Fish Genetics and Biotechnology Division

Sl. No. Name, designation and research interest
1. Dr. J.K. Sundaray, Ph. D, Head of Division
  • Molecular Endocrinology
  • Genome Informatics
  • Genetic upgradation of Freshwater Fish and Shell Fish
2. Dr. P. Das, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics
  • DNA marker technology and Genome Sequencing
3. Dr. K.D. Mahapatra, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Selective breeding & stock improvement of carps
  • Breed improvement of freshwater prawn M. rosenbergii
  • Genome manipulation
4. Dr. S. Nandi, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Biochemistry, Transcriptomics and Functional genomics in Freshwater Aquaculture
  • Molecular Physiology of Gonad maturation and broodstock diet development for carps
5. Dr. J. Mohanty, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Cell line development
  • Fish immunology with respect to parasitic infections
  • Application of proteomics in aquaculture research
6. Dr. H. K. Barman, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) culture, characterization and gene manipulation in Labeo rohita, a commercially important farmed carp.
  • Ornamental fish transgenesis.
  • Identification and characterization of salinity tolerant transcripts in Machrobrachium rosenbergii.
  • Chromatin Organization: Epigenetic regulations
7. Dr. P. K. Meher, Ph. D, Principal Scientist
  • Molecular genetics of Populations and Quantitative Genetics
  • Development of DNA Markers Technology
  • Aquaculture and sustainable livelihood improvement
8. Dr. Khuntia Murmu, Ph. D., Scientist

  • Selective Breeding of commercially important freshwater fishes
  • Stock evaluation of Catla (Catla catla) for establishment of base population and selective breeding of Rohu
9. Dr. Lakshman Sahoo, Ph. D., Scientist 
  • Fish and Shellfish Genomics
  • Development of DNA marker technology in Fish and Shellfish
  • Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Whole genome sequencing
10. Mr. Kiran D. Rasal ,M. F. Sc., Scientist

  • Transgenic technology
  • Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
11. Mr. Uday K. Udit, M. F. Sc., Scientist

  • Genetics and Breeding of fishes
  • Hormonal characterization
12. Mr. Mohan R. Badhe, M. F. Sc., Scientist

  • Proteomics
  • DNA barcoding 
13. Ms. Priyanka C. Nandanpawar, M. F. Sc., Scientist

  • Selective Breeding of fishes
  • Nanotechnology
  • Phenomics
14. Mr. Avinash R. Rasal, M.F.Sc., Scientist

  • Selective Breeding of fishes
  • Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) culture

2.      Technical staff

Sl. No.

Name, designation and research interest


Mr. D. Tarai, T- 3

  • Farm management for Selective breeding work
  • CIFA farm improvement

3.      Name of other staff

Sl. No.



Mr. Jagannath Ojha


Major Objective

  • To enhance aquaculture production efficiencies through integration of selective breeding techniques and developed genomic resources

Major Area of Research

  1. To develop genetically improved varieties of fish and shellfish through selective breeding.
  2. To understand genetic variation among commercial important species with respect to performance traits and harness for breeding.
  3. To develop an integrated cost effective Marker Assisted Selection program at national level in carp & prawn species.


