semesters shall be as follows:


1st Semester July - November
2nd Semester   December –April
Summer Project           May-June
3rd Semester     July– November
4th Semester     December – April
Publication of Final Results  June


5.     The courses shall comprise a total credit of 72 (seventy two), evenly distributed over the four semesters. The courses shall be grouped as Core, Supportive and Optional and will carry credits according to the number of theoretical classes required, study hours and laboratory hours.


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Grading of students’ performance

Numerical grade points     
5.50 – 6.00  
Outstanding (O)
4.50 – 5.49
  Good (A+) 
4.00 – 4.49
Fair (A)     
3.50 – 3.99  
Satisfactory (B)  
3.00 – 3.49
Average (C)
Below 3.00  
Fail (F)  

            The following multiplication factors will have to be used for the calculation of the exact grade point:

Multiplication factor/mark added   to  minimum grade point bracket   



Numerical grade points  
5.50 – 6.00  
Outstanding (O)
First (I)
4.50 – 5.49
  Good (A+) 
 First (I) 
4.00 – 4.49
Fair (A)     
First (I)   
3.50 – 3.99  
Satisfactory (B)  
Second (II)
3.00 – 3.49
Average (C)
Second (II)
Below 3.00  
Fail (F)  

6.       A candidate shall be eligible for appearing at the examination provided he/she prosecutes a regular course of studies in Biotechnology maintaining percentage of attendance as specified by the University.

7.       Examinations would be held after the completion of curriculum at the end of each semester. However, evaluation of the practical will be based on continuous assessment as well as on the final Viva-Voce examination of the students on the experiments.

8.       If a student gets ‘F’ in a particular course, he/she shall be deemed to have failed in that course only and shall be required to repeat that course in a subsequent semester when offered. A student can attempt a maximum number of two times to clear a particular course, failing which he/she shall be dropped from the rolls of the University on the advice of the concerned Dean of the Faculty.

9.       If a student is dropped from the university rolls because of the failure to clear a particular course, he/she may apply for readmission in the beginning of the next academic session along with the fresh applicants.

10.    A student securing a cumulative grade point average of B or above shall be considered as secured at least 55% of marks and will be eligible to appear at the National Eligibility Test (NET) or other national level selection tests.

11.    Paper setters for each paper will include both internal and external examiners appointed on the recommendations of the Board of Post-graduate Studies in Biotechnology.

12.    There shall be at least one external paper setter for each theoretical paper appointed by the authority for this process.

13.    The external paper-setters may be from other universities/ faculty members of premier research institutions.

14.    A panel of examiners, comprising of both internal and external examiners, shall conduct the Grand Viva voce examination.

15.    The students will be required to give a seminar based on a published paper . A panel of examiners, comprising of both internal and external examiners, shall evaluate the work performed and the presentation. 16.    For each of the semester-end examinations, there shall be a board of moderators for the theoretical papers.

Course Layout in Different Semesters for M.Sc. in Biotechnology


1st Semester


CORE COURSES                                                                              Theo.                          Prac.      13 credits


BTC C11: Biomolecules and Macromolecules                             25                           25           2+2 credits

BTC C12: Cell Biology                                                                        25                           25           2+1 credits

BTC C13: Metabolism                                                                        25                              -            2+0 credits

BTC C14: Biophysical Chemistry and Instrumentation               25                            25          2+2 credits




SUPPORTIVE COURSES                                                                                                                     5 credit


BTC S11: Microbial Genetics                                                            25                              -          2+0credits

BTC S12: Microbiology                                                                       25                           25        2+1 credits


2nd Semester


CORE COURSES                                                                                                                                  10 credits


BTC C21: Genetics                                                                              25                           -              2+0 credits

BTC C22: Biostatistics                                                                        25                          -              2+0 credits

BTC C23: Molecular Biology                                                              25                          25           2+1 credits

BTC C24: Recombinant DNA Technology                                      25                          25           1+2 credits


SUPPORTIVE COURSES                                                                                                                      8 credits


BTC S21: Enzymes and Reaction Kinetics                                    25                         25            2+2 credits

BTC S22: Immunology                                                                       25                        25            2+2 credits


3rd Semester


CORE COURSES                                                                                                                                  9 credits


BTC C31: Microbial Technology                                                      25                           25           2+2 credits

BTC C32: Environmental Biotechnology                                        25                           -              2+0 credits

BTC C33: Genomics & Proteomics                                                25                          25           2+1 credits


SUPPORTIVE COURSES                                                                                                                       7 credits


BTC S31: Bioprocess Engineering                                             25                            25           2+1 credits

BTC S32: Computer Application and Bioinformatics               25                            25          2+2 credits


OPTIONAL COURSES                                                                                                                            2 credit


