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Dr. MR. Shylaja

Dr. MR. Shylaja
Professor & Head
Address (Office): 
Centre for Plant Biotechnology & Molecular Biology (CPBMB)
Department of Plant Biotechnology, CoH, Vellanikkara
Thrisssur Kerala 680656
Mobile Phone No: 
Address (Residence): 
Land Phone No (Residence): 
Position(s) Email ID Phone No
Director of Education, Directorate of Education diracad@kau.in +91-487-2438131

Prof. (Dr.) M.R. Shylaja obtained her B. Sc. (Horticulture), M. Sc. (Horticulture) and Ph. D. (Horticulture) degrees from Kerala Agricultural University (KAU). She started her career as Assistant Professor in the Department of Plantation Crops and Spices, College of Horticulture, KAU. She is presently officiating as Director ( Acad & PG Studies) & KAU- ICAR Education Nodal Officer. She is also heading the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, College of Horticulture, KAU.

Prof. Shylaja is actively involved in teaching, research and extension for the last 34 years. Her area of specialization includes biotech breeding, micropropagation, commercial plant tissue culture, molecular markers, transcriptome and metabolome analysis. She handled many externally aided research projects funded by Department of Biotechnology ( DBT), DBT-BIRAC, Department of Science and Technology, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment, Mission for Integrated Development in Horticulture and Government of Kerala.

Prof. Shylaja officiated as the Project Coordinator of Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Physiology at KAU. She is also the course co-ordinator for the DBT- HRD programme in M.Sc (Ag) Plant Biotechnology and functioned as coordinator for network project on commercial micropropagation. She has 103 research publications in reputed National & International journals and in proceedings of National/ International seminar/ workshops, three books and several book chapters. She has guided three Ph.D students and 20 M.Sc students.

Prof. Shylaja is the recipient of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award instituted by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi for her outstanding doctoral research in Horticulture in the year 1997. Her student also bagged the same prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award in the year year 2007 for outstanding doctoral research in Horticulture and alsoDr. H.S. Mehta Memorial Award for the best research paper . Prof. Shylaja participated and presented a lead paper in International Symposium on Medicinal and Nutraceutical plants at Georgia, USA in March, 2007.

Prof. Shylaja released three ginger varieties “Athira” “Karthika” and “Aswathy” by exploiting somaclonal variation and using biotechnological tools. These varieties are the first of its kind in spices, developed in India by exploiting somaclonal variation. She received provisional Indian patent for the gingerol product developed in a DBT-BIRAC project undertaken in PPP mode at KAU in the year 2018.

She is the member in several professional societies and also in the editorial board of Journal of Tropical Agriculture, published by Kerala Agricultural University.

