Dr R Rengasamy

Director, CAS in Botany
University of Madras
Guindy Campus
Chennai - 600025

Residence: 35/16, Kutty Street,
Chennai 600 034
Mobile : 91-9283445271
Phone : 91-44-22350401
E-mail : profrrengasamy@yahoo.com

History of the Botany Department

The University Botany Laboratory was established in 1930. In 1933 Prof. M.O.P. Iyengar took over, as the first permanent Director and established a school of algology. He initiated broad based studies of fresh water, estuarine and marine algae, their systematics, life-histories, morphology and cytology. Much of this work was pioneering so far as India is ' concerned.

The investigations of Prof M.O.P. Iyengar, and Prof. T.V. Desikachary, are internationally acclaimed and particularly noteworthy are their contributions to our knowledge of the diatoms, green, red and blue green algae. These studies have culminated in the publication of a number of monographs, Atlas etc. In 1944, Prof. T. S. Sadasivan took over as the Director and during this period, soil borne disease of plants (including micro-ecology of soil fungi), physiology of fungi, physiology of host-parasite relationship particularly in Fusariose wilts of plants, techniques in bioassay, spectrochemical studies on uptake of ions by plants, work ill vivo toxins and fungal enzymes, respiration and electrophoretic studies on plant tissues have been carried out.In recognition of the outstanding work done in the fields of Plant Pathology and Mycology, this laboratory was elevated as a Centre for Advanced Studies by the University Grants Commission in 1964.Prof C.Y. Subramanian succeeded Prof. T.S. Sadasivan as the Director in 1973. From July 1976 to June 1980 Prof. A. Mahadevan served as the Director.

After completing the tenure as Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow (1976-80), Prof C.Y. Subra_anian again took over as the Director in July 1980 and he retired in June 1985. Prof. A. Mahadevan then took over as the Director. After the retirement of Prof A. Mahadevan in April 1998 Prof D. Lalithakumari has taken up the Directorship of CAS in Botany. In 1987, the UGC identified this Centre for COSIST Assistance and under this programme many new and sophisticated instruments were purchased. A continueing commitment to excellence and innovation has always been the central theme of this Centre.