Department of Biotechnology

  • Biotechnology brings together various fields of science including genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, botany, pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, chemical engineering, etc. The field of biotechnology has been formulated from the overlap and confluence of these sciences. The department of biotechnology in Barij Essence Pharmaceutical Co. is active and conducts research in order to develop new technologies with commercial applications in this field. 


    The importance of biotechnology in medicinal plants:

    In recent times the demand for medicinal compounds has increased; however, some of these plants have limited natural habitats and depending on environmental conditions and their geographical location their collection comes with great difficulty. Some of the problems related to the domestication and cultivation of medicinal plants are the low density of medicinal compounds in plants, limited natural resources, growing degradation of forests, meadows and green space, as well as the destruction and extinction of some plants and animals. These problems have fostered a great deal of attention amongst researchers to use biotechnology in an effort to increase production and productivity of medicinal plants. Biotechnology has the capability of increasing the efficiency of plants as renewable sources to produce medicine through the use of strategies for cultivation of cells, tissues and organs as well as the use of genetic engineering and molecular markers. 

    Cultivation of cells, tissues, and organs of plants allows for the rapid and mass propagation of plants and provides the production of secondary metabolites in vitro conditions. By using in vitro cultivation of plants in addition to the primary source of the drug, increased production of medicinal compounds in plants and the production of new compounds become possible. Plants propagated through in vitro cultivation or plant tissue are disease free and are of uniform quality. Maintenance of cell cultivation or plant tissue by using the method of freezing in liquid nitrogen is a suitable technique for protecting endangered medicinal plants. In recent years, the culture of cell suspension and organs (stems and hairy roots) for production of secondary metabolites and the study of biosynthesis pathway of metabolites has been considered. Cell culture from a wide range of medicinal plants has been investigated and important compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and terpenoids have been produced through this way.

The basic aims and duties of the department of biotechnology:

  1. Using techniques of tissue culture, organs, and cells to reproduce and micropropagate medicinal plants
  2. Providing suitable protocols for the mass reproduction of important medicinal plants and reproducing the desired varieties through micropropagation techniques
  3. Optimizing callus induction methods and medicinal plants regeneration
  4. Using cell culture for production of secondary metabolites in vitro
  5. Somaclonal variation for breeding purposes and to create favorable varieties
  6. Application of biotransformation in order to convert the essential oil components to effective components
  7. Study the biological effects of essential oils and medicinal plant extracts
  8. Check diseases by inhibiting enzymes involved in both essential oils and medicinal plant extracts
  9. Production and purification of industrial enzymes (lipase and protease) through fermentation methods of microbial strains with industrial quality
  10. Determination of viability and germination rate, and reviewing necessary pre-treatment in order to optimize sexual reproduction
  11. Cultivating the collected seed species and applying agronomic treatments and studying physiological growth indices of some medicinal species
  12. Investigating the tolerance of medicinal plants to environmental stresses (drought, salinity, nutrient deficiency, etc.) in vitro and its effect on morphological traits and performance
  13. Studying the mechanisms of stress tolerance to increase habitats of medicinal, pasture, and forest species
  14. Evaluating the natural herbicides and providing an alternative composition as a pre-vegetative herbicide
  15. Providing appropriate corrective measures in order to increase the quality and quantity of medicinal plant production
  16. Continuous communication and collaboration with research institutes, universities and other domestic and international scientific centers through information exchange, joint research projects, visits and gatherings, and common meetings with education, research, and practical purposes.
  17.  Compiling, translating, and editing books, magazines, periodicals, and submitting scientific and practical articles related to medicinal plants