BTC O31: Evolution Biology and Biodiversity                            25                           -               2+0 credits

BTC O32: Protein Engineering                                                    25                           -               2+0 credits


4th Semester


CORE COURSES                                                                                                                                5 credits


BTC C41: Medical Biotechnology                                              50                           -               3+0 credits

BTC C42: IPR, Bio-safety and Bio-ethics                                 25                           -               2+0 credits


SUPPORTIVE COURSES                                                                                                                7 credits


BTC S41: Plant Biotechnology                                                     25                           25           2+2 credits

BTC S42: Animal Biotechnology                                                  50                           -              3+0 credits

Summer Project                                                                               -                             25           0+2 credits

Seminar                                                                                             -                              25           0+2 credits

Grand Viva                                                                                         -                             25           0+2 credits

Detailed Syllabus for the two year M.Sc.Programme in Biotechnology

First Semester

  BTC C11: Biomolecules and Macromolecules: 


Water, Buffers, concept of Chemical bonding, Forces involved in biological molecules, Chemistry of Carbohydrates - mono, di- and polysaccharides; Chemistry of amino acids and peptides, chemical synthesis of peptides; lipids-classification; structure and function, their role in biological membranes. Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Structure of proteins; µ-helix,  b-sheet and collagen structure, bonds stabilizing protein structure; helix-coil transition, amino acid sequences ; allosteric interactions, cooperative ligand binding in Oxygen transporters, Hill equation, Separation techniques for proteins, Watson-Crick model of DNA; sugar puckerings , base stacking; B-; A- and Z- DNA ; denaturation kinetics of DNA , Cot curves; structure of tRNA and ribosomes, Supercoiling of DNA and its influence on structure, Nucleosomal structure.



Titration of amino acids, Colorimetric determination of pK, Reactions of amino acids, sugars and lipids, Quantitation of ascorbic acids and sugars, Estimation of proteins by different methods, SDS-PAGE, Analysis of oils-iodine number, saponification value, acid number.


BTC C12: Cell Biology

   The evolution of cell; from prokaryotes to eukaryotes; from single cells to multicultural organisms; looking at the structure of the cell; Isolating cells and growing  them; fractionation of cell. Internal organization of the cell: Membrane structure; Membrane constituents- phospholipids, glycolipids, cholesterol, membrane proteins; receptors and phospholipases; Phospholipid bilayer- structure, asymmetry, fluid  mozaic model of random diffusion of membrane components, domains in membrane- natural and artificial membranes passive movements of solutes , ion distribution; mediated permeation; ionophores; membrane transport of small molecules and the ionic basis of membrane excitability; principles of membrane transport; carrier proteins and active membrane transport; ion channels and electrical properties of membranes; intracellular compartments and protein sorting; compartmentalization of cells; transport of proteins into mitochondria and chloroplasts; peroxisomes; the endoplasmic reticulum. Methods of studying the cell surface, re-constitutional studies; fluorescence assisted methods e.g.flow cytometry; membrane active peptides; membrane cytoskeleton; membrane anchorage of proteins Vescicular traffic in the secretary and endocytic pathway; transport from the ER through the Golgi apparatus; transport from the Trans Golgi Network; Transport from Plasma membrane via Endosomes; endocytosis;transcytosis; transport from the Trans Golgi Network to the cell surface; Exocytosis; the molecular mechanisms of vescicular transport and maintenance of compartmental diversity. Cell signaling; signaling via G-protein-linked cell surface receptors; signaling via Enzyme-linked cell surface. Cytoskeleton: The nature of cytoskeleton; Intermediate Filaments; Microtubules; Cilia and Centrioles; Actin filaments; actin binding proteins; muscle. Cell division cycle- general strategies of the cell cycle; yeast and molecular genetics of cell- cycle control; cell-division control in multicellular animals .The mechanism of cell division ; M phase; mitosis; cytokinesis ; cell junctions , cell-cell adhesion, the extracellular matrix; extracellular matrix receptors- the integrins; the Plant Cell Wall.


Subcellular fractionations of tissue by centrifugation, Extraction of secondary metabolites (alkaloids, teroidal sapogenins) from plant tissues; separation and identification of alkaloids and steroids by TLC and HPLC, Microscopy: Bright field, Phase Contrast & Fluorescence .

BTC C13: Metabolism


Carbon cycle, bioenergetics and metabolism, the ATP cycle and glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, electron transport, oxidative phosphorylation and regulation of ATP production, membranes –its structure and role in ATP generation oxidative degradation of fatty acids and amino acids in animal tissues correlation between carbohydrate, amino acids and fatty and degradation, Metabolism of nitrogen compounds protein turnover, metabolic regulation of enzymes, nitrogen fixation - mechanisms and control he nitrogen cycle as the source of cellular biosynthetic intermediates.

