MOLECULAR ECOLOGY & POPULATION GENETICS
Research is directed at utilizing molecular techniques for the assessment of biodiversity of plants and fishes, including systematic, ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Molecular data using various molecular techniques provide new insights and additional information on species relationships and its interaction with its surroundings previously unavailable using conventional methods. This not only contributes to a better understanding of biodiversity but provide a holistic perspective of biodiversity assessment. The comprehensive understanding of biological variability will enable us to take a first step towards outlining a working practice for the management and conservation of biodiversity of plants and fishes. Applied research conducted includes the development and use of molecular markers for assessment of genetic variation in wild and cultured or captive population, fisheries genetics and management of capture fisheries in freshwater areas. As information on the population genetic structure of a species should be a principal consideration in planning any conservation and management programme of wild and cultured programme, the genetic data may provide essential information to preserve species genetic resources (which are depleting mainly due to hunting, overfishing) in order to support an adequate management programme and an efficient culture programme. Thus, for optimal breeding of domesticated stocks regular monitoring based on molecular markers and maintenance of high levels of genetic diversity is required i.e. genetic variation is conserved simultaneously with the achievement of selection for the best performing animals.