The Department of Plant Molecular Biology was established in 1988 under the Faculty of Interdisciplinary and Applied Sciences to cater to the needs of students in frontier areas of plant biology and to carry out research on Molecular Aspects of Plant Biology and Biotechnology. The Department was enriched by merger of the Unit for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology in 1988 (originally established by the DST), and award of COSIST grant by the UGC (1990-1995). The Department has been recognized for Special Assistance (DRS Phase I & Phase II) by the UGC (2002-2012) to strengthen research/teaching in the area of Functional Genomics. Since its establishment in 1988, Professor S.C. Maheshwari (1988-1992), Professor Akhilesh K. Tyagi (1988, 1992-95, 1998-01), Professor Jitendra P. Khurana (1995-1998, 2001- 2004), Professor Paramjit Khurana (2004 - 2007), Professor Anil Grover (2007-2010), Professor Indranil Dasgupta (2010 - 2013), Professor Madan Mohan (2013 - 2014) and Professor J.P. Khurana (2014 - to date) have served as Heads of the Department.
The research has been supported by major grants in the form of “Centre for Plant Molecular Biology” and “Genome Initiatives on Sequencing, Gene Discovery and Function” by DBT, in addition to other competitive grants from DST, UGC, European Commission and the Rockefeller Foundation. The faculty is involved in multi–institutional as well as international projects. The research has yielded about 450 publications and a few patents have been filed. Efforts of the faculty have been recognized in the form of fellowships to national scientific academies and national awards. While providing due emphasis for basic research and training, the Department endeavors to convert knowledge into application for human welfare.