Horticultural Science

This school comprises of the following divisions :


The increasing importance of Horticultural crops in growth, nutritional & livelihood security and vibrancy of Indian agriculture has attained focus in recent times. In recognition of this, Indian Agricultural Research Institute has established a School of Horticultural Sciences during 2012 to have more focussed and coordinated efforts in comprehensive research programmes on improvement of vegetable, fruit and floricultural crops using conventional and biotechnological tools, development of production technology for open and protected environments, designing post harvest technological options and effective dissemination of various technological options for prosperity of farming fraternity. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has been a pioneer in scientific research in Horticultural Science and its commercial application. The varieties/hybrids developed by this institute has saturated the entire country and of late served as a base for the development of private vegetable seed industry in India. The YVMV resistant okra Pusa Sawani, tomato Pusa Ruby, brinjal Pusa Kranti, bottle gourd Pusa Naveen, cauliflower Pusa Snowball K-1, onion Pusa Red, carrot Pusa Rudhira have revolutionised vegetable cultivation in the country. Regular bearing mango varieties Mallika and Amrapali, suitable for high density planting, spread across the country and continue to be in great demand. Pusa Narangi gainda and Pusa Basanti gainda made marigold cultivation popular around the country. Low cost Pusa zero energy cool chamber became popular in extending on farm shelf life of perishable crops to fetch higher price to the farmers.



Crop Improvement

  • One variety each of early cauliflower and ashgourd have been identified by AICRP (VC) in May, 2014.
  • Two hybrids of ashgourd (Pusa Shreyali and Pusa Urmi), one hybrid of cabbage and one variety each of bittergourd (Pusa Aushadhi) and garden pea (Pusa Agrani) were identified by AICRP(VC) in 2013.

    Urmi Aushadhi Agrani
  • Seven varieties comprising of Cauliflower 'Pusa Kartiki' (DC-23000), carrot 'Pusa Kulfi' (IPC Pm1), summer squash 'Pusa Pasand' (DS-8), bitter gourd 'Pusa Rasdar' & 'Pusa Purvi', radish 'Pusa Shweta', and cherry tomato 'Pusa Cherry tomato-1' were identified by IARI variety identification committee in 2013.

    Kartiki Kulfi Shweta Pasand
  • F1 hybrid Pusa Kartik Sankar and 4 varieties Pusa Meghna, Pusa Sharad, Pusa Shukti and Pusa Paushja of cauliflower, Pusa Cabbage Hybrid-1, Pusa Virat knolkhol and two tomato varieties Pusa Rohini and Pusa Sadabahar were released.
    Pusa Kartik Sankar, Pusa Shymla, Pusa Hybrid-2, Pusa Rohini


  • Carrot Pusa Rudhira(red), Pusa Nayanjyoti(orangeF1 hybrid), Pusa Asita (black) and heat tolerant Pusa Vrishti(red), brinjal Pusa Shymala and 8 varieties/hybrid of cucurbits namely Pusa Samridhi and Pusa Santushti of bottle gourd, bitter gourd Pusa Hybrid-2, cucumber Pusa Uday, ridge gourd Pusa Nutan, sponge gourd Pusa Sneha, ash gourd Pusa Ujwal and snap melon Pusa Shandar were also released for cultivation.
    Pusa Rudhira(red), Pusa Nayanjyoti(orangeF1 hybrid), Pusa Asita (black)
  • Six mango hybrids, namely Pusa Arunima, Pusa Surya, Pusa Pratibha, Pusa Shreshth, Pusa Peetamber and Pusa Lalima were released.
    Pusa Arunima, Pusa Surya, Pusa Shreshth and Pusa Lalima
  • Two Strawberry varieties Shimla Delicious & Jutogh Special and two Apple hybrids Pusa Gold and Amartara Pride were developed.
  • Five varieties , Pusa Shatabdi, Pusa Ajay, Pusa Mohit, Pusa Arun, Pusa Komal of rose, Pusa Arpita of French marigold, two chrysanthemum mutants Pusa Anmol and Pusa Centenary and gladiolus Pusa Shubam and Pusa Kiran were released.

    Pusa Komal, Pusa Arpita, Pusa Anmol and Pusa Shubam


 Production Technology

  • Kurukkan’ and olour were identified as a salt tolerant rootstock for mango. Sour orange, and RLC-6 Attani were identified as salt tolerant root stock for citrus
  • Technique of pruning for restoration of yield in unproductive 'Amrapali' orchards has been standardized.
  • Developed technology to mitigate NaCl stress in citrus through Paclobutrazol.
  • Protocol for in vitro multiplication of grape genotypes and bio hardening using AMF was developed.
  • Walk-in-Tunnels and plastic low tunnels are remunerative for off-season summer squash cultivation during winter months (October–February) under northern plains of India.
  • Insect proof net house is suitable for virus free hybrid seed production in bitter gourd compared to open field grown seed crop.
  • Zero energy naturally ventilated greenhouse is remunerative for cultivation of three crops of parthenocarpic cucumber with a production of 10 tonnes/1000 m2 and a cost benefit ration of 1:2.25-2.50.
  • Low pressure drip irrigation system is found to be more suitable and economical for small greenhouses.
  • Fertigation scheduling for cucumber, gerbera and chrysanthemum has been standardized for protected cultivation.

    Low pressure drip irrigation system


Post Harvest Technology

Pre-harvest Handling of Fruits

  1. Fruit bagging considerably reduced cracking, scratches, and development of bacterial spots with reduced incidence of sun burning in pomegranate. About 20 % higher marketable fruit yield was obtained from bagged trees in comparison to control.
  2. Pre-harvest fruit bagging in Royal Delicious apples significantly influenced the fruit colour, texture, quality and occurrence of bitter pit incidence. Apples covered with red or yellow coloured bags produced apples of intense red colour with best quality fruits and low incidence of bitter pit (nearly 2%) over control (14.6%) during storage.
  1. Foliar application of polyamine putrescine @100 nlL-1 at flower initiation stage reduced occurrence of misshapen fruit in strawberry upto  18%.
  2. Pre-harvest foliar application of bioagent Pseudomonas flurosence at flower initiation stage reduced the  incidence of post harvest diseases of strawberry fruits during one week storage at  room temperature (26 ± 2°C and 55 % RH).
  3. Spray of calcium chloride (1%) as aqua solution 15 days prior to harvest significantly was found to check the biter pit disorder of apple after 5 months of storage.

    Apple and Pomegranate Bagging


Value addition of Cereals and Millets

  1. Development of novel purple and orange breads as functional food using natural colours
  2. Ready-to-eat Pusapuffs from pearl millet
  3. Protein rich cookies and Low fat aonla and beetroot crackers
  4. Micronutrient enriched cookies using pearl millet flour, soy flour and chickpea flour
  5. Studies on estimation of α -glucosidase inhibitory and hypoglycemic activity of food

    Development of novel purple and orange breads



Value Addition of Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Process has been standardized for production of Aonla leather with high retention of vitamin C, and antioxidants.
  2. Unmarketable apple fruits have been successfully utilized for development of value added products as fruit leather/ or fruit bars in combination with aonla.
  3. Polysaccharides from jackfruit and tamarind seeds have been used as encapsulating agent.

    Polysaccharides from jackfruit and tamarind