Selected Publications

  • Shylaja, M.R, Nair, G.S and Mathew,J. 1996. Screening of black pepper (Piper ingenim L.) calliclones for Phytophthora foot rot resistance or tolerance. Journal of Tropical Agriculture 34: 115-120.
  • Shylaja, M.R, Nair, G.S and A. Augustin,A. 1997. In vitro production of toxic metabolite(s) by Phytophthora capscici and partial purification of the metabolite(s). Journal of Tropical Agriculture 35: 10-15
  • Shylaja, M.R and Nair, G.S 1997. Effect of toxic metabolite(s) of Phytophthora capsici on various stages of morphogenesis of black pepper calli. Journal of Tropical Agriculture 35 : 33-37
  • Shylaja, M.R and Nair, G.S 2000. Response of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) variety Panniyur-1 and cultivars to indirect organogenesis. Journal of Tropical Agriculture 38(1&2): 21-25
  • Sanchu,C.R, Shylaja M.R. and Nybe, E.V 2003. Screening of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) calliclones against Phytophthora foot rot. Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology 33(2): 296-298
  • Dagade, S.B and Shylaja,M.R 2006. Role of phenols, sugars and amino acids in relation to Phytophthora foot rot disease of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). Geobios Vol. 34(1) 87-89
  • Dagade, S.B and Shylaja, M.R, 2007. Enzymic studies on Phytophthora capsici inoculated and uninoculated plants of Piper species. Geobios Vol. 34 (2-3) 149-152
  • Shylaja, M.R and Peter, K.V. 2007. Spices in Nutraceutical and Health Food Industry. Acta Hort. 756: 369-377.
  • Resmi Paul and Shylaja,M.R 2009. Production of toxic metabolites in cultures by Pythium aphanidermatum and Ralstonia solanacearum and bioassay of the metabolites. Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology 39(3) : 422-426
  • Resmi Paul, Shylaja, M.R. and Koshy Abraham, 2009. Screening somaclones of ginger for bacterial wilt disease. Indian Phytopathology 62 (4) : 424-428
  • .Shylaja, M.R. and Nybe,E.V. 2010. Productivity improvement in coconut : Role of right varieties and selection of quality planting materials. Indian coconut Journal Vol L III No.5
  • Shylaja, M.R., Resmi, P., Nybe, E.V., Koshy, A., Nazeem, P.A., Valsala, P.A. and Krishnan, S. 2010. Two new ginger varieties from Kerala Agricultural University. Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices and Medicinal Plants., 12(2): 3-4.
  • Resmi Paul and Shylaja, M.R 2010. Indirect organogenesis in ginger. Indian J. Hort. 67(4) : 513-517
  • Paul, R., Shylaja M.R., Abraham, K. and Nybe, E.V. 2011. Screening somaclones of ginger for soft rot disease. J. Mycopathol. Res. 49(1): 83-87.
  • Shylaja , M.R., Vijini, K.V and Nybe, E.V, 2012. Field evaluation of calliclones of black pepper ( Piper nigrum L.). Focus on pepper ( Piper nigrum L.), International Pepper Community 4 (1) : 35-41.
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M. R. 2012. Preliminary screening in regenerants of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) derived through gamma irradiation of embryogenic cultures to soft rot and bacterial wilt diseases. J. Mycol. Pl. Pathol. 41 (4): 592 – 596
  • Paul, R., Shylaja, M.R. and Nazeem, P.A. 2012. Molecular characterisation of selected somaclones in ginger using RAPD markers. Indian Journal of Horticulture., 69(2): 221-225
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M.R. 2012. Screening of ginger (Zingiber officinale) somaclones derived through indirect organogenesis against soft rot and bacterial wilt diseases. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences., 34(1&2): 28-32.
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M.R. 2012. Field evaluation of tissue culture raised somaclones of ginger (Zingiber officinale) for productivity- linked traits. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences. 34(1&2): 20-27.
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M.R. 2013. Screening somaclones of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) derived through in vitro mutagenesis to soft rot and bacterial wilt diseases. Journal of Mycopathological Research., 51(1): 151-155.
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M.R. 2013. Correlation and path analysis of somaclones of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences., 35(3&4): 175-178
  • Thakur, P.P., Deepu, M., Nazeem, P.A., Abida, P.S., Indira, P., Girija, D., Shylaja, M.R. and Valsala, P.A. 2014. Identification of allele specific AFLP markers linked with bacterial wilt [Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) Yabuuchi et al.] resistance in hot peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology., 87: 19-24.
  • Pujaita, G. and Shylaja, M.R. 2014. Chloroplast Genome Engineering Techniques and Capabilities . Trends in biosciences., (7): 18.
  • Shylaja, M.R., Nybe, E.V., Nazeem, P.A., Mathew S.K., Krishnan, S. and Paul, R.. 2014. Aswathy, a new ginger variety from Kerala Agricultural University for green ginger. Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices and Medicinal Plants., 16(2): 18-20.
  • Paul, R. and Shylaja, M.R. 2014. Preliminary screening of in vitro raised ginger regenerants to soft rot and bacterial wilt diseases using electrolyte leakage method. Indian Journal of Horticulture., 71(1): 130-133.
  • Pujaita, G., Shylaja, M.R. and Nazeem, P.A. 2014. RAPD marker based DNA fingerprinting in released varieties and selected superior somaclones of ginger (Zingiber officinale rosc.). International Journal of plant animal and environment sciences., 4(2): 221.
  • Shylaja, M.R., Sashna, P., Chinjusha, V. and Nazeem, P.A. 2014. An efficient micropropagation protocol for Gerbera jamesonii Bolus from flower buds. International Journal of plant animal and environment sciences., 4(3): 641-643.
  • Manikesh, K., James P, Shylaja, M.R., Nazeem, P.A. (2014). 6-Gingerol for cancer therapy –an in silico approach. World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, 3(2): 142-145.
  • Pujaita, G., Shylaja, M.R. and Nazeem, P.A. 2015. ISSR marker based DNA fingerprinting in released varieties and selected superior somaclones of ginger (Zingiber officinale rosc.). The Bioscan., 10(1): 55-61.
  • Shylaja M.R., Anjali Anto M, Viji KV and Sabitha KR. Single bud transplants as planting material in ginger- yield and quality analysis. Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices & Medicinal Plants. 2017;19(2):28-30.
  • Shylaja M.R, Parvathy KI and Lekha Lazer. Microrhizome technology for large scale production of disease free seed rhizomes of ginger (Zingiber Officinale Rosc.). Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices & Medicinal Plants. 2017;19(2):6-9.
  • Devi Lakshmi, S., Nazeem.P.A., Narayanankutty, A. Shylaja, M.R., Sangeetha P. D., Priyanka J., Ravisankar V., Babu, T.D., Achuthan C. R. 2017.Coconut phytocompounds inhibits polyol pathway enzymes: Implication in prevention of microvascular diabetic complications. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 127: 20-24.
  • Kumar M., Priyanka J., Shylaja,M.R., Nazeem, P.A. 2017. 6-gingerol for cancer therapy- an in silico approach. World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences. 3(2): 142-145.
  • Kumar, M., Shylaja, M.R., Nazeem, P.A., Babu, T.D. (2017) 6-Gingerol is the most Potent Anticancerous Compound in Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). J Dev Drugs 6: 167. doi:10.4172/2329-6631.1000167
  • Shylaja, M.R., Sabitha, K.R., Suresh Kumar, P., Narayanankutty, C., Narayanankutty M.C. and Deepu Mathew (2018). Production technology for in vitro induced microrhizomes of ginger in high-tech polyhouse. Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices & Medicinal Plants Vol. 20(3): 3-7
  • Gavande, S. S., Shylaja, M. R., and Nazeem, P. A. 2018. Variability analysis in ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) somaclones using RAPD marker system. Int. J. Curr. Microbial. Appl. Sci. 7(9):2942-2949.
  • Waghmare S.G., Sindhumole, P., Shylaja, M.R., Mathew, D., Francies, R.M. Abida, P.S. and Sajini, S. (2018). Analysis of simple sequence repeat (SSR) polymorphism between N22 and Uma rice varieties for marker assisted selection. Electronic Journal of Plant Breeding, 9 (2) : 511-517 \
  • Geethu Gokul, G., Vimi Louis, Namitha, P.M., Deepu, M., Girija, D.K., Shylaja, M.R., and Abida, P.S. 2018, Variability of Pectobacterium carotovorum causing rhizome rot in banana. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 17 : 60-81 doi10.1016/j.bcab2018.11.001
  • Radha, T., James, P., Simi, S., Davis, S.P., Nazeem, P.A., Shylaja, M.R. and Deepu Mathew, 2018, MangoDB: A database of mango varieties and landraces of the Indian subcontinent. Current Science, 114 (10): 2022-2025.
  • Anushree Bachhar, Haseena Bhaskar, Berin Pathrose and Shylaja, M.R. 2019. Resistance to acaricides in tetranychus truncates ehara on vegetables. Indian Journal of Entomology, 81(1): 130-133.
  • Brinda, O. P., Deepu Mathew, Shylaja, M. R., Davis, S. P., Cherian, K. A. and Valsala, P. A., 2019, Isovaleric acid and avicequinone C are chikungunya virus resistance principles in Glycosmis pentaphylla (Retz.) Correa. Journal of Vector Borne Diseases. In press.