BTC C14: Biophysical Chemistry and Instrumentation

Thermodynamics: extensive and intensive variables; mathematical description of a system with two or more variables, exact and partial differential; first law of thermodynamics, isothermal process, entropy and second law of thermodynamics, reversible and irreversible process, free energy and chemical potential; Gibb’s free energy; Application of thermodynamics in biological systems.


Techniques and Instrumentation: Principles and application following spectroscopy in biological systems: Absorption Spectroscopy (UV-visible), Fluorescence and Phosphorescence, Circular Dichroism (CD), Infrared spectroscopy (IR), Resonance Raman spectroscopy; Electron spin resonance (ESR), Liquid Scintillation counter; pH meter; Ultracentrifuges, Optical microscopes, optical microscopy; phase, ultraviolet and interference microscope- their basic principles; optical systems and ray diagrams- their applications in cell biology; fluorescence microscope; microspectrophotometry of cells and tissues, fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS). Electron microscopy: theory of magnetic and electrostatic lenses and their focal length; construction of electron microscope; limiting resolution and useful magnification; contrast formation; shadowing and staining technique; scanning electron microscopy; specimen preparation techniques; application of electron microscopy in cell and molecular biology; embedding and section cutting.



Absorption spectrum of proteins, Determination of concentration of proteins and DNA by Absorption spectroscopy, Estimation of number of free cysteins of a protein by absorption spectroscopy using DTNB reaction, Fluorescence spectrum of protein, Study of protein unfolding by fluorescence spectroscopy.

BTC S11: Microbial Genetics


Genetic recombination in Bacteria :. Identification and selection of mutants, transformation, natural transformation systems, mechanism, gene mapping by transformation; chemical-mediated and electrotransformation. Conjugation-discovery, nature of donor strains and compatibility, interrupted mating and temporal mapping, Hfr, F12 heteroduplex analysis, chromosome transfer in  other bacteria, molecular pathway of recombination. Transduction:Generalized and specialized transduction; gene mapping by specialized transduction., mechanism of generalized transduction, abortive transduction.

Techniques of studying Bacteriophages-virulent phage(T4) and Temperate phage(phage lambda). Important aspects of life cycles; phage genome and gene mapping; host parasite relationship, immunity and repression; site specific recombination(lambda and PI),Transposable phage(Phage Mu), genetic organization and transposition , Mu as a genetic tool.

Plasmids:Types,detection,replication,partitioning, copy-number control and transfer; properties of some known plasmids; genetic rearrangements and their evolutionary significance; Phase variation in Salmonella and others; BAC,PAC,YAC.

Aspects of Fungal genetics, Yeast genetics,Heterothallism and mating type switches, gene disruption plasmids.

Genes, mutation and mutagenesis, UV and Chemical mutagens, types of mutation, Ames test for mutagenesis, method of genetic analysis, bacterial genetic system.

BTC S12: Microbiology


The beginning of Microbiology: Discovery of the microbial world by Anthony van Leeuwenhoek. Endosymbiotic concepts and evidences controversy over spontaneous generation. Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of diseases. Distribution and classification of bacteria, fungi, anaerobes, cyan bacteria and protozoa. Cultivation, propagation and preservation of microorganisms, sterilization and disinfectants.

