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2024 Speakers

Rameshkumar K B

Rameshkumar K B, Speaker at Plant Science Conferences
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, India
Title : Plant volatile organic compounds - an avenue of possibilities


The plant kingdom represents an extraordinary reservoir of molecules, synthesized from the fascinating laboratory of plants, and Phytochemistry deals with the diversity of such compounds. Out of the diverse phytochemicals, plant aroma chemicals, also known as Plant Volatile Organic Compounds (PVOCs), are typically small molecules with low boiling points and high vapour pressure at ambient temperature. Plant volatiles are generally made up of terpenoids, phenylpropanoids, benzenoid compounds, amino acid derivatives and fatty acid derivatives. PVOCs are produced in plants mainly to cope with various biotic and abiotic factors. The PVOCs are generally investigated through essential oils and recently head space (HS) analysis has received much attention as a rapid tool for PVOCs analysis. Essential oils are steam volatile components of plants responsible for the aroma of the plant and mainly constitute terpenes, some phenolics, and aliphatic derivatives. Essential oils, as the name implies, bears the essence of the plant, and are generally obtained through hydrodistillation process. Headspace refers to the gas phase above a solid or liquid sample. Headspace analysis is a simple, non-destructive and solvent-free technique used to analyse the highly volatile compounds emitted from plants. Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC) coupled with Mass Spectrometry (MS) can be regarded as the best single tool for PVOCs analysis. PVOCs are widely utilized in various sectors such as perfumery, cosmetics, medicines, preservatives, nutraceuticals, flavours and food additives. The array of PVOCs, released into the atmosphere by plants, are responsible for attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects, providing a means of inter-plant communication, and directly repelling or intoxicating attacking herbivores. PVOCs were investigated intensively with respect to chemical ecology, atmospheric chemistry, integrated pest management, defence against herbivores, below-ground emissions, detection of disease infestation, food quality, chemotaxonomy, biological control mechanisms and metabolomics. A better understanding of the biosynthesis of PVOCs and its applications have created new avenues in various research sectors. The presentation is on the diversity of aromatic plants, the diversity of PVOCs, their chemical profiling, the applications of PVOCs and the novel avenues in PVOCs.


Dr. Rameshkumar K.B., PhD from the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, has 25 years of research experience in the field of Phytochemistry at KSCSTE-JNTBGRI, Kerala, India. He had several new molecules, new plant species, more than 70 research papers, produced 5 Ph.Ds, received several awards including the prestigious ‘Young Scientist’ award by Govt. of Kerala and FAS by KAS. He has organised International Seminars on Phytochemistry, and is the General Secretary of Kerala Academy of Sciences. He is currently working as Principal Scientist in the Phytochemistry and Phytopharmacology Division of KSCSTE-JNTBGRI, and also the Sc i/c of CIF-JNTBGRI.

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