Rustom Darasha Asana obtained his PhD degree (1935) from the University of London, UK. His specialization was in plant physiology. He was Head, Division of Plant Physiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; and Emeritus Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Asana established that plane-polarized light does not influence photosynthesis. He discovered that negative phototropic curvature of Avena coleoptile is associated with a relatively larger concentration of auxin on the lighted side. He also found that seasonal variation in sugarcane yield under rain-fed cultivation in north Bihar was associated with nitrogen uptake from the soil and distribution of rainfall. Asana identified plant indices useful in breeding for high productivity and proposed a model wheat plant for rain fed cultivation.
Other Contributions: Asana was Editor-in-chief, Indian Journal of Plant Physiology (1958-66).
Awards and Honours: Asana was a recipient of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize (1966-67). He was a Fellow of Indian Botanical Society.