Salient Achievements


  • Under the selective breeding of rohu for growth enhancement program, eight generations of selection completed and an average genetic gain of 17% per generation over control were obtained.
  • Genetic improvement programs for other economically important fish species such as Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala and Labeo bata has been recently initiated.
  • More than 300 lakhs of improved rohu seed disseminated every year to different parts of the country including local fish farmers and self-help groups of Odisha.
  • Under the selective breeding of rohu against aeromoniasis program, resistant line of rohu showed 58.3% higher survival compared to the susceptible line.
  • 16GB, 72bp (PE) reads were generated from the pooled-RNA of twelve-tissues from pre-spawning rohu in IlluminaGA-II-platform by mRNAseq. This resulted 64.97 million high-quality reads with 62,283 contigs and 88,612 numbers of transcripts in velvet and oases programs, respectively.
  • Gene ontology annotation identified 940 reproduction-related genes from GnRH-signaling, oocyte-meiosis, steroid-biosynthesis, steroid-hormone biosynthesis, progesterone-mediated oocyte-maturation, retinol-metabolism, neuroactive-ligand-receptor interaction, neurotrophin-signaling and photo-transduction as the major reproduction-relevant pathways found in KEGG analysis.
  • Out of 29-microsatellites containing sequences from 940 reproduction-related genes, 12-microsatellite loci showed high polymorphism.
  • Marker database of rohu has been enriched with the latest figures of at least 500 SSRs, 2,000 EST-SSRs, 200000 ESTs and 50,000 SNPs. The first ever microsatellite and SNP based linkage maps in rohu have been generated.
  • More than 50,000 putative SNPs identified, 100 showing the highest allele frequency differences between susceptible and resistant line fish were in transcripts with homology to MHC class I, thymosin beta 11, complement factors and components, and galactoside-binding soluble lectin, also with putative functions affecting innate and acquired immune response.
  • Under the selective breeding of freshwater prawn, tagging of Macrobrachium rosenbergii with alpha numeric tags (VI Alpha) has been standardized.
  • Growth studies in a synthetic base population of giant freshwater prawn collected from three different geographical regions (Gujarat, Kerala and Odisha) showed significantly different performance of Kerala stock from other two.
  • Phylogenetic comparison of the amino acid sequences of delta 6/5 desaturases from different species with rohu desaturase indicated the similarity with other carp species i.e. D. rerio and C. carpio.
  • Transcript level of HUFA-synthesizing enzyme delta 6-desaturase in rohu was highest in vitellogenic female followed by fingerling, juvenile and spawn. Of the two transcripts, the lower one was intense in fingerling and juvenile, but absent in the adults of both sexes.
  • Rohu β-actin promoter was cloned, sequenced and promoter/regulatory regions were identified and their functional activity checked.
  • Through DNA barcording, phylogentic relationship in 6 species of carps (Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Labeo calbasu, L. fimbriatus and L. bata) was delineated.
  • Spermatogonia transcription factor Plzf and Pou2 (Oct4, a mammalian homolog) in rohu were cloned, sequenced, submitted in GenBank and published. These genes are potentially useful to identify and characterize developmental states of spermatogonial cells during in vitro propagation.
  • Mechanism of expression of Pou2 and Plzf   gene in rohu spermatogonial stem cells has been delineated.
  • Production of biologically active recombinant rohu-GDNF (Gial cell derived neurotrophic factor) as an extrinsic driver to trigger proliferation of spermatogonial stem cells.
  • Optimization of DNA transfection protocol, for the first time, in enriched spermatogonial stem cells.
  • In vitro production of fertile sperms for cultivated spermatogonial stem cell.
  • Establishment of a laboratory-based dry-down hypoxia-stress treatment protocol for a non-model fish, Channa striatus, providing an avenue to undertake studies linked to molecular mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance.
  • Based on the above protocol, it was possible to identify novel transcripts associated with hypoxia tolerance.
  • RNAseq data has been generated from pooled tissues of growth selected and control rohu towards identifying genes influencing body growth.
  • Genetic stock structure analysis using mtDNA and microsatellite marker systems under outreach project indicated that IMCs from five peninsular rivers had little or no genetic differentiation rather exhibiting significant genetic variation within populations. However, Labeo fimbriatus exhibited significant genetic differentiation.
  • Complete mitochondrial genomes have been sequenced and characterized in Indian major carps viz. rohu, catla, mrigal, Labeo fimbriatus and H. fossilis
  • Nuclear marker based PCR-kit has been developed for the unambiguous identification of catla-rohu reciprocal hybrids.
  • β-actin gene promoter of rohu carp (Labeo rohita) drove reporter gene expressions in transgenic rohu and various cell lines including spermatogonial stem cells has been standardized.
  • Gene structure and identification of minimal promoter of Pou2 expressed in spermatogonial cells of rohu carp, Labeo rohita has been explored.
  • Identified 182 reproduction-related genes and 6000 ESTs developed through sanger sequencing of a monsoon breeding carp rohu, Labeo rohita (Hamilton) and developed 20 polymorphic markers for characterization.
  • Identification of promoter within the first intron of Plzf gene expressed in carp spermatogonial stem cells.
  • First evidence of comparative responses of Toll-like receptor 22 (TLR22) to relatively resistant and susceptible Indian farmed carps to Argulus siamensis infection was documented.
  • Bio-Informatics work station with CLC genomics work bench and server software has been installed in fish genomics lab.


  • Re-maturation and breeding of spent brood at Ramsagar, Bankura, West Bengal, in August-September2012 in Asha Fish Breeding Farm,(Mr. Badan and Rajiv Biswas).
  • Early breeding of Indian Major carps in April and May 2013 at Sarkana, Odisha (Mr. Batakrushna Sahoo)
  • Early and repeat breeding of Java punti (Puntius gonionatus) in 2014 at Kuliagarh, Naihati in N-24 PGS district of West Bengal was observed by Mr Tapan Patra.
  • Early breeding of the IMC was reported at the hatchery of Mr. Debsaran Ghosh (45years) of Rashbeluria, in Murshidabad in 2014.
  • On farm testing by KVK, Khurda at Balianta during 2013-14 has reconfirmed CIFABROOD™ as a proven brood carp diet which has shown to impact at all the three crucial stages of seed production.
  • KVK Bhadrak  tested ‘CIFABROOD™’ brood-stock diet in increasing breeding performance of catla by OFT on CIFABROOD™  in two numbers of hatcheries of Bhadrak district namely: - Radhakrushna Pvt. Carp Hatchery, Tentei (Hatchery-1) and OPDC Fish Seed Hatchery Project, Saramanga (Hatchery-2) in 2014.


Technology commercialization:

M/s-Aisharya Aquaculture Pvt. Ltd. Naihati, West Bengal was selected and issued order for technology transfer agreement vide CIFA order 313/CIFA/Estt./2013 dt 07/08/2013 at a price of Rs.3,11,000/. Commercialization of the technology was done on 29th August2013 at NASC Complex, PUSA, New Delhi with the signing and exchange of MOU between the Director, CIFA and the Proprietor of Aisharya Aquaculture Pvt. Ltd. Naihati, West Bengal., Mr Avijan Ghosh. Three technologies of CIFA were released by Dr S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR in presence of several dignitaries, among which CIFABROOD TM was one of them.


Publications from the Division/Section/Research Group:





Communication products

Number of communication products

International Journal


National Journal




Popular articles


Book Chapter


Training manual


Extension brochure