Methods in Microbiology: Pure culture techniques; Theory and practice of sterilization, principles of Microbial nutrition: Construction of culture media, Enrichment culture techniques for isolation of chemoautotrophs, chemoheterotrophs and photosynthetic microorganisms. Microbial Evolution: Systemetics and Taxonomy: Evolution of earth and earliest life forms; primitive organisms and their metabolic strategies and molecular coding. New approaches to bacterial taxonomy classification including ribotyping; Ribosomal RNA sequencing; characteristics of primary domains; Taxonomy. Nomenclature and Bergery’s Manual. Microbial Growth: The definition of growth, mathematical expression of growth, growth curve, measurement of growth and growth yields; Synchronous growth; onbtinous culture; growth as affected environmental factors like temperature, acidity, alkalinity. Water availability and oxygen; Culture collection and maintenance of cultures. Overview of Basic Metabolism & Microbial Nutrition. Metabolic Diversity among Microorganisms Photosynthesis in microorganism photosynthesis in microorganisms; Role of Chlorophylls, carotenoids and phycobilins calvin cycle; chemolithotrophy; Hydrogen –iron – oxidizing bacteria; Nitrate and sulfate reduction; Mehtanogenesis and acetogenesis; fermentation – diversity, synttrophy, role of anoxic decompositions; Nitrogen fixation; Hydrocarbon transformation. Prokaryotic Diversity; Bacteria: Purple and green bacteria; Cyanobacteria; Homoacetogenic bacteria; Acetic acid bacteria; Budding and appendaged bacteria; Endospore forming rods and cocci; Mycobacterium; Rickettsias; Methenogens; Hyperthermophilic archaea, Thermoplasma. Eukarya; Algae: fungi, Slime molds and protozoa; microbial Diseases: Disease reservoirs; Epidemiological terminologies; Infectious disease transmission. Respiratory infections caused by bacteria and viruses; Tuberculosis; Sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS; Disease transmitted by animals( rabbits, plague). Insects and ticks (rickettsias, Lyme diseases, malaria), Food and water borne diseases, Public health and water quality; Pathogenic fungi; Emerging and resurgent infectious diseases Host-Parasite Relationships. Normal micro flora of skin: oral cavity. Gastrointestinal tract. Entry of pathogens into the host; Colonizationand factors predisposing to infections; Types of toxic (Exo-Endo-Entero-) and their structure, Mode of actions, Virulence and Pathogenesis Prokaryotic Cells Structure-function Cell walls of eubacteria (peptidoglycan) and related molecules; Outer-membrane of Gramnegative bactreria. Cell wall and cell membrane systhesis, Flagella and motility. Cell inclusions  like endospores gas vesicles chemotherapy Antibiotics Antimicrobial agents Sulfa drugs. Antibiotics Peniciling and cephalosporins. Board-spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotics from prokaryotes Ant fungal antibiotics: Mode of action Resistance to antibiotics Microbial physiology capsules, slimelayers, pili, flagella, cell wall, matrix materials, tactic movements-chemotaxis. Basic concepts of tactic movements, chemotaxxis Growth kinetics, nutrition and energetic, biomass, basics of sugar and amino acid metabolism in microorganisms. Microbiology in public health: Mycobacteria, enterobacteria and protozoa Soil bacteria, Nitrogen fixation. Antibiotics, drug resistance, MD.



Prepartion of liquid and solid media for growth of microorganism, isolation and maintenance of organism by plating, streaking and serial dilution methods, slant and stab cultures, storage of microorganism. Isolation of pure cultures, Growth curve, microscopic examination of bacteria, yeast and molds, Gram stain, Assay of Antibiotics, Analysis of water.

Second Semester


BTC C21: Genetics


Mendel's experiments, monohybrid and dihybrid cross; sexual vis-a-vis sexual reproduction; applications of chi square test; deviation from Mendelian segregation; linkage ; genetic map; Mendelism in Human Genetics : Pedigree analysis ; inheritance characteristics of sex-linked and autosomal traits; chromosomes as physical basis of inheritance; chromosome aberrations. Sex-linked deleterious genes; non- Mendelian inheritance; parental imprinting; anticipation; dynamic mutations and neurological abnormalities; dysgenic effect of medicine; cancer genetics; immunogenetics; mapping of human genome; somatic cell genetics; DNA polymorphism in mapping; structure and function; biochemical genetics; polygenic inheritance.


BTC C22: Biostatistics


Probability and statistics; population, variables, collection, tabulation and graphical representation of data, frequency distribution, central tendency and skewness, binomial, Poisson and Gaussian distributions, additive and multiplicative laws of probability, concept and correlation; regression; methods of least squares; chi-square tests, random number generation- testing and use; probability density and cumulative distribution function; systematic and random sampling.


BTC C23: Molecular Biology


DNA replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: General features and enzymology; detailed mechanisms of initiation, elongation and termination; experiments underlying each step and role of individual factors; telomerases: mechanism of replication, maintenance of integrity and role in cancer; Transcription: RNA polymerase subunits, different sigma factors- related to stress, viral infections etc., initiation, elongation and termination (rho-dependent and independent) of RNA synthesis; antitermination, attenuation and other influences of transnational apparatus on the process of transcription; eukaryotic promoters, enhancers, transcription factors, RNA polymerases; various protein motifs involved in DNA-protein interactions during transcription; translation: in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, processing of mRNA for translation and involvement of different transnational factors at different stages of the process. DNA damage and repair: factors affecting DNA bases, identification and molecular characterization of repair enzymes in photoreactivation, excision, recombination, and SOS pathways; recombination and transposition: models for homologous recombination- the Holliday, Meselson-Radding and RecBCD pathways and their experimental supports; meiotic recombination- mechanism, the double-stranded DNA breaks; site-specific recombination and transposition.



