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Sarasan, Viswambharan

Photo of Viswambharan Sarasan
Job title: 

Head of Conservation Biotechnology Unit

Conservation Biotechnology
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Malayalam, Hindi (basic)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Univ. Kerala, India
  • MSc, Univ. Kerala, India
  • PhD, Univ. Kerala, India
  • Member: International Society for Horticultural Science

Conservation and income generation- applications of in vitro methods; research into plant recalcitrance and cryopreservation; capacity building and training

Protocol development for the in vitro propagation of rare and threatened taxa with particular reference to global biodiversity hotspot and island countries. Rescue and recovery of plants on the brink and providing propagules for restoration projects; ‘In Vitro Collecting’ as a tool for collecting plant material in the wild with particular reference to Madagascan orchids. Capacity building and training for conservation and income generation projects. Cryopreservation of recalcitrant taxa with particular reference to genetic diversity conservation of threatened ferns.

Selected publications: 

Baker K, Lambdon P, Jones E, Pellicer J, Stroud S, Renshaw O, Nissalo N, Corcoran M, Clubbe C, Sarasan V. (2014). Rescue, ecology and conservation of a rediscovered island endemic fern (Anogramma ascensionis): ex situ methodologies and a road map for species reintroduction and habitat restoration. Botanical Journal of Linnaean Society 174: 461–477 Available online

Blackson LKT, Zulu D, Sileshi GW, Teklehaimanot Z, Gondwe DSB, Sarasan V, Stevenson P (2011). Seed germination and in vitro regeneration of the pan African medicinal and pesticidal plant Bobgunnia madagascariensis. African Journal of Biotechnology 10: 5959-5966 Available online

Sarasan V, Kite GC, Sileshi GW and Stevenson PC (2011). Applications of phytochemical and in vitro techniques for reducing over-harvesting of medicinal and pesticidal plants and generating income for the rural poor. Plant Cell Reports 30: 1163-1172. Available online

Reed BM, Sarasan V, Kane M, Bunn E, Pence VC (2011). Biodiversity conservation and conservation biotechnology tools. In vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant 47: 1-4 Available online

Marriott P, Sarasan V (2010). Novel micropropagation and weaning methods for the integrated conservation of a critically endangered tree species, Medusagyne oppositifolia. In vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant 46:516-523 Available online