The Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized an International Symposium on Plant Biology and Functional Genomics (ISPBFG 2024) from March 13-15, 2024. This symposium, held at a pivotal time as it marked the golden jubilee celebrations of the University and the 30th year of the Department of Plant Sciences, was a significant milestone. The 15th Plant Sciences Colloquium was also integrated into this symposium, further enhancing its importance. The three-day event, funded by the IoE, featured a special lecture by the Vice-Chancellor, keynote lectures by eminent scientists, invited talks by renowned researchers, and oral, poster, and colloquium presentations. The event was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.J. Rao, with a welcome address by the Head of the Department, Prof. S. Rajagopal. Prof. S. Rajagopal gave a brief overview of the Department, including faculty profile, courses offered, publication record and funding status of the Department. Prof. Anand K Kondapi, Dean of SLS delivered his remarks before the presidential address of the Vice-Chancellor. Prof. B.J. Rao, in his special address, highlighted the progress of plant science research and mentioned the unexplored and less-explored avenues that the research community should focus on. IoE Chair Professor, Prof. A.S. Raghavendra chaired this special lecture session.

The scientific sessions commenced after the inauguration, offering a diverse range of topics. The symposium featured six scientific sessions, each chaired by the Professors of the Department of Plant Sciences and co-chaired by the invited scientists. Each session included a keynote lecture by eminent scientists, followed by invited talks by renowned researchers. Young researchers also had the opportunity to present their work through oral presentations, selected from the abstracts they submitted. The symposium also provided a platform for Ph.D. students of the Department to present their colloquium presentations, with senior Ph.D. students leading the sub-sessions. The first day of the event saw fifty-six posters exhibited by young researchers under five themes, which were evaluated by expert juries. The second day of the event was followed by ‘BioSymphony,’ a cultural program presented by the M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of the Department of Plant Sciences.

The three-day scientific feast consisted of six keynote lectures, fifteen invited talks, eleven oral presentations, and eleven colloquium presentations. The Department has instituted an award in the name of late G. Mahesh Kumar, wherein a cash prize was conferred to the Ph.D. student who has published in the journal having the highest impact factor. This year’s Mahesh Award was bagged by Lalduhsaki, for her work published in Green Chemistry, which has an impact factor of 9.8.

The valedictory ceremony of ISPBFG 2024 began with an opening remark from Prof. Santosh R Kanade, Organizing Secretary I. He gave a brief overview of scientific sessions and the take-home messages conveyed by the speakers. The guest-of-honor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Senior Professor and former Vice-Chancellor, delivered his valedictory address. Prof. Podile cherished the journey of the Department of Plant Sciences for thirty years and remembered the contributions of each faculty member since the genesis of the Department. He appreciated the funding support received from different agencies which strengthened the Department, and he enumerated how the Department stands distinct within the University as well as among the other Departments in other universities.

He also gave a brief overview of different awards instituted by the Department to recognize students’ outstanding performance in academics and research. Followed by his address, prizes and certificates were distributed to the winners of different competitions, including best oral presentation, best posters (theme-wise), Petri-Art, and cover page design contest. The academic toppers of each semester in the M.Sc. courses offered by the Department received a silver medal in the name of renowned scientists, and the scholars who have published in journals having an impact factor of 4 and above were conferred a certificate of appreciation with a memento.



Dr. M. Muthamilarasan, Organizing Secretary II concluded the three-day symposium with a formal vote of thanks. He acknowledged the funding support of IoE. He also thanked the contributions of the M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of the Department, which made the event a huge success.