• Volume 22, Issue 4

      September 1997,   pages  407-527

    • Quantitative study of cellular and volumetric growth of magnocellular and laminar auditory nuclei in developing chick brainstem

      S Wadhwa Anandita Roy P Anand

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      Development of the second and third order auditory nuclei—nucleus magnoscellularis (NM) and nucleus laminaris (NL) respectively—was studied using Nissl stained serial sections from brain specimens between 8 day of incubation and posthatch day 1, at every two day interval. Reconstruction of these nuclei from three incubation ages showed progressive growth of both nuclei in a rostrocaudal direction. The volume, total neuron, dead cell and glial cell numbers were estimated using stereological quantitation methods. Both nuclei, while undergoing an overall gradual increase in volume up to 20 days registered a transient drop in volume; earlier for NM at 10 days and later for NL at 18 days. From day 20 the two nuclei showed accelerated growth in volume.

      The total neuron count rapidly declined up to 12 days with 43% loss of neurons in NM followed by a rise and later stabilization within a certain range. The NL, however, showed a continuous fall in neuron numbers throughout the incubation period with 20% cell loss by day 12 and an overall loss of 52%. Cell death in both nuclei was maximal at 16 days and spanned the entire period of incubation. Glia showed a biphasic increase with peak at 14 days for both NM and NL followed by a subsequent rise at day 20 for both nuclei. These data would help in planning further experimental studies of auditory manipulation.

    • A DNA fragment fromStreptomyces fradiae increases the production of a metalloprotease inStreptomyces lividans

      S Mythili K Dh Arm Aungam

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      Streptomyces fradiaeproduces several extracellular proteases and many of these are inducible. An 8.8 kb DNA fragment ofStreptomyces fradiaecloned on pIJ699 caused increased protease activity inStreptomyces lividans.Clones carrying this recombinant plasmid showed a significant delay in sporulation. A protein of 18 kDa was purified from the extracellular proteins secreted by the host carrying the recombinant plasmid. Further characterization showed that this protease is a metalloprotease.

    • Mechanical behaviour of shark skin

      M D Naresh V Arumugam R Sanjeevi

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      The variations observed in the mechanical behaviour of shark skin at different locations and direction of test, bring out the influence of the histological characteristics on the mechanical properties of the skin. These differences in histological characteristics also give an idea about the functional significance of different regions of the skin.

    • Purification and characterization of two major lectins fromVigna mungo (blackgram)

      K N Suseelan A R Bhatia R Mitra

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      Blackgram (Vigna mungoL. Hepper)seeds contain two galactose-specific lectins, BGL-I and BGL-II. BGL-I was partially purified into two monomeric lectins which were designated as BGL-I-1 (94 kDa) and BGL-I-2 (89 kDa). BGL-II is a monomeric lectin of 83 kDA. The purified lectins were associated with galactosidase activities. BGL-I-1 and BGL-II were copurified with α-galactosidase activity while BGL-I-2 was largely associated with β-galactosidase activity. These lectins agglutinate trypsin treated rabbit erythrocytes, but not the human erythrocytes of A, B or O groups. They were stable between pH 3·5 and 7·5 for their agglutination. The lectins did not show any metalion requirement. They were inactivated at 50°C. The lectin activity was inhibited by D-galactose (0·1 mM). The Scatchard plots of galactose binding to these lectins are nonlinear and biphasic curves indicative of multiple binding sites. The data show that the monomeric lectins have both lectin and galactosidase activities suggestive of a bifunctional protein.

    • Genome analysis of amaranths: Determination of inter- and intra-species variations

      S A Ranade Anil Kumar Mamta Goswami Nuzhat Farooqui P V Sane

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      Amaranths are an important group of plants and include grain, vegetable and ornamental types. Despite the economic importance of the amaranths, there is very little information available about the extent and nature of genetic diversity present in the genusAmaranthusat molecular level. We now report the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles of different species ofAmaranthusas well as different accessions of the species. These RAPD analyses have been carried out using 65 arbitrary sequence decamer primers. From the RAPD data, an UPGMA dendrogram illustrating the inter-as well as intra-species relationships has been computed. The putative hybrid origin of A.dubiousfromA. hybridusandA. spinosusis also ruled out by the RAPD data. The trends of species relationships amongst the amaranths determined by RAPDs is consistent with their cytogenetic and evolutionary relationships that have already been determined.

    • Substances interfering with phosphatidyl inositol signalling pathway affect ultradian rhythm ofDesmodium motorium

      Jyh-Phen Chen Christian Eichelmann Wolfgang Engelmann

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      The ultradian rhythm of the lateral leaflets ofDesmodium motorium}(Houtt.) Merril. was recorded with a picture analysis method using a video camera and a computer. The periods are in the minute range and depend strongly on temperature.

