The Centre for Biodiversity and Biotechnology (CBB) is a Research and Development centre established in the year 1987 by the Jesuits of Madurai Province who are reputed for establishing educational institutions, research centres and social organisations for more than four centuries throughout the world. The centre is housed in a two-storied building with well-equipped laboratories within the campus of St. Xavier's College (affiliated to Manonmaoiam Sundaranar University), a major centre of learning for well over 75 years at Palayamkottai about 80 kms north of Kanyakumari. Three small laboratories namely Plant Systematics, Biotechnology and Phytochemistxy with a work area of 4000 sq. ft. are currently functioning in the Centre. The field units of the Centre however, are located at Kodaikanal (Palni hills) in the south western ghats region of India. It is an area of high plant diversity and high endemism. The CBB has launched multidisciplinary comprehensive research programmes on the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats of South India.

  • To undertake Biodiversity and Biotechnology based research programmes contributory to laboratory and field applications.
  • To make a comprehensive survey of the economic plant wealth of Tamil Nadu and of India and to conserve, preserve and exploit the plant wealth of south Western Ghats of India and organise germplasm collections of economic plants of interest to the country in general and the state in particular.
  • To establish tissue culture facility with special reference to the improvement of plants and quick and easy propagation and to resort to ex-situ and in-situ conservation of tropical flora particularly the rare and endangered species.


The centre has made a major contribution in the taxonomy of angiosperm and pteridophytes. We have collected and preserved more than 1 lakh specimen in both angiosperm and ferns and also conserved rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants through plant tissue culture.

Here about 13 books have been published and 25 Ph.D's have been produced. New plants were discovered and named and more than 180 research papers published in national and international reputed journals such as the following.

Books Published 13
Books Under Preparation
  • Flora of Tirunelveli Hills (Vol.2,3 - in Press)
  • Flora of Tirunelveli Hills (Vol.4)
  • Flora of Tirunelveli Hills (Vol.5)
No. of Ph.D Produced 25
No. of Research Paper Published 180
Projects Completed 14
Ongoing Project 01
No. of Ph.D Scholars Working at Present 03

AWARD :   Rev. Dr.V.S.Manickam, S.J., has been awarded the "Indian Ferns Society Memorial Award" by Indian Ferns Society for the year 2008.
Plants that have been named after Rev.Dr.V.S.Manickam S.J.
   1. Murugan et al 2000, Memecylon manickamii, A New Species of Melastomataceae, Kew Bulletin,55:1001-1003.
   2. Murugan 2002, Xanthophyllum manickamii Murugan A New Species of Polygalaceae, J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 26(2): 413.
   3. Murugan 2002, Eugenia manickamiana Murugan, A New Species of Myrtaceae, J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 26(2): 414.
   4. Murugan C, Natarajan K, 2008 Theriophonum manickamii (Araceae) - A New plant species from Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, India. J econ taxon Bot 2008, 32(3), 618-23.
   5. Athyrium x manickamii Fraser-Jenk.2008. (A. foliolosum X A. silvicola) (Dryopteridaceae) Taxonomic revision Indian subcontinental pteridophytes 226.
   6. Fraser-Jenk.& Benniamin 2008. Thelypteris parasitica (L.) Tardieu Subsp. manickirudorum (Thelypteridaceae), Taxonomic revision Indian subcontinental pteridophytes 186
   7. Benniamin,C.R.Fraser-Jenkins, V.Irudayaraj 2008. Polystichum manickamianum (Dryopteridaceae), a New Species from South India, Novon: A Journal for Botanical Nomenclature 18(3):287-293.


Dr. L.Louis Jesudass


Rev.Dr.L.John Peter Arulanandam, S.J


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