Isolation of Genomic DNA from bacteria, plant and tissues, isolation of RNA, isolation of poly A+RNA, in vitro transcriptions, RFC


BTC C24: Recombinant DNA Technology


Principles and methods of recombinant DNA technology- hybridization, cloning, sequencing, polymerase chain reaction, genome projects; gene manipulations; cloning in E.coli, plasmids, bacteriophages and cosmid vectors, cloning strategies, genomic and cDNA library; expression of cloned genes in E. coli, products made in E. coli by genetic engineering; cloning in yeast: transformation in yeast, yeast vector development: Yep, YRp, YCp and YIp, 2m plasmid, yeast artificial chromosome (YAC), retrovirus like vector (Ty) in yeast/shuttle vector; features of yeast promoter and expression of cloned genes; yeast 2-hybrid system; plasmid shuffling to explore interactive domains of multimeric proteins; the cassette model for mating type switches and silencing of genes. Genetic engineering of plants: transformation of plants, manipulating gene expression in plants, selectable markers and reporter genes, Agrobacterium tumefaciens; Genetic elements present on the Ti plasmid, genetic engineering of the Ti plasmid, vectors used to introduce foreign DNA into plant cells- binary cloning vector, disarmed Ti plasmid, cointegrate cloning vector; comparison of methods for transfer of DNA to plants, manipulation of gene expression in plants; production of transgenic plants without reporter or marker genes.




Isolation of plasmid DNA, transformation, restriction enzyme digestion, ligation , Southern blotting, Northern blotting, Overexpression of proteins, PCR analysis, protein-DNA interactions.


BTC S21: Enzymes and Reaction Kinetics


Definition of enzymes; active site, substrate, coenzyme, cofactor and different kinds of enzyme inhibitors; enzyme kinetics, two substrate kinetics, three substrate kinetics, deviation from linear kinetics; ligand binding studies; rapid kinetics; association and dissociation constants; use of isotopes in enzyme kinetics mechanism analysis; effect of pH, temperature and isotopically labeled substrates on enzyme activity; allosteric model of enzyme regulation; substrate induced conformational change in enzyme.



enzyme kinetics, effects of pH and temperature on enzyme activity, use of inhibitors for active site determination, Michaelis-Menten equation: determination KM and Vmax



BTC S21: Immunology


Blood & Blood cells, Bone Marrow, Reticulo-Endothelial system & ABO Blood groups. Tissue fluid, Lymph, Lymphatics, Lymph nodes and Spleen. Cardiovascular System (Heart, ECG, Blood Pressure, Sino - Aortic mechanism, Regional & Capillary circulation.

Immunoglobins, organization and expressions of Ig genes; B cell maturation, activation and differentiation; MHC/ HLA; antigen processing and presentation; T-cells, T-cell receptors, T-cell maturation, activation and differentiation; cytokines; cell mediated and humoral effector responses, auto immunity, immunodeficiency diseases, transplantation immunology, cancer and immune system. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibody technique.





Blood film prepartion and identification of cells, double diffusion and Immunoelectrophoresis, Radial Immnunodiffusion, Western Blotting, ELISA, Immunodiagnostics (using commercial kits).


Third Semester

BTC C31: Microbial Technology


Biology of Industrial Microorganisms: (Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, penicillia, spore forming bacteria etc); Idea of Fermentation, Cell growth, Regulation of Metabolism, Substrate Assimilation/Product Secretion.; Different fermentative system; Batch and Continuous Process, Fermentor Design, Surface and submerged liquid substrate fermentation; Solid Substrate Fermentations, Fermentation raw materials, Down stream processing, Bio-mass production (alcohol, lactic acid, cheese making, bread making, soya based foods, meat fermentation, vinegar, industrial chemical, bio-polymer, bioinsecticides, food additive [amino acids, nucleosides, vitamins, fats and oils], health care products {antibiotics, steroids, vaccines}, Production of Industrial solvents[alcohol, acetone, butanol etc.]); Industrial Enzymes (amylase, proteases, lipases), concepts of immobilized enzymes. 





Isolation of industrially important microorganisms for microbial processes, isolation of lactobacillus sp. from Curd, production of lactic acid from whey, production of baker’s yeast, production of alcohol, detection of microbial protease production, cellulase production by microorganisms.


