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Fellows Directory

Monkombu Swaminathan

Monkombu Swaminathan

Dr Monkombu Swaminathan FRS


Elected: 1973





Beginning with studies of tuber-bearing Solanum species, Monkombu Swaminathan developed broad interests in the evolution of crop plant species, and especially of Triticum and Oryza. He made a major contribution to our knowledge of the role of induced mutations in evolutionary studies as well as in plant breeding practice.

He is well known for his work on indirect effects of radiation and has built up a strong school of radiation genetics. He has had substantial success in inducing and identifying useful mutants in a number of Indian crop plants. The amber-grained mutant wheat ‘Sharbati Sonora’ was useful from the consumer point of view.

As a Director, Monkombu has successfully maintained the balance between basic and applied work. He recognised the importance of the dwarf wheats and played a leading part in the integration of fertiliser practice, improved water management, and better husbandry that were essential for the successful introduction of Mexican-bred varieties. He has greatly contributed to the Green Revolution in India. In order to ensure high yields in perpetuity, he proposed the ‘Evergreen Revolution’.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Climate sciences
  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Agricultural and forest science


Genetics, Plant Breeding and Agriculture, Evergreen revolution


  • Blackett and Jagdish Chandra Bose Memorial Lectures

    On 'Impact of science and technology on tropical agriculture'.

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