Thamarapu Vedantha Desikachary obtained his DSc (1964), University of Madras with a specialization in botany (phycology). He was Professor of Botany, University of Madras, Chennai.
Academic and Research Achievements: Desikachary’s research achievements are in algae (Cyanophyta, marine plants, taxonomy and biology of blue-green algae) and Volvocales (with MOP Iyengar). Along with BGL Swamy, he propounded a theory of isolation and insulation of special cells, and, with Sundaralingam, a new concept on the interrelationship of Charophyta. He strongly put forth Professor Iyengar’s hypothesis regarding the origin and evolution of the filamentous habit and also postulated that the development of parenchymatous thalli in many algae are modifications of the palmelloid habit. The observations that in the ‘truly’ parenchymatous tissues, plasmadesmata between adjacent (and genetically related) cells get dissociated prior to cell division leading to vegetative and sexual reproduction and prior to meiosis, led him (along with Professor Swamy) to postulate that isolation and insulation were key processes in the vital phenomena of sexual reproduction and reduction division in lying systems as also the survival of genetically altered cells, such as zygotes, meiocytes, in situ mutants, etc.
Other Contributions: He was a Member of the Botanical Nomenclature Committee, International Botanical Congress/IAPT. He was editor of the journal Phykos for 12 years.
Awards and Honours: Thamarapu Vedantha Desikachary received the Professor CV Raman Medal of University of Madras, Professor V Puri Medal of Indian Botanical Society and Professor Panchanan Maheshwari Memorial Lecture Award by INSA (1987). He was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the Phycological Society of India.