BTC C32: Environmental Biotechnology


Basic concepts and issues, Types of environment pollution, Methods for the measurement of pollution, Methodology of environment management-the problem solving approach and its limitations. Air pollution and its control. water pollution and its control. Water as a scarce natural source, Need for water management. Measurement of water pollution, source of water pollution. Waste-water management-physical, chemical and biological treatment processes microbiology of waste water treatments, Aerobic process, activated sludge, oxidation ditches, Trickling filter, towers, rotating drums, oxidation ponds--- Anaerobic processes anaerobic digestion, anaerobic filters, Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors. Treatment schemes for wastewater s of diary, distillery. Tannery, sugar, antibiotic industries. Microbiology of degradation of Xenobiotics in Environment- Ecological considerations, decay7 behavior and degradative plasmids. Hydrocarbons substituted hydrocarbons, oil pollution, surfactants, pesticides Bioremediation of contaminated soils and waste land Biopesticides in integrated pest management. Solid wastes sources and management(composing, worm culture and methane production) Global Environmental problems Ozone depletion, UV-B, greenhouse effect and acid rain, their impact and biotechnological approaches for management Energy. Basic concepts and issues. Role of Biotechnology in energy production. Biomass production and conversion into gaseous and liquid fuels, by the microbial fermentation route Bioconversion of Agro wastes into  Fuels by Microbial process. Liquid fuels (Diesel oil, gasohol) from renewable sources Bioenergy economics and biofuel costs.


  BTC C33: Genomics and Proteomics


  Genomics: genetic and physical maps, physical mapping and map-based cloning, choice of mapping population, simple sequence repeat loci, southern and fluorescence in situ hybridization for genome analysis, chromosome microdisection, molecular markers in genome analysis; RAPD and AFLP analysis, molecular markers linked to disease resistant genes, application of RFLP in forensic, disease prognosis, genetic counseling, pedigree, varietal etc. Genome sequencing: genome sizes, organelle genomes, genomic libraries, strategies for genome sequencing, packaging, transfection and recovery of clones, application of sequence information for identification of defective genes.  Pharmacogenetics, genetics of globin triplet repeat disorders, cancer genetics; immunogenetics; mapping of human genome; somatic cell genetics; DNA polymorphism in mapping; structure and function; biochemical genetics; polygenic inheritance, Microarray.


Proteomics:  Mass spectroscopy, basic principle, MALDI-TOF, ESI; 2-D Gel electrophoresis, Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), basic principles, chemical shift, spin-spin interaction, NOE, 2D-NMR , NOESY,COSEY.


X-ray Crystallography: Principle of X-ray diffraction, scattering vector, structure factor, phase problem, reciprocal lattice and Ewald sphere, Miller indices, Zone axes, crystal lattice, Lane Equations, Bragg’s  law, special properties of protein crystals, model building, refinement and R-factor.




DNA sequencing, PCR based site directed mutagenesis, Protein electrophoresis-1D+2D.


BTC S31: Bioprocess Engineering


Introduction to Bioprocess Engineering, Bioreactors and membrane Bioreactors and Membrane Bioreactors, Isolation Preservation and Maintenance of Industrial Microorganisms, Kinetics of microbial growth and death, Media and medial sterilization for Industrial Fermentation, Air quality Management and Air sterilization, Types of fermentation processes. Analysis of batch, Fedbatch and continuous bioreactors, stability of microbial reactors, analysis of mixed microbial populations, specialized bioreactors (pulsed fluidized, photobioreactors etc). Fermentation kinetic and monitoring, Measurement and control of bioprocess parameters.


Downstream processing: Introduction, Removal of microbial cells and solid matter, foam reparation, precipitation, filtration, centrifugation, cell disruptions, liquid-liquid extraction, chromatography, membrane process. Drying and crystallization, Effluent treatment D.O.C. and C.O.D. treatment and disposal of effluents. Whole cell Immobilization and their Industrial Applications, Immobilized enzymes in aqueous and non-aqueous media, bioconversion and Biotransformation. Industrial Production of chemicals: Alcohol (ethanol). Acids (citric, acetic and gluconic), Solvents (glycerol, acetone, butanon), Antibiotics (penicillin, streptomycinl, tetracy6cline), microlodes, anticancer antibiotic, Amino acids (lysine, glutamic acid), Single Cell Protein, single Cell Lipids. Use of microbes in mineral beneficiation and oil recovery. Introduction to Food technology elementary idea of canning and packin-Fat-Based Edible products, Sterilization and Pasteurization of food Products. Fast-based Nutraceuticals Technology of Typical Food/ food products (bread, cheese, idli, Agro-products (oilseeds) Food preservation, Food colors, Flavors, and Antioxidants. Introduction to Bioprocesses Technology, Hydrogenation, Oxidation, Esterification, Polymerization, Introduction of Microbial Biotechnology-Fine Chemicals (e.g. Biosurfactants, Spirulina, Yeast), oleo chemicals (Fatty acids, Glycerol, Methol-petrochemicals-perfumery chemicals Drugs and pharmaceuticals.




Production and estimation lipase etc., Microbial production of antibiotics, Use of alginate for cell immobilization.


BTC S32: Computer Application and Bioinformatics


General ideas on computer: Why computer, Information explosion in life sciences< need for processing; human being as information processor, as information generator, Class of problems that can be solved by a digita computer, problems which may not solved by digital computers.

