• Volume 19, Issue 1

      March 1994,   pages  1-116

    • Characterization of mitochondrial DNA primase fromSaccharomyces cerevisiae

      V Murthy K Pasupathy

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      DNA primase from yeast mitochondria was shown to have a molecular weight of 67 kDa by SDS-PAGE and an S value of 5.5. It was shown to have preference for SS mitochondrial DNA especially fragments containing origins of replication, as a template to initiate DNA replication. Further examination of the enzyme showed its possible association with a ribonucleotide moiety essential for enzyme activity.

    • Free radical mediated interaction of ascorbic acid and ascorbate/Cu(II) with viral and plasmid DNAs

      Günhan Erdem Cihan öner Ahmet M önal Duygu Kisakürek A Y ögüs

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      Previous studies indicate that ascorbic acid, when combined with copper or iron cleaves several viral DNA. ln this study, we generated the ascorbate radical anion electrochemically in a simple chemical environment without the participation of a metal ion. This solution possesses viral DNA scission activity. Ohe absence of catalytic metal ions [Fe (III) and Cu(II)] in the incubation medium was evidenced by metal chelating agents such as desferrioxamine and EDTA. Ohe radical quenching at high EDTA concentration was attributed to ionic strength of EDTA rather than metal chelation. Ohe effects of antioxidants, radical scavangers, catalase, superoxide dismutase and some proteins on DNA cleavage have been tested. Cleavage may not arise directly from ascorbate free radical but the reaction of the radical form of ascorbate with oxygen may produce the actual reactive species. Aerobic oxidation of ascorbate itself strictly requires transition metal catalysts, however electrochemically produced ascorbyl radical avoided the kinetic barrier that prevented direct oxidation of ascorbic acid with oxygen and eliminated the need for the transition metal ion catalysts.

    • Protective effect of glutathione and selenium against alloxan induced lipid peroxidation and loss of antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes

      Poonam Yadav S Sarkar D Bhatnagar

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      Alloxan is a diabetogenic drug and is known to induce diabetes through generation of free radicals. The toxic oxygen species can be detoxified by antioxidant enzyme system and thus reduce the deleterious effect of lipid peroxidation. Erythrocytes exposed to alloxan induced lipid peroxidationin vivo as well asin vitro. Although alloxan treatment produced a deleterious effect on antioxidant enzymes, pretreatment with glutathione and selenium led to a recovery of the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. However, catalase activity increased on alloxan treatment. Alloxan reduced blood glucose level significantly within 60 min but thereafter a slow and steady rise was observed.

    • Electrokinetic energy conversion studies of alkaline solutions of uric acid, oxalic acid, L-cystine and L-tyrosine across urinary bladder membranes

      P C Shukla J P Mlsra

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      Electrokinetic studies of alkaline solutions of oxalic acid, cystine and tyrosine across urinary bladder membranes have been made. Data have been analysed in the light of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Maximum energy conversion efficiency (ηmax), kinetic energy term (α1) and polarization term (α2) have been computed. It has been found that ηmax., α1, and α2, etc., are maximum for uric acid among the permeants used. Since ηmax, and α1 and α2 are related with membrane interface, such studies are relevant in understanding the comparative effect of permeants on bladder interface.

    • Cytochrome b6-f complex : The carburettor of exciton distribution in oxygenic photosynthesis

      U Dwlvedi R Bhardwaj

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      Efficient oxygenic photosynthesis not only requires synchronous turover and operation of photosystem I (PS I) and photosystem II (PS II) but also the preferential turnover of PS I for cyclic photophosphorylation to maintain required ATP and NADPH ratio during carbon dioxide reduction. Ohe initial higher rate of turnover of PS IIin viva is accounted by the fact that (i) PS I contains only about one-third of total chlorophylls, (ii) about 90% of light harvesting a/b protein (LAC) which accounts for about 50% of the total chlorophylls, remains associated with PS II as PS II-LHC II complexes (PS IIα and (iii) the ratio of PS II/PS I is always greater than unity, in the range of 1–2 : 1 under different environmental regimes. Ohe initial preferential feeding of PS II, due to its larger antenna, is bound to result in faster rate of turn over of PS II than PS I, leading to higher rate of reduction of an intersystem carrier than the rate of its oxidation by PS I. Ohe light dependent phosphorylation of a ‘mobile’ and small pool (−20%) of LHC II of PS IIα (possibly located at the edge of appressed regions of the membranes) increases the repulsive forces of LHC II resulting in its migration to non-appressed region associating itself with PS 1. Ohe phosphorylation itself is controlled by the redox state of an intermediate of electron transport.

