I) Biology and diversity of lower plants or Cryptogams [(Algae, Fungi, Lichens, Bryophytes and Pteridophytes], Microbes/Microbiology, Plant Pathology and Palaeobotany: Algae and Fungi: Classification, Distribution in West Himalayas and India, Economic importance, Structure and Reproduction of algae and fungi. Life histories of Nostoc, Chlamydomonas, Volvox, Oedogonium, Spirogyra, Chara, Vaucheria, Dictyota, Batrachospermum, Synchytrium, Pythium, Phytophthora, Albugo, Rhizopus, Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Penicillum, Morchella, Ustilago, Puccinia, Agaricus and Alternaria. Comparison between algae and fungi. Lichens: General account of lichens and their economic importance. Microbes/Microbiology: Structure, Classification, Reproduction, Physiology and Mode of infection of Viruses and Bacteria. Role of microbes in agriculture, industry, medicine and pollution control. Plant Pathology: Symptoms, mode of infection and control of important fungal, bacterial and viral diseases with special reference to diseases common in Himachal Pradesh. Molecular basis of infection and disease resistance. Physiology of parasitism and control measures. Fungal toxins. Bryophytes and Pteridophytes: Classification, Distribution in West Himalayas and India, Economic importance, Structure and Reproduction of bryophytes and pteridophytes. Evolution of gametophyte and sporophyte in Bryophytes. Evolution of stelar system, Apogamy, Apospory, Heterospory and Seed habit in Pteridophytes. Life histories of Riccia, Marchantia, Pellia, Porella, Anthoceros, Sphagnum, Funaria, Polytrichum, Psilotum, Selaginella, Equisetum, Adiantum and Marsilea. Comparison among Archegoniatae. Palaeobotany: Introduction to palaeobotany, some basic principles and techniques. Short account of fossil algae, Naiadita, Rhynia, Asteroxylon, Lyginopteris and Pentoxylon.
II) Biology and diversity of Phanerogams or Spermatophytes (Gymnosperms and Angiosperms): Comparison among Tracheophytes. Distribution of Gymnosperms and Angiosperms in West Himalayas and India. Life histories of Cycas, Pinus and Gnetum. Morphology and Anatomy: Tissues and Tissue systems. Meristems. Morphology and anatomy of root, stem and leaf. Structure of Vascular Cambium and its role in wood and bark formation. Normal and anomalous secondary growth (Dracaena, Tinospora, Boerrhavia and Nyctanthes). Structure of wood and bark. Embryology: Structure of anther and ovule. Development of male and female gametophytes. Pollination. Fertilization and Development of Seed. Development and function of Endosperm. Patterns of Embryo development. Polyembryony. Apomixis. Applications of Palynology in angiosperms. Taxonomy: Principles of nomenclature, classification and identification. Modern Trends in Taxonomy. Classification of Gymnosperms. Comparative account of various systems of Angiosperm classification. Salient features of the following families Cycadaceae, Pinaceae, Ginkgoaceae, Ephedraceae, Gnetaceae, Ranunculaceae, Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Rosaceae, Fabaceae (Leguminosae), Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae, Malvaceae, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), Asclepiadaceae, Solanaceae, Lamiaceae (Labiatae), Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae (Compositae), Liliaceae, Orchidaceae and Poaceae (Graminae).