Components of a digital computer: Block diagram of digital computer-detail of input  units, output units, central processing unit pointing devices, fast input devices. Exotic input/output devices. Secondary storage devices. Types of digital computer, generation of digi9tal computer. Organization; low level and high-level language: binary number system Structured computer Organization: Various levels of digital computer, operating system as resource manager.

Windows-basic concepts and commands Unix as a multi user, multi tasking operating system Introduction to Linux Introduction to programming in C/MATLAB word processing, Spreadsheets, computer graphics and presentation software Algorithm and flow chart Sequential, conditional and looping problems

Artificial vis-a-vis Natural language Low and high level languages the basic concepts Binary number system Basic concepts of translation process (syntax, semantics etc) C as a programming language Alphabets and language elements Operators and separators strings Flow control, Relational operators Construction of compound statements Functions and structured programming- Top down approach, character processing Network and Internet Introduction and applications

Bioinformatics: Applications and Prospects, Genome and protein information resources, sequence analysis, multiple sequence alignment, homology and analogy, pattern recognition, analysis package.



BTC O31: Evolution Biology and Biodiversity


Origin of life (include in aspects of periodic environment and molecular evolution); concepts of evolution, Theo rise of organic evolution; mechanisms of speciation; Hardy-Weinberg genetic equilibrium; genetic polymorphisms and selection; origin and evolution of economically important microbes; interactions between environment and biota, types of ecosystems, population ecology and biological control; community structure and organization, concept of habitat and ecological niches, limiting factor, energy flow, food chain, food web and tropic levels, ecological pyramids and recycling, biotic community- concept, structure, dominance, fluctuation and succession; ecosystem dynamics and management, stability and complexity of ecosystems, speciation and extinctions, environmental impact assessment; principles of conservation; conservation strategies; sustainable development.




BTC O32: Protein Engineering


Objectives, Technologies: rational design, random design, De novo protein design, Engineering enzymes, Engineering stability, Engineering specificity, Engineering for protein purifications, Engineering antibodies, Engineering signal molecules (hormones/receptors). Different expression systems; bacteria, yeast, animal cells, baculovirus-insect cells, plants. Applications of Protein Engineering: Industrial enzymology, For Heath care (drug discovery, peptide and polypeptide vaccines, antibodies,  hormones receptors and biosensors, growth factors, bioscreening, drug delivery).




Fourth Semester


BTC C41: Medical Biotechnology


Disease diagnosis-probe, PCR,LCR immunologicalassay. Detection of genetic, Neurogenetic disorders involving Metabolic and Movement disorders. Treatment-products from recombinant and non-recombinant organisms, Interferons, Antisense therapy, cell penetrating peptides, Gene therapy, Types of gene therapy, somatic virus germline gene therapy, mechanism of gene therapy, Immunotherapy, Detection of mutations in neoplastic diseases MCC, SSCP, DGGE, PTTC.

Virology: Classification and modes of propagation; bacterial, plant and animal viruses: morphology and ultrastructure; assay of viral particles, cell culture;viral enzymes, nucliec acids, DNA viruses: Herpes, Hepatitis B, Adeno virus; RNA viruses: Polio, VSV, Influenza, Retroviruses: Structure, life cycle, transformation; TMV, Baculoviruses,; Response to viral infections: slow and persistent infections, Antiviral agents, Interferons.

Drug designing, delivery and targeting. Forensic medicine phamacogenomics.


BTC C42: IPR, Bio-safety and Bio-ethics


Economics, Biosafety. Patent rights and Special Topics Biotechnology R & D and industry: Business aspects of biotechnology, research and market place, Finance and human resources: Intellectual property right: patents, R & D partnership, license agreement and joint venture

Strategic decision-making: Techno managerial aspects, return on investment, Regulations of biotechnology based products and industry, Biohazards, human safety, environmental and ecological hazards; Bioethics: Biotechnology information, communication and public perception, Future prospects of consumers and social acceptance.


BTC S41: Plant Biotechnology


Plant cell tissue and organ cultures: Introduction to cell and tissue culture techniques; tot potency ;  Morphogenesis in vitro; Organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis; Micropropagation and clonal propagation. Synthetic seeds;Germplasm preservation in vitro; Production of haploids and triploids (anther, microspore and endosperm culture);  Protoplast culture and somatic hybridization; nuclear and cytoplasmic hybrids.Somaclonal variation in plant cell culture and regenerated plants; Cryopreservation and germplasm conservation

