The Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering (MB & GE) Laboratory at Vasantdada Sugar Institute was established in 2002 to develop and improve sugarcane varieties through modern tools of Biotechnology. The facility was inaugurated by Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ex- President of India on the 30th November of 2002. The faculty is pursuing research programs on molecular characterization of the sugarcane genome, molecular diagnostics for diseases, and mining genes for abiotic and biotic stress resistance. Program on marker assisted breeding in sugarcane has been initiated to support the strong sugarcane hybridization program recently initiated at the Institute.
Transgenic sugarcane program has been initiated to develop sugarcane varieties resistance to insect pests using cry genes by biolistic gun and Agrobacterium mediated gene transfer methods. Very good progress has been made to isolate and characterize the genes which are associated with drought and salinity tolerance in sugarcane by adapting AP-PCR, as well as SSH cDNA technology.
Scientists are recognized as research guides for guiding students leading to Ph.D. degree by Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune and Shivaji University, Kolhapur in the subjects of Botany, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences.