General Aptitude (GA)
Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.
Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.
Plant Systematics: Systems of classification (non-phylogenetic vs. phylogenetic – outline), plant groups, molecular systematics.
Plant Anatomy: Plant cell structure, organization, organelles, cytoskeleton, cell wall and membranes; anatomy of root, stem and leaves, meristems, vascular system, their ontogeny, structure and functions, secondary growth in plants and stellar organization.
Morphogenesis & Development: Cell cycle, cell division, life cycle of an angiosperm, pollination, fertilization, embryogenesis, seed formation, seed storage proteins, seed dormancy and germination.
Concept of cellular totipotency, clonal propagation; organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, somaclonal variation, secondary metabolism in plant cell culture, embryo culture, in vitro fertilization.
Physiology and Biochemistry: Plant water relations, transport of minerals and solutes, stress physiology, stomatal physiology, signal transduction, N2 metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration; respiration, Flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, biochemical mechanisms involved in flowering; molecular mechanism of senencensce and aging, biosynthesis, mechanism of action and physiological effects of plant growth regulators, structure and function of biomolecules, (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics.
Genetics: Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination, genetic mapping; extrachromosomal inheritance; prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome organization, regulation of gene expression, gene mutation and repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical and structural), transposons.
Plant Breeding and Genetic Modification: Principles, methods – selection, hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular markers, sporophytic and gametophytic self incompability, haploidy, triploidy, somatic cell hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, plastid transformation, transgenic plants and their application in agriculture, molecular pharming, plantibodies.
Economic Botany: A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibers, timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria.
Plant Pathology: Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of important crops caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, and their control measures, mechanism(s) of pathogenesis and resistance, molecular detection of pathogens; plant-microbe beneficial interactions.
Ecology and Environment: Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation, ecological succession; food chains and energy flow; vegetation types of the world, pollution and global warming, speciation and extinction, conservation strategies, cryopreservation, phytoremediation.