Having specialized in cytogenetics, Govind Balakrishna Deodikar worked as Geneticist and Plant Breeder, Department of Agriculture from 1942 to 1950. He was the Honorary Director for Bee-keeping and Sericultural Laboratories from 1950 to 1960; and Honorary Cytogeneticist, Director and Professor Emeritus, Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science.
Academic and Research Achievements: Deodikar’s most significant research achievements were in cytogenetics and crop breeding. In Coccinea indica, he reported the association of sex chromosomes with nucleolus for the first time among angiosperms. In an attempt to establish silk industry in the rural sector in Maharashtra state, Deodikar made a two pronged approach to the problem. He developed many new strains of mulberry and simultaneously evolved more productive strains of silk worm. He undertook external fertilization of eggs of ‘Nistid Yellow’, a strain of Bombyx mori with semen of Philosamia ricini and rearing the larvae from such eggs. Though there was no nuclear fusion, it was an induced anomalous parthenogenesis. In wheat breeding, interspecific hybridization among various tetraploid species of Triticum, resulted in selecting MACS-9, a derivative of durum x polonicum, which was released in peninsular India. Studies in Karyotypic analysis and meiotic chromosome behaviour in 4n Triticum species led to the conclusion that speciation and isolation mechanism might have taken place gradually by accumulation of structural and genetic changes.
Other Contributions: As an able administrator, Deodikar built up the Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science; he was a prolific science writer in Marathi. He wrote a monograph called Rye, Secale cereale Linn. He served on the INSA Council from 1982 to 1984.