III) Plant Resources Utilization, Economic and Ethno Botany, Plant Breeding and Biostatistics: Plants as sources of Food, Fibers, Wood/Timber, Drugs, Oils, Latex/Rubber, Paper, Starch, Beverages, Spices and Condiments, Gums and Resins, Tannins and Dyes, Insecticides. Ornamental plants. Biomass as a source of energy. Energy plantations. Importance of Ethno-botany in Indian context. Underexploited/Underutilized Plants [Winged or Goa Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus); Jojoba or Hohoba (Simmondisa chinensis), Guayule or Wuyule (Parthenium argentatum), Leucaena or Subabul (Leucaena leucocephala) and Triticale (Triticosecale)]. A general account of Edible Wild Plants. Origin of cultivated plants. Centers of origin. Methods and Modes of reproduction in relation to breeding self pollinated, cross pollinated, vegetatively propagated and apomictic plants. Introduction, Selection and Hybridization (pedigree, backcross, mass selection, bulk method). Male sterility and heterosis breeding. A general account of Inbreeding depression and Heterosis; Exploitation of Hybrid Vigour; Production of Hybrids, Composites and Synthetics. Uses of genetic engineering, polyploidy, mutations and apomixes in plant breeding and crop improvement. Role of cell and tissue culture in propagation and enrichment of genetic diversity. Plant breeding techniques in wheat, rice, sugarcane and cotton only. Biostatistics: Mean, Median, Standard deviation and Coefficient of variation.
I) Environmental Biology (Plant Ecology, Plant geography, Principles of Biodiversity and Conservation): Scope of Ecology. Biotic and abiotic components. Plant Communities. Plant Succession. Ecological adaptations. Biogeochemical cycles. Vegetation and Forest Types of India with particular reference to Himachal Pradesh. Deforestation, Aforestation and Social forestry. Soil erosion, wastelands and reclamation. Environmental pollution and its control including phytoremediation. Bioindicators. Global warming. Concepts of Biosphere, Ecosystems, Biodiversity, in situ and ex situ Conservation, Endemism and Hot spots. Plant genetic resources and their importance. Factors contributing to the loss of forest biodiversity. IUCN categories of Threat and Red Data Books. Role of Botanical gardens and Herbaria. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Sovereign rights and Intellectual Property Rights.
II) Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: Absorption and Conduction of Water. Mineral Absorption. Role of elements and mineral deficiencies. Transpiration. Mechanisms of stomatal movements. Respiration. Photorespiration. Photosynthesis. Anatomy of C3 and C4 plants. Nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen metabolism. Enzymes and coenzymes. Plant Growth and Movements. Photoperiodism and Vernalization. Plant Hormones. Dormancy and germination of seeds. Photomorphogenesis. Stress physiology with respect to temperature, water and salinity stress. Physiology of flowering. Fruit ripening. Chemical foundations of biology: Physico-chemical properties of water, pH, acids, bases, buffers, types of bonds and their importance, free energy, resonance and isomerisation. Structure and functions of Carbohydrates, Lipids/Fats, Amino acids, Peptides, Proteins and Nucleic acids.
III) Cell Biology, Genetics, Evolution, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: Techniques of cell biology, Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Cell theory. Cell as a unit of structure and function, ultra-structure of cell and its various organelles (chloroplasts, mitochondria, endoplasmic, reticulum, ribosomes, endosomes, vacuoles, lysosomes, peroxysomes). Extracellular matrix or ECM. Cell wall and plasma membrane. Nucleus, Nucleolus, Nuclear pore complex (NPC), Chromatin and Nucleosome. Nucleic acids − their structure, reproduction and role in protein biosynthesis. DNA polymorphism. The physical and chemical structure of chromosomes. Mitosis and Meiosis. Molecular control involving check points in cell division cycle. Structural and Numerical changes in chromosomes. Structure, behaviour and significance of polytene, lampbrush and B-chromosomes. Pre and Post Mendelian concept of Genetics. Laws of inheritance. Chromosome theory of inheritance. Gene and Allele concepts. Linkage, Crossing over and Gene mapping. Genetic Code. Regulation of gene expression. Sex chromosomes and sex-linked inheritance. Sex determination. Biochemical and molecular basis of Mutations. Extra chromosomal / Cytoplasmic inheritance. Evidences, Mechanisms and Theories of organic evolution. Micropropagation. Cell, tissue, organ and protoplast culture. Genetic engineering. Methods of gene transfer and transgenic crops. Development and use of molecular markers. Fermentation technology. Biofertilizers.