  • Three decades of Spices Research at KAU, compiled by M.R. Shylaja, Alice Kurian and V.S. Sujatha, Nov. 2001, KAU.
  • Resmi Paul and M.R.Shylaja (2012) Somaclonal variation in ginger for crop improvement, LAMBERT Academic Publishing , ISBN -978-3-8473-4799-6
  • Pujaitha Ghosh and M.R.Shylaja (2014) Morphological and molecular characterization of ginger somaclones -A blend of classical and modern techniques, LAMBERT Academic Publishing ISBN-978-3-659-54539-9

Book Chapters

  • M.R. Shylaja and G.S. Nair (2000). Induction of Phytophthora foot rot tolerance/resistance in black pepper through tissue culture techniques Diseases of plantation crops, spices, betel vine and mulberry. Visva-Bharati Sriniketan 731236 W. Bengal, India. 100 to 105
  • M.R. Shylaja and K.V. Peter (2004). The functional role of herbal spices in Hand book of herbs and spices. Wood head publishing limited Cambridge, England. Vol 2: 11 to 21
  • K.V. Peter and M.R. Shylaja (2006). Introduction to herbs and spices in Hand book of herbs and spices Wood head publishing limited Cambridge, England. Vol 3: XX-XXVIII
  • K.V. Peter, E.V. Nybe and M.R. Shylaja. Spice production and export from India – Scenario through five decades. Advances in Spices Research - AGROBIOS (INDIA). 43-62
  • M.R. Shylaja, 2011, Somaclonal variation and its exploitation in horticultural crops for crop improvement. In:  Advances in Micropropagation of Horticulture Crops, Ed. R. Keshavachandran, Kerala Agricultural University, India.
  • M.R.Shylaja, 2015, Plant metabolomics and functional genomics. In: Nazeem, P.A. (Ed.), Bioinformatics and its Applications in Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University.
  • M.R. Shylaja, D. Prasath, and D.J. Suresh 2016. Production of quality planting material in vegetatively propagated annual spice crops ginger and turmeric. In: Advances in Planting Material Production Technology in Spices Ed. S.K.Malhotra , Published by DASD, Calicut ISBN 978-93-5258-993-7.
  • M.R.Shylaja, V.S.Sujatha and B. Suma 2006, E- guide on Plantation Crops: Effective teaching - learning guide for UG and PG students, Ed. Nybe, E.V., Kerala Agricultural University.

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Kerala Agricultural University
KAU Main Campus
KAU P.O., Vellanikkara
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