      Several experimental approaches have provided evidence which suggest that (i) phosphorylation of LAC II involves interaction of cyt b5-f complex with LAC II kinase and the interaction of QA with cyt b5-f complex and (ii) different kinases may be involved in phosphorylation of LHC IIversus PS II polypeptides. Ohe major purpose of light dependent LAC II phosphorylation and its consequent migration close to PS I appears to balance the rate of cyclicversus non-cyclic photophosphorylation. Ohe mechanism by which cyt b5-f complex controls the activation of LAC II is not known. Ohe role of membrane bound ealmodulin, electron transfer through cyt b6-f complex in activation of LAC II kinase should be explored.

    • Mitochondrial ATP synthase genes may be implicated in cytoplasmic male sterility inSorghum bicolor

      A P Sane P Nath P V Sane

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      Incompatible nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions are responsible for the phenomenon of cytoplasmic male sterility in plants. We have analysed male sterile (2077A, 296A), maintainer fertile (2077B, 296B) and fertility restored (2077R, 296R) lines of sorghum for the restriction fragment locations of various mitochondrial genes and their transcripts. We report here a polymorphism in genes related to the ATP synthase complex between two different cytoplasms from the A and B set of lines of 2077 and 296. There is also a difference in the transcript size of theatpA gene between the A and B cytoplasms. We propose that incompatibility in nuclear cytoplasmic interactions may be explained in terms of incompatible subunits being synthesized by the mitochondria and nucleus for a multisubunit complex of the mitochondrial membrane such as ATPase.

    • Comparison of murine B-cell proliferative response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide and DNP derivative ofMycobacterium tuberculosis antigens

      Anila Prabhu R K Saxena

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      The DNP derivative of sonicate antigens of the H37Ra strain ofMycobacterium tuberculosis (Ra-DNP) is known to induce marked B-cell proliferation. In order to understand whether B-cell proliferation in response to Ra-DNP was antigen driven or represented a non-specific mitogenic effect of Ra-DNP, the effect of Ra-DNP was compared with that of lipopolysaccharide a potent B-cell mitogen. Parameters used for comparison were (i) thymidine incorporation, (ii) viable cell counts, (iii) amount of lg secreted, (iv) isotype profile of Ig released and (v) cell cycling pattern of B-cells in culture. Overall the effect of Ra-DNP was found to be essentially similar to that of lipopolysaccharide for all parameters examined. Yet quantitatively, the effect of the former was always relatively poorer. At optimal doses, the effect of Ra-DNP ranged from 50 to 70% of the lipopolysaccharide effect in different assays. These results suggest that Ra-DNP may have a B-cell mitogenic effect similar to the effect of lipopolysaccharide, but all B-cells may not respond to Ra-DNP.

    • Correlation of seasonal changes in sperm output with endocrinological changes in the adult male bonnet monkey,Macaca radiata

      R Medhamurthy R Suresh Sunil S Paul N R Moudgal

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      We have examined the monthly variations in sperm output and attempted to correlate the profiles of endocrine hormones secreted with the sperm counts throughout the year in the adult male bonnet monkey. As previously reported, there was a distinct spurt in sperm output beginning September through December months. A concomitant increase in serum testosterone and prolactin concentrations were also noted during September through November (mid and post-monsoon season). Although there was a marked increase in gonadotropin releasing hormone stimulated testosterone secretion, the peak testosterone concentrations post gonadotropin releasing hormone injection did not vary significantly (P > 0.05) throughout the year. Basal serum follicle stimulating hormone concentrations did not vary significantly (P > 0.05) during April to June months compared to September-November months. Serum inhibin concentration remained unaltered throughout the year, except in the month of March. The results of this study provide evidence for annual rhythms in prolactin and testosterone secretion and a distinct seasonality in the sperm output of the adult male bonnet monkey, but the pituitary responsiveness to exogenous gonadotropin releasing hormone remains unaltered throughout the year. Because of the existence of seasonality as noted in the present study, future studies which utilize the adult male bonnet monkey as an experimental model need to take into consideration the seasonal effects on reproductive function in this species.

