Volume 15, Issue 4, 2015 October-December

Volume 15, No 4 Pages:
2015 October-December Articles: 8

Winter energy budget of larvae of Indian tropical tasar silk insect Antheraea mylitta Drury living in the host plant Ziziphus jujuba

The energy budget of the larvae of Antheraea mylitta Drury living in host plant Ziziphus jujuba Gaertn was prepared in winter. In the fifth instar the rate of food energy consumption, absorption, body growth, silk gland growth and respiration increased when compared to other instars. The amount of consumption, absorption, body tissue growth and silk gland growth during fifth instar was 81%, 82%, 82%, 97% respectively of the total amount used in the entire larval period. The fifth instar female larvae showed significantly higher overall efficiencies than male larvae. There was a gradual increase in amount of energy stored per mg dry body weight from first to fifth instar. The absorption and growth efficiency was lowest in second instar. Hence, it is the most vulnerable instar needing more care during rearing. Highest all-round efficiency was observed in fifth instar larva. Therefore, optimum care should be given to fifth instar larva during feeding and rearing in order to maximize silk productivity.

Ichnofossil assemblage of Bhuban Formation (Surma Group) from Zuangtui area, Aizawl, Mizoram

Bhuban succession of Surma Group (early to middle Miocene) is well exposed in Zuangtui section of Aizawl district of Mizoram and comprises ~40 m thick sequence of alternating sandstone, siltstone and shale and their admixtures in various proportion. Highly bioturbated rocks of this section show behaviorally diverse groups of trace fossils. A total of 17 ichnospecies have been identified from this section. These are Cochlichnus anguineus, Diplopodichnus biformis, Funalichnus bhubani, Gordia marina, Palaeophycus striatus, P. tubularis, Planolites beverleyensis, Planolites isp., Psilonichnus upsilon, Psilonichnus isp., Rhizocorallium isp. Type A, Rhizocorallium isp. Type B, Skolithos isp., Teredolites clavatus, T. longissimus, Thalassinoides horizontalis and T. suevicus. These trace fossils represent the record of Skolithos, Cruziana and Teredolites ichnofacies and at places the mixed Skolithos-Cruziana ichnofacies. Teredolites infested log-grounds and the other ichnological evidences indicates that the rocks of Bhuban Formation exposed in Zuangtui area, Aizawl district of Mizoram were deposited under near shore high energy conditions.

In silico characterization of human cytochrome P450 monooxygenases

Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) represent a large group and diverse family of enzymes involved in the myriad of biological processes in humans. In the present study, a total of 57 protein sequences of human CYPs retrieved from UniprotKB have been characterized for various physiochemical properties, homology search, motif and super family search and phylogenetic relationship. Physicochemical analysis showed that the isoelectric point values and GRAVY index ranged from 5.84 to 9.47 and 0.018 to -0.367, respectively. Many proteins (50 members, 87.8%) were in basic form, while few (7 members, 12.2%) were of acidic nature. Moreover, GRAVY index revealed that only CYP26C1 as hydrophobic while all others as hydrophilic. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that P450 proteins basically fall into two main clades and are divided into five subgroups. Motif analysis with MEME indicated presence, absence and even shuffling of motifs within clades. Clustering using the maximum likelihood analysis was also in accordance with P450s central roles in drug and xenobiotic metabolism as well as steroid hormone synthesis, fat-soluble vitamin metabolism, and the conversion of polyunsaturated fatty acids to biologically active molecules. Motif conservation within clusters showed the evolutionary pressure for maintenance of the structural and functional organization between different groups of protein. These results will help in the context of understanding the characteristics of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase isoforms.

