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In Tamil Nadu, initial work on oilseeds especially on groundnut was taken up in the District Farm at Palakuppam near Tindivanam (South Arcot District) during 1930 under the control of a Deputy Director of Agriculture. With the inception of the Oilseeds section, the Palakuppam Station near Tindivanam was passed on to the control of the Oilseeds Specialist and named as Agricultural Research Station, Tindivanam.

At Coimbatore, which was the head quarters of the Oilseeds specialist, there was no farm attached to the section. The research work at Coimbatore consisted mostly of a chemical and fundamental nature in the laboratory. Full-fledged research on oilseeds was taken up at Coimbatore only from 1940 on the major crops viz, groundnut, sesame, castor and coconut. Major thrust was given for development of superior varieties having high yielding potential coupled with high oil content, suitability for rainfed season, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Later in the year 1974, the All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Oilseeds was sanctioned for sesame and sunflower at Coimbatore.

The Department of Oilseeds is located at northern side of the university main campus. It is functioning under the Directorate of Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics. This centre is one of the important oilseed research centres in Tamil Nadu and India. This station is situated at an elevation of 426.72 m and between 11oN latitude and 77oE longitude. The average rainfall received at this centre is around 640 mm per year. The distribution of rainfall during southwest and northeast monsoon is 28% and 49 % respectively to the total rainfall.   At present, research work on groundnut, sesame and sunflower is being carried out at this centre.

Objectives :


  Breeding for high yielding varieties

  Breeding for confectionary type

  Breeding for foliar diseases resistance

  Molecular approach in disease resistance breeding

  Collaborative research with NRCG-Junagadh, Directorate of Oilseeds Research and ICRISAT at Hyderabad.

  Nucleus and breeder seed production

Sunflower :

  Collection, evaluation and maintenance of genetic resources.

  Evolution of high yielding open pollinated varieties

  Evolution of Alternaria resistant inbreds

  Diversification of cms sources

  Identification of molecular marker for fertility restoration gene for PET 1, PET 2 and FMS cms sources

  Development of high yielding sunflower

  Evolution of confectionary varieties and hybrids

  Nucleus and breeder seed production

Sesame :

  Breeding for high yielding varieties

  Breeding for mono/ shy branching varieties for irrigated situations

  Breeding for root rot resistant genotypes

  Nucleus and breeder seed production

Organisational function & financial profile :

Research work on groundnut, sesame and sunflower. 

The Sunflower scheme is partly financed by ICAR under AICRP on Sunflower.

Seminars/Workshops/Trainings organized : NIL

Staff pattern :

Dr. V. Muralidharan   


Prof. & Head cum Principal Scientist (Breeding)

Dr. K. R. Latha


Associate Professor (Agronomy)


Dr. G. Umapathy


Associate Professor (Entomology)


Dr. N. Manivannan

Assistant Professor (Breeding)


Dr. S. Nakkeeran


Assistant Professor (Plant Pathology)


Dr. S. K. Manoranjitham

Research Associate (Plant Pathology)


Mr. M. Raveendrakumar


Senior Research Fellow


Ms. M. Rizwana Banu

Senior Research Fellow


Ms. M. Deepa Shankari

Senior Research Fellow


Ms. B. Punitha


Junior Research Fellow


Infrastructural facilities:

Computer facilities:

            Three computers with Laser printer are available.

Library facilities :

            Basic books on oilseeds are available in the Department library.

Schemes in operation :

Name of the scheme


Agency to which sent

Funds Proposed (Rs in lakhs)

Development of Dessert/Large seeded Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) through induced mutagenesis (Aug 2002-July 2005)




Evolution of high yielding spanish / virginia bunch groundnut variety suitable for multipurpose and foreign trade (July  2003 - June 2006)




Production of stable cytoplasmic genic male sterile system (CMS) lines and hybrids in sunflower (June 1999 - Mar 2001)






 Ideas for improvement :

            Seed village concept is planned through NGOs for the spread of improved varieties.

Future thrust :

Groundnut :

i.  Development of confectionary type for high input condition.

ii. Development of foliar disease resistant types.

iii.Identification of molecular marker for foliar disease resistance namely LLS and Rust.

Sesame :

i.  Development of monostem variety and popularization.

ii.  Identification of molecular marker for root rot resistance.

Sunflower :

i.  Development of high yielding variety / hybrid.

ii. Development of foliar disease (Alternaria and rust) resistant  varieties.

iii.Identification of molecular marker for fertility restoration in PET 2, Fms cytoplasm

Extension :

  • Farmers and Agricultural Officers are given training for seed production and improved cultivation aspects of Groundnut.

  • Front Line Demonstrations on oilseed crops are being organized at farmers field.

Contact Us


Center for Plant Breeding and Genetics

TNAU, Coimbatore 641 003, Tamil Nadu, India.

Phone  : 091-0422-5511200

E-mail  : oilseeds @tnau.ac.in


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