Transgenic plant technology: Gene transfer(vertical) by classical methods; horizontal gene transfer; methods of genetic transformation in plants; methods of nuclear transformation; Organelle  transformation; advantages; Direct transformation of plant systems using physical methods; Agrobacterium mediated plant transformation; manipulating gene expression in plants, selectable markers and reporter genes, Agrobacterium tumefaciens; Genetic elements present on the Ti plasmid, genetic engineering of the Ti plasmid, vectors used to introduce foreign DNA into plant cells- binary cloning vector, disarmed Ti plasmid, cointegrate cloning vector; comparison of methods for transfer of DNA to plants, manipulation of gene expression in plants; production of transgenic plants without reporter or marker genes. Application of plant transformation for productivity and performance; herbicide resistance; Insect resistance; Bt genes; long shelf life of fruits and flowers; molecular farming, benefits and risks; Transgene stability and gene silencing; Strategies to avoid gene silencing and improve gene expression in transgenic plants; ethics and plant genetic engineering; metabolic engineering and industrial products; plant secondary metabolites, control mechanisms and manipulations of phenylpropanoid pathway; alkaloids etc.




Basic techniques in plant cell, tissue and organ culture; Excised embryo culture; Organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis; Stages of micropropagation ; Callus and cell suspension culture; isolation and culture of protoplasts; basic techniques in genetic transformation in plants; transformation with wild type and disarmed strains of Agrobacterium.



BTC S42: Animal Biotechnology


Structure and organization of animal cell. Equipments and materials for animal cell culture technology Primary and established cell line cultures Introduction to the balanced salt solution and simple growth medium Brief discussion on the chemical, physical and metabolic functions of different constituents of culture medium Role of carbon dioxide Role of serum and supplements. Serum & protein free defined media and their application. Measurement of viability and cytotoxicity Biology and characterization of the cultured cells, measuring parameters of growth Basic techniques of mammalian cell culture in vitro, disaggregation of tissue  and primary culture, maintenance of cell culture; cell separation Scaling-up of animal cell culture cell synchronization cell cloning and micromanipulation cell transformation. Application of animal cell culture. Stem cell culture embryonic stem cells and their applications. Cell culture based vaccines Somatic cell genetics Organ and histotypic  cultures Measurement of cell death Apoptosis three dimensional culture.General idea on animal growth development Mammalian (including human) reproduction endocrine control and hormone-cascade Comparison with Birds (Chicken) and Fish reproduction. General differentiation: Genesis and spermatogenesis Genes and markers associated with gametogenesis. In vitro gamet maturation. In vitro sterilization (IVF) and embryo transfer (ET), Sex determination or sex specific makers, sexing of sperm and embryos, Assisted reproductive technology (ART). Animal genes and their regulation, some specific promoters for tissue specific expression. Improvements of animal/fish by biotechnology by transgenic approach with specific examples, embryo splitting and animal cloning. Genetically engineered animals for pharmacological research. Animals as bioreactors: production of IFN/TNF in milk/egg white, Developmental Biology.


Summer Project:


A project performance report based on the summer research training in a reputed laboratory of excellence will have to be submitted. A presentation of the accomplishments will be required before a panel of experts. Evaluation will be based on both the project report and presentation.


Seminar:  Students would like to present of a published paper before a panel of experts.


Grand viva: Students will be evaluated on all the topics discussed in the two years course by a panel of experts.


The Centre is now pursuing research projects in the following areas:


1.Development of Potent Anti-viral Agent(s) Against Chandipura Virus

2. RNMV-induced growth promotion in jute: its possible mechanism and utilization for sustainable production (In collaboration with Dr. Subrata K Ghosh, CRIJAF, Barrackpore)

3. Cigarette Smoke-induced stress resposnse in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

4. Microbial Bio-diversity in East Calcutta Wet-Land area: A metagenomic approach

5. Cellular and molecular mechanism of emphysema

6. Isolation and identification of a principal hazardous oxidant from cigarette smoke and its molecular mechanism of toxicity

7. Antioxidant role of black tea against cigarette smoke-induced lung damage

8. Study of Mechanism and Effect of Oxidative Damage through Proteomic Profiling.

9. Studying the Role of Nitric Oxide Synthase In Diseases Related to dysfunctional production of Nitric Oxide.

10. A non-invasive tool for evaluation of exhaled nitric oxide as a measure of inflammatory lung damage.  

11.Study of drugs-protein interaction targeting eukaryotic cell division protein tubulin and analog prokaryotic cell division protein FtsZ.

12. Mechanism of  prevention of aggregation of tubulin by Deuterium Oxide.

13. Investigation of the active compound(s) of Cigarette Smoke (CS) which causes damage of tubulin-microtubule system.

(With Prof I.B. Chatterjee)

14. New Approach for Developing Antimicrobial Drugs.


The Centre has an excellent library facility primarily meant for student use. However, it subscribes to several research journals that support the research activities in the centre.


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