Genome classification of banana genetic resources of Manipur using morphological characters

Manipur, a northeastern state in India, harbours a rich diversity of both wild and cultivated bananas. The banana cultivars collected from all the districts were carried out for their taxonomic identification and genome group classification. A total of 27 cultivars were collected in the present study. Of all the cultivars, Musa balbisiana clone was represented by 3 cultivars; 8 cultivars were identified under M. acuminata clones. Majority of the cultivars (16) were identified as Musa species, hybrid of M. balbisiana and M. acuminata. Among these cultivars, 3 cultivars were classified under BB genome while 3 cultivars were classified under the AA genome group. The ABB genome group was represented by 13 cultivars. 5 non-seeded cultivars were classified under AAA genome group and the AAB group was also represented by 3 sweet smelling cultivars. The dendrogram constructed based on the 15 morphological characters showed the clustering of cultivars into 3 major groups, at a distance coefficient ranging from 0.60 to 0.50, corresponding to genome groups of the cultivars. The present findings provide the status of existing banana genetic resources from Manipur which could be utilized in improvement and conservation programs.

A report on Japanese encephalitis in Mizoram: clinical investigation and diagnosis

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Mizoram does not have record of JE till now, however, mortality due to ‘viral encephalitis’ among 7 to 20 aged groups during pre-monsoon and post- monsoon season has been recorded. Pathologic studies of fatal human encephalitis caused many common findings. The clinical syndrome may include many neurological effects and many other similarities in the clinical presentations. Such neurologic disease may manifest as subtle changes resulting in an initial misdiagnosis. Several serological methods have been developed for investigation and diagnosis of the disease. However, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based methodologies have resulted in increased sensitivity for the detection of JEV viruses in clinical samples, and offers rapid and sensitive method.

Analysis of petrol quality of Aizawl for oxygenate additives by FTIR-ATR spectroscopic technique

Clean air and green world are the requirements of today. Transportation powered by conventional fossil fuels is the largest single source of air pollution. To improve the air quality by reducing of vehicle exhaust emission levels, oxygenates has been added to petrol since 1990 as per Clean Air Act Amendments. The present report is an analysis of petrol for the presence of oxygenates using FTIR-ATR technique in the mid-IR region. Petrol samples for analysis were collected from different filling stations within Aizawl city. Out of 9 samples tested including extra-premium (XP) grade, only one sample is found to contain oxygenate, namely, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). The presence of the oxygenate in petrol can be identified from its distinct IR absorption bands at 1203, 1085 and 852 cm-1 due to the C-C and C-O vibrational modes of the molecule. IR mode assignment of the fuel in the 650-3750 cm-1 is also discussed and presented.

Effect of different concentrations of maleic hydrazide on the post-harvest life of tomato fruits

Green mature fruits of tomato were harvested in the morning and subjected to treatments on the same day by dipping in maleic hydrazide of different concentrations such as control (T0), 100 ppm (T1), 200 ppm (T2), 300 ppm (T3) and 400 ppm (T4) respectively. The fruits were stored in ambient condition for one month, and physical observations such as fruit weight, colour and fruit firmness were taken at 3-day interval, whereas chemical observations such as total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity, reducing sugar and non-reducing sugar contents were analysed at 5 days interval and lycopene contents estimated at the end of the experiment. Loss of fruit weight, colour change and reduced firmness was observed in all the fruits, but the fruits with 400ppm maleic hydrazide treatment showed best retention of colour as well as fruit firmness up to the end of the experiment.

Morphological variations in Sinomicrurus macclellandi macclellandi (Serpentes: Elapidae), the only coral snake species in northeast India

Specimens of Sinomicrurus macclellandi macclellandi, a deadly venomous Elapid snake collected from various parts of Mizoram were studied on their morphology and meristic features. The observation revealed that there are three different varieties in this subspecies on the basis of morphology and meristic parameters. Variations in colouration patterns, scalations and body proportion are described in this paper. Our specimens are compared with different varieties mentioned in the existing literatures. It was found that difference in body size and length are observed among this complex subspecies. It is suggested that to reveal this unknown hitherto, a detailed comparative study on molecular basis of these varieties allocated to the same subspecies in this region should be conducted with larger samples.