Prof. Swapan Kumar Datta

Prof. Swapan Kumar Datta

DBT-Distinguished Biotechnology Research Professor
University of Calcutta,
Kolkata, India


Prof. Swapan K Datta is currently holding DBT-Distinguished Biotechnology Research Professor at the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India. He is a well-known Plant Scientist with vast experience in Plant Biotechnology, Agricultural Science and Global Agriculture-Policy including Intellectual Property Rights.

Former Vice Chancellor, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan (2016-2018); DDG (ICAR), New Delhi (2009-2015); Rashbehari Ghosh Chair Professor, University of Calcutta (2005-2015); Visiting Faculty at UC-Davis, USA (1989);    Senior Scientist at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland (1987-1993);FMI Fellow at Basel (1989);  Senior Scientist & HarvestPlus Global Rice Crop Leader at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines (1993-2005); DAAD Fellow, BBA, Ins of Resistance Genetics, Germany (1985-1986). Dr. Datta has been named as one among the top 25 Indian scientists from all fields of science.

Dr Datta is elected fellow of several National and International Fellowship including FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAAS, FTWAS (Fellow of the World Academy of Science), Italy. Dr. Datta and his team developed several Biotech products e.g. Golden indica rice, High iron rice Hybrid Bt rice, etc.

He is a Recipient of several prestigious awards including Paul Johnnes Brouhl Memorial Medal (2009) and Panchanan Maheshwari medal for significant contributions in Embryogenesis and Plant Biotechnology. Published 150 + research papers in Plant Biology, Plant Genetic Resources and Plant Biotechnology which appeared in Nature, Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, Plant Biotechnology J, Plant Journal etc.

Significant Contribution to Agricultural Science

  • Pioneer worker to develop genetically engineered fertile homozygous Indica rice plant from protoplast.
  • Engineered “Golden” Indica rice with genes for β-carotene synthesis.
  • Engineered rice with ferritin gene for high iron content.
  • Pioneering report on field evaluation of hybrid Bt-rice in China.
  • Worked on characterization of sd1 gene responsible for green revolution.
  • Developed marker free transgenic Indica rice cultivar.
  • Developed bacterial blight resistant transgenic rice plant which has been field evaluated in India, Philippines and China.
  • Developed Bt-rice resistant against Yellow Stem Borer.
  • Demonstrated in vitro laticifer differentiation in Calotropis gigantea.
  • Developed transgenic cultivars resistant to bacterial blight, yellow stem borer and sheath blight by gene pyramiding.
  • Pioneered the development of genetically engineered rice plants with enhanced sheath blight resistance.

Supervised 35+ PhD students from different countries and they are now recognized Scientists and Faculty in many countries in China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Europe, USA and in India.

Area of Specialization

Plant biotechnology, gene technology, molecular breeding of rice, IPR-international agricultural science policy and management