Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT): Pharmacognosy Syllabus

The Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT), opens doors to infinite opportunities for students from pharmaceutical domain. GPAT is a National level entrance exam for admission into prestigious NIPERs and University colleges. Since 2009, the importance of GPAT has increased as the branch turned into a autonomous exam and separated from GATE (PY). The exam will be conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) from 2019, previously by AICTE under the guidance of MHRD, India.

Syllabus prescribed by NTA for GPAT includes PHARMACOGNOSY a major subject with topics that are elaborated below.

  • Introductory Pharmacognosy

Historical development, modern concept and scope of Pharmacognosy. Significance of Pharmacognosy in various systems of medicine practiced in India viz: Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathic and Siddha.

  • Classification of Crude Drugs

Based on alphabetical, morphological, pharmacological, chemical, taxonomical and chemotaxonomic methods: organized and unorganized drugs: official and unofficial drugs.

  • Sources of Crude Drugs

Plants, animals and minerals: marine products: plant tissue culture.

  • Factors influencing Quality of Crude Drugs

Exogenous factors: temperature, rainfall, daylight, altitude and soil. Endogenous factors: Mutation, polyploidy, & hybridization in medicinal plants. Production factors including collection, drying, storage and transport methods.

Study of morphological and histological characters of crude drugs, Ergastic cell inclusions, anatomical structures of both monocot and dicot stems, leaves and roots: barks, fruits and seeds.

  • Techniques in Microscopy

Details of mountants, clearing agents, chemomicroscopic (microchemical) reagents.

  • Introduction to Phytoconstituents

Definition, classification, chemical tests and pharmaceutical importance of:

carbohydrates and their derivatives, fats and proteins, alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, tannins, resins, lipids and volatile oils.

  • Principles of Plant Classification

Diagnostic features and medicinal significance of important plants with special reference to:

Algae: Rhodophyceae (Agar, Alginic acid, Diatoms).

Fungi: Ergot, Yeast and penicillium.

Gymnosperm: Pinaceae (Turpentine, Colophony), Gnetaceae (Ephedra).

Angiosperm: Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Solanaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Leguminosae, Papaveraceae, Acanthaceae and Apiaceae.

Pteridophytes: Male fern.

  • Pharmaceutical Aaids

Biological sources, chemical constituents, adulterants and uses of: Starches, acacia gum, tragacanth, sterculia, guar gum, pectin, arachis oil, castor oil, sesame oil, cotton seed oil, olive oil, cotton, silk, wool, regenerated fibers, asbestos, kaolin, prepared chalk, kieselghur.

  • Animal Products

Biological sources, chemical constituents, adulterants and uses of: Shellac, cochineal, cantherides, woolfat, lard, beeswax, honey, musk, lanolin, gelatin.

  • Plant Products

Introduction to plant bitters, sweeteners, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and photosensitizing agents.

  • Toxic Drugs

Study of allergens, hallucinogens, narcotics, toxic mushrooms

  • Enzymes

Biological sources, preparation, characters and uses of: diastase, papain bromalain, ficin, yeast, pancreatin, urokinase, pepsin, trypsin, pencillinase, hyaluronidase and stryptokinase.

  • Natural Pesticides and Insecticides

Introduction to herbicides, fungicides, fumigants and rodenticides tobacco, pyrethrum, & neem.

  • Adulteration and Evaluation of Crude Drugs

Different methods of adulteration: Evaluation of drugs by organoleptic, microscopic, physical, chemical and biological methods. Deterioration of herbal drugs by insects.

  • Quantitative Microscopy

Definition and determination of stomatal index, stomatal number, palisade ratio, vein islet number, vein termination number, lycopodium spore method. Micrometers and measurement of microscopic characters.

  • Biogenetic Pathways

Formation of primary and secondary metabolites. Study of Calvin cycle, TCA cycle, Shikimic acid pathway, Embden-Mayerhoff pathway, acetate hypothesis, isoprenoid pathway. Biosynthesis of carbohydrates, lipids and volatile oils.

  • Carbohydrates & Lipids

Biological sources, salient morphological features, chemical constituents, and uses of: Plantago, bael, chalmooogra oil, neem oil, shark liver oil, cod liver oil, guggul lipids.

