Ram Parikshan Roy received PhD (1953) from University of Cambridge, UK. He was Senior Professor of Botany and Dean of Science, Head, Department and Coordinator, UGC Centre of Special Assistance in Cytogenetics, and CSIR Emeritus Scientist (1982), all at Patna University. He specialized in the areas: cytogenetics, plant breeding, tissue culture, and cytotaxonomy.
Academic and Research Achievements: Roy’s work on genomic (chromosomal) analysis of the species of Aegilops led to the identification of species involved in the origin and evolution of bread wheats. He detected an excellent sex determination genetic system in cucurbit (Coccinea indica) and established the relative role of X and Y chromosomes in the determination and manifestation of sex by raising a hierarchy of polyploid forms, namely triploid, tetraploid, pentaploid and hexaploid as also trisome, tetrasome, double trisome, etc. He also located the specific chromosome region carrying the male maturity and fertility genes. He employed tissue culture to raise haploid, aneuploids and sex-aberrant types to score specific genes and to locate mutant genes in mutagenic treated materials. He pioneered cytogenetic investigations in an important timber sal (Shorea robusta), S. assamica and a dozen other allied timber genera, and carried out genome analysis by raising interespecific hybrids in the fern genus Adiantum. He contributed chapters to many books, including Biology and Utilization of the Cucurbitaceae (Cornell University, 1990).
Other Contributions: As Founder Secretary of Bihar Association for the Advancement of Science in 1973, Roy initiated steps to develop a science center at Patna for popularizing science. He also served as Member of INSA Council (1972-74). He edited, Journal of Cytology and Genetics (for 14 years) and was on the Editorial Board of Journal of the Indian Botanical Society; and also patron, Mendel.
Awards and Honours: Dr Roy won Birbal Sahni Gold Medal (1974) and Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1975). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (sometime President), Indian Botanical Society (sometime President), Indian Society of Genetics, and Plant Breeding Society (London); and President, Indian Science Congress (1972).