Volume 18, Issue 1, 2018 January-March

Volume 18, No 1 Pages:
2018 January-March Articles: 7

Oligochaete taxonomy – The rise of earthworm DNA barcode in India

Oligochaeta is a class of segmented worms under the phylum Annelida that are characterised by the presence of tiny setae in each body segment. Earthworms are the main members, consisting of approximately 6200 species. Their ecological importance is well known as they are the major soil macro-fauna; Aristotle had named them as “the intestines of soil”. Classification of earthworms is a controversial issue since the introduction of modern taxonomical system on earthworm by Michaelsen in 1921. This is mainly because conventional identification using morphological and anatomical characters are complicated and confusing. The key diagnostic features such as the position and structure of the reproductive organs, clitellum and the associated tubercular pubertatis are not always reliable, particularly in different developmental stages, especially when the available specimens are the juveniles. DNA barcoding has offered a potential solution, even at the levels of identifying the juveniles or cocoons. Several genes including mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase I, 16S, 18S and 28S ribosomal RNAs, and protein-coding histone H3 genes have been introduced in the taxonomy and phylogeny of earthworm. It is anticipated that DNA barcoding will help conflicting taxonomy and further exploration of species diversity in India.

Certain results on Ricci solitons in α-Kenmotsu manifolds

In this paper, we study some curvature problems of Ricci solitons in α-Kenmotsu manifold. It is shown that a symmetric parallel second order-covariant tensor in a α-Kenmotsu manifold is a constant multiple of the metric tensor. Using this result, it is shown that if (Lvg + 2S) is parallel where V is a given vector field, then the structure (g, V, λ) yield a Ricci soliton. Further, by virtue of this result, Ricci solitons for n-dimentional α-Kenmotsu manifolds are obtained. In the last section, we discuss Ricci soliton for 3-dimentional α-Kenmotsu manifolds.

Enumeration of ethno-medicinal plants in Rongram Block of West Garo Hills District, Meghalaya

A study was conducted to enumerate the ethno-medicinal plants in Rongram block of West Garo Hills District, Meghalaya. The study was based on the primary survey and data collected through questionnaires, focus-group discussions and semi-structured interviews prepared for the purpose by approaching the local traditional healers (oja) as well as villagers. The study revealed that a total of 18 medicinal plants belonging to 18 genera and 16 families were documented. Information on local names, scientific names, family, plant parts used and traditional usage of these plants were also reported. Among the documented medicinal plant species, trees were most frequently used followed by herbs, shrubs and climbers. The study also revealed that leaves were most commonly used in the treatment followed by the bark.

A study on the biomass variation of the macrophytes in Poiroupat Lake, Manipur, northeast India

Biomass assessment of the macrophytic plant species were carried out at Poiroupat lake located in Imphal East district of Manipur. The present study reveals the presence of 30 aquatic macrophytes. The recorded aquatic macrophytes of the lake have been classified into four categories, viz. submerged (10%), rooted with floating leaves (16.7%), free floating (20%) and emergent (53.3%). In all the study sites, Ceratophyllum demersum recorded the maximum total biomass with values ranging from 24.52 (Site I) to 241.45 gm–2 (Site III). This was followed by Alternanthera philoxeroides with values ranging from 25.74 (Site II) to 139.77 gm–2 (Site II). This was successively followed by Utricularia flexuosa (14.12 to 110.45 gm–2), Ludwigia adscendens (14.09 to 89.32 gm–2), Nymphaea stellata (29.66 to 84.32 gm–2), Nelumbo nucifera (15.03 to 67.41 gm–2), Hydrilla verticillata (16.09 to 67.00 gm–2), Hygroryza aristata (30.95 to 62.52 gm–2), Ipomoea aquatica (4.54 to 58.31 gm–2), Nymphoides indicum (4.41 to 47.95 gm–2). Eichhornia crassipes recorded peak value of 26.54 gm–2. During the entire study period, the total biomass of all species (combined) ranged from 130.07 to 512.28 gm–2. The maximum biomass values were recorded during rainy season.

Annealing effect on thermoluminescence (TL) glow curve of Ca0.99SO4:Eu0.005Dy0.005phosphor

Ca1-x-ySO4:Eux,Dyy (0 < x < 0.04, 0 < y < 0.04) phosphors were prepared and characterized by XRD. The samples were well crystalline and exhibit orthorhombic structure. The phosphor Ca0.99SO4:Eu0.005Dy0.005 was found having highest TL intensity. The phosphor was annealed at different temperatures. All the TL glow curves have one prominent peak at 420K. TL intensity for this peak was found decreasing when the phosphor was annealed at a particular temperature for different durations.

Note on the clutch size and egg morphometry of Oligodon albocinctus and Hebius xenura (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae)

We report the clutch size, egg morphometry and timing of oviposition in two snakes, Oligodon albocinctus and Hebius xenura based on specimens from Mizoram, northeast India.

The (d)evolution of scientific temper in India

Jawaharlal Nehru was most instrumental in instilling scientific temper at the birth of modern India. In contrast, as Bharatiya Janata Party came into power in 2014, their top-down governance is explicitly trying to promote Vedic science. The Prime Minister boasted off of genetics in Mahabharata, and plastic surgery in the Vedas. The origin of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle form the Vedas is the pride of the Home Minister. The Minister of Science and Technology contended that the Vedas contain better theory than E = mc2. There is increased veneration of cattle. A large-scale promotion of bovine urine and dung as medicine, called cowpathy or, as they embrace it, panchagavya is on the rise. To that effect, gold was discovered in the urine of Gir cows, but really to no effect. Their cows breathe in and out oxygen, and peafowl are confirmed celibates. The Minister of State for Human Resources Development ridiculed evolutionary biology proclaiming that Darwin’s theory is scientifically flawed. We, the people of India, deserve better wisdom. As Nehru would have put it, “a baseless dogma or a hopeless aspiration” of this sort will never elate India, or any nation for that matter, to scientific progression, not to say economic and social developments.