  • Tannins

Biological sources, morphology, chemical constituents, chemical test and uses of: Pale catechu, black catechu, nutgalls, Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia arjuna.

  • Volatile Oils

Biological sources, morphology, chemical constituents, adulterants and uses of: Black pepper, turpentine, mentha, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cassia, lemon peel, orange peel, lemon grass, citronella, cumin, caraway, dill, spearmint, clove, anise, star anise, fennel, nutmeg, eucalyptus, chenopodium, ajowan, sandal wood.

  • Resinous Drugs

Classification, formation, sources, chemical constituents, identification test, adulterants and uses of: benzoin, peru balsam, tolu balsam, colophony, myrrh, asafoetida, jalap, colocynth, ginger, turmeric, capsicum, cannabis, podophyllum.

  • Glycosides

Nature and classification. Biological sources, morphology, chemical constituents, adulterants and uses of: Digitalis, strophanthus, squill, thevetia, oleander, cascara, aloe, rhubarb, senna, quassia, dioscorea, quillaia, glycyrrhiza, ginseng, gentian, wild cherry, withania, bitter almond. Biosynthesis of cardiac and anthraquinone glycosides.

  • Alkaloids

Nature, classification, biological sources, morphology, chemical constituents, adulterants and uses of: Areca nut, belladonna, hyoscymous, stramonium, duboisea, coca, coffee, tea, cinchona, opium, ipecac, nux vomica, ergot, rauwolfia, vinca, kurchi, ephedra, colchicum, vasaca, pilocarpus, aconite, Solanum xanthocarpum. Biosynthesis of tropane, cinchona and opium alkaloids.

  • Herbarium

Preparation of herbarium sheets and their importance in authentication of plants.

  • Extraction and Isolation Techniques

General methods used for the extraction, isolation and identification of alkaloids, lipids, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, volatile oils and resins. Application of column, paper and thin layer chromatographic techniques, for the isolation of phytopharmaceuticals.

  • Phytopharmaceuticals

Isolation, identification and estimation of: caffeine, eugenol, digoxin, piperine, tannic  acid, diosgenin, hesperidine, berberine, calcium sennosides, rutin, glycyrrhizin,menthol, ephedrine, quinine, andrographolides and guggul lipids.

  • Quality Control and Standardization of Herbal Drugs

Quality control of herbal drugs as per WHO, AYUSH and Pharmacopoeial guidelines Extractive values, ash values, chromatographic techniques (TLC, HPTLC and HPLC) for determination of chromatographic markers. Determination of heavy metals, insecticides, pesticides and microbial load in herbal preparations.

  • Herbal Formulations

Principals involved in Ayurveda, Sidha, Unani, Chinese and Homeopathic systems of medicines. Preparation of Ayurvedic formulations like aristas, asava, ghutika, tailia, churna, avaleha, ghrita and bhasmas: Unani formulations like majooms, Safoofs. Determination of alcohol contents in arishtas & asavas.

  • Worldwide Trade of Crude Drugs and Volatile Oils

Study of drugs having high commercial value and their regulations pertaining to trade.

  • Plant Biotechnology

History and scope of plant tissue culture, growth media, plant growth regulators: callus and suspension culture, Biotransformation, immobilization, hairy root culture.

Transgenic plants and their applications, plant tissue culture as source of secondary metabolites.

  • Herbal Cosmetics

Importance of herbals as shampoos (soapnut), conditioners and hair darkeners, (amla, henna, hibiscus, tea), skin care (aloe, turmeric, lemon peel, vetiver).

  • Traditional Herbal Drugs

Common names, sources, morphology, active constituents and uses (traditional, folklore), pharmacological and clinical uses of: punarnava (Boerhaviadiffusa), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus microphylla), lehsun (Allium sativum), guggul (Commiphora mukul), kalmegh (Andrographis peniculata), tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), valerian (Valerian officinalis), artemisia (Artemisia annua), chirata (Swertia chirata), ashoka (Saraca indica).

  • Plants Based Industries and Research Institutes in India

Knowledge about the herbal products being manufactured by premier herbal industries and thrust area of the institutes involved in plant research.

  • Patents

Indian and International patent laws, proposed amendments as applicable to herbal/natural products and processes: Intellectual Property Rights with special reference to phytoconstituents.

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