    • Advertisement calls of two anuran amphibians,Rana tigrina andTomopterna breviceps

      R D Kanamadi C R Hiremath H Schneider

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      Rana tigrina andTomopterna breviceps occur as sympatric species at Dharwad, India. Sexually mature males produce advertisement calls. The advertisement call of both the species consist of a number of calls produced in series forming a call group. Each call group ofRana tigrina comprises 10–40 calls, whereas that ofTomopterna breviceps consists 13–141 calls. Each call consists of a pulse group with variable number of pulses which lack pulse interval. Calls of both the species exhibit similarities in (i) call consisting of series of calls with a pulse group in each call, (ii) absence of pulse interval within the pulse group, (iii) the amplitude of the first pulse being always small, and (iv) the frequency spectrum beginning from 200 Hz. Based on the similarities in the spectral features of the calls, it is suggested that the two species may be closely related to each other.

    • Advanced sub social behaviour in the scorpionHeterometrus fulvipes Brunner (Arachnida)

      T Shivashankar

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      Scorpions arc generally non-social, solitary animals that interact with conspecifics at birth, courtship or predation only. The present study reports the presence of advanced sub social behaviour inHeterometrus fulvipes Brunner and evaluates the importance of its burrowing as a cause for such social behaviour.Heterometrus fulvipes constructed deep angular burrows at the base of plants. Burrows provided (i) protection against predation, (ii) increased availability of food and (iii) ideal microclimate for year round activity of the scorpions. No cannibalism was observed in laboratory maintained colonies. The risk of predation and the difficult by immatures to dig tunnels during dry soil conditions may have forced the mother and offspring to live together in the burrow for longer durations. The cohabitation of relative offsprings transforms the burrow into a nest. The members of a colony exhibits division of labour for nest expansion and in foraging. The mother communicates with the immatures through “Buzz” sound and may provide premasticated food. There is food sharing also among colony members. All these behaviours indicate the presence of advanced sub social behaviour inHeterometrus fulvipes.

    • Scanning electron microscopic study of the olfactory epithelium of four coldwater hillstream teleosts from Garhwal hills (India)

      N Singh

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      This contribution deals with the scanning electron microscopic surface structure of olfactory epithelium in four hillstream teleosts from the glacialfed river Alaknanda in Garhwal Himalaya (UP, India). The closely related species—Schizothorax plagiostomus, Schizothorax richardsonii (both bottom dweller, bottom feeder, herbiomnivorous) andSchizothoraichthys progastus (column dweller, column feeder, carniomnivorous) reveal the predominance of different types of olfactory receptor cell types separately in their respective olfactory epithelium while the distinctly related speciesCrossocheilus latius latius with similar nature as first two (i.e. bottom dweller, bottom feeder, herbiomnivorous) displays the presence of more microvillous cells in the olfactory epithelium. Possibly, the occurrence of particular receptor cells in a fish species is related to the ecological and feeding behaviours with distinct mechanism of olfaction.

    • Fine root dynamics in two tropical dry evergreen forests in southern India

      N Visalakshi

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      Seasonality in fine root standing crop and production was studied in two tropical dry evergreen forests viz., Marakkanam reserve forest (MRF) and Puthupet sacred grove (PSG) in the Coromandel coast of India. The study extended from December 89 to December 91 in MRF and from August 90 to December 91 in PSG with sampling at every 2 months. Total fine interval. Mean fine root standing crop was 134 g m−2 in MRF and 234 g m−2 in PSG. root production was 104 g m−2 yr−1 in MRF and 117 g m−2 yr−1 in PSG. These estimates lie within the range for fine roots reported for various tropical forests. Rootmass showed a pronounced seasonal pattern with unimodal peaks obtained during December in the first year and from October–December in the second year in MRF. In PSG greater rootmass was noticed from June–October than other times of sampling. The total root mass in MRF ranged from 114 to 145 g m−2 at the 13 sampling dates in the three sites.

      The live biomass fraction of fine roots in MRF ranged from 46 to 203 g m−2 and in PSG it ranged from 141 to 359 g mm−2 during the study periods. The dead necromass fraction of fine roots ranged from 6 to 37 g m−2 in MRF and from 12 to 66 g m−2 in PSG. Fine root production peaked during December in both the forest sites. The necromass fraction of newly produced roots was negligible.

      Total N was slightly greater in PSG than in MRF. Whereas total P level was almost similar in both the sites. The study revealed that season and site characteristics influenced fine root system.

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