History of the department :The Plant Physiology department was established in the year 2003, although this subject was taught as a special paper from the inception of the Department of Agriculture (Formerly College of Agriculture) since 1954. The eminent teachers as well as research scientists like Prof. T. M. Das, Prof. R. N. Basu and Prof. D. K. Dasgupta served the department with high dignity and modesty.
Prof. T. M. Das worked on various aspects which includes growth hormones, photoperiodism, stress physiology, allelopathy, senescence, tissue culture, pollution, value of a tree, absorption of nutrients from air borne particulate matters, bio-monitoring of air pollution by lichens of Kolkata, infrared photography of ants and philosophy of science. Besides, Prof. Das has been the recipient of Rabindra Puraskar of the Government of West Bengal for his book, “Prithibi ki sudhu manusher jannya” and of the ‘Narsingdas Prize’ of the Delhi University for “Amar gharer ase pase”; ‘Prof. S. M. Sircar Medal’ of the Botanical Society of Bengal as well as ‘Prof. S. C. Roy Medal’ and ‘Sri Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya Memorial Prize’ in recognition of his contributions to Life Sciences and Environment.
Another illuminating personality was Prof. R. N. Basu who worked on rootings of cuttings and the synergistic effects of plant hormones on plant growth and development with high repute. Prof. Basu also worked on seed vigour, viability and seed invigoration treatments for the improvement of different agricultural and horticultural crop seeds and his works are highly nationally and internationally acclaimed. Prof. Basu worked on the quantification of seed vigour alongwith a development of bioassay of seed vigour technique which is also incorporated in the post-graduate syllabus of Seed Science and Technology. Besides, Prof. Basu served the University of Calcutta as an Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor for two consecutive terms.
Further, an eminent teacher and scientist was Prof. D. K. Dasgupta who also served the department with high reputation in teaching as well as in research. Prof. Dasgupta worked extensively on crop physiology in different crops. His authentic work was with the effect of Molybdenum in improving crop performances on rice. Prof. Dasgupta was also a pioneer worker on the improvement of sugarbeet crop in the farmers field as a second crop in the saline soils of Sunderbans. Besides, Prof. Dasgupta served the Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya as an Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor for two consecutive terms. Prof. Dasgupta was the recipient of the ‘Eminent Teacher’ award by the University of Calcutta during the year 2010.
Currently, Prof. A. K. Mandal, Ex-Director of Institute of Agricultural Science, C.U., is also working extensively on seed physiology, seed priming, seed invigoration, seed pathology, seed biotechnology, stress physiology as well as vigour, viability and field performance of several field and horticultural crops. Prof. Mandal developed a dry physiological treatments for extended storability and improved field performance of different crop seeds. Prof. Mandal and his associates studied protein banding and isozyme patterns in relation to seed invigoration treatments. On the basis of his observations, over a dozen of students have been awarded with their Ph.D. degree and published over 70 research papers in different national and international journals.