      The phosphatidyl inositol signal chain might be involved in the ultradian rhythm of the lateral leaflet movement ofDesmodium motorium:Myoinositol shortens the period length and reduces the known period lengthening effect of lithium ions. Neomycin, which inhibits the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4,5 -biphosphate to inositol-4-phosphate and diacylglycerin, lengthens the period of the rhythm at low concentrations (0.2 mM). Higher concentrations shorten the period, perhaps by activating G protein. Mastoparan, which activates G protein, shortens period likewise. The G protein agonists fluorid ion and ethanol are toxic for the lateral leaflets and could therefore not be used to test the involvement of G protein.

      The intracellular Ca2+antagonist 3,4,5-trinietlioxybeiizoic acid 8-(diethylamino)octylester lengthens the period of the rhythm. This indicates, that release of Cas2+from intracellular stores is important for the lateral leaflet movement rhythm.

    • Pattern of shift rota modulates oral temperature circadian rhythm and sleep-wakefulness profiles in shift workers

      Shobha Gupta Atanu Kumar Pati Francis Levi

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      Twenty four shift workers (8 from a steel industry and 16 from a Government hospital) participated in the study. The subjects were instructed to self-measure oral temperature, 4 6 times a day for about three weeks. Sleep quantity and quality for each subject were analysed with the help of an appropriate inventory. The data were analysed by cosinor and power spectrum methods. The frequency of circadian rhythm detection was in the order of 48% in senior nurses, 29% in steel plant workers and 14% in junior nurses. These were also complemented by the results of power spectrum analysis. Present results suggest that rhythms of subjective fatigue and subjective drowsiness are governed neither by oral temperature oscillator nor by the sleep/wake cycle oscillator. The results show that shift rotation pattern chiefly modulates the circadian time structure of shift workers. It is also suggested that the phenomenon of circadian rhythm desynchronization in oral temperature appears to be independent of per day total sleep length.

    • Follicular growth and kinetics in the Indian gerbil (Tatera indica) ovary during oestrous cycle

      Patwant Kaur Baljinder Kaur S S Guraya

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      The growth of the follicle and oocyte in the Indian gerbil (Tatera indica) was a continuous process. The relationship between follicle and oocyte or its nucleus was log linear, represented by the equation logY =a +b logX.A linear relationship (Y =a +bX)existed between the oocyte and its nucleus. The number of stages I and II follicles varied significantly during the oestrous cycle. Maximum percentage of stage I follicles was observed during oestrus and metoestrus, while stage II follicles were abundant during dioestrus, metoestrus and pro-oestrus. These follicles were significantly more in number than other types of the follicles. The occurrence of comparatively larger follicles during pro-oestrus and the presence of newly formed corpora lutea at oestrus, indicated ovulation in the early oestrus.

    • Mammotrope heterogeneity in the pituitary gland of European ferret,Mustela putorius furo: An immunoelectron-microscopic study

      B Mohanty T Tachibana H Nogami H Ishikawa D R Naik

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      Employing the superimposition technique of electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry ultrastructural heterogeneity of the mammotropes in the pituitary gland of the European ferret,Mustela putorius furo,was studied. On the basis of the size of their secretory granules, the mammotropes were classified into three subtypes, type-I, type-II and type-Ill, which may correspond to different developmental or physiological states of a single cell type. Simultaneous study of mammotropes and somatotropes in several pairs of serial semithin sections demonstrated the occasional occurrence of bihormonal somatomammotropes /mammosomatotropes which may represent a transitional stage of the progenitor stem-somatotrope during its differentiation into mammotrope; alternatively it may be a functional intermediate during the cross-transformation of somatotrope into mammotrope orvice versa.

    • The BglG group of antiterminators: a growing family of bacterial regulators

      Subramony Mahadevan

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      The product of thebglGgene of Escherichiacoliwas among the first bacterial antiterminators to be identified and characterized. Since the elucidation ten years ago of its role in the regulation of thebgloperonof E. coli,a large number of homologies have been discovered in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Often the homologues of BglG in other organisms are also involved in regulating β-glucoside utilization. Surprisingly, in many cases, they mediate antitermination to regulate a variety of other catabolic functions. Because of the high degree of conservation of thecis-acting regulatory elements, antiterminators from one organism can function in another. Generally the antiterminator protein itself is negatively regulated by phosphorylation by a component of the phosphotransferase system. This family of proteins thus represents a highly evolved regulatory system that is conserved across evolutionarily distant genuses.

    • Evolutionary conservation of angiosperm flower development at the molecular and genetic levels

      John L Bowman

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      Flowers consist primarily of four basic organ types whose relative positions are universally conserved within the angiosperms. A model has been proposed to explain how a small number of regulatory genes, acting alone and in combination, specify floral organ identity. This model, known widely as the ABC model of flower development, is based on molecular generic experiments in two model organisms,Arabidopsis thalianaandAntirrhinum majus.Both of these species are considered to be eudicots, a clade within the angiosperms with a relatively conserved floral architecture. In this review, the application of the ABC model derived from studies of these typical eudicot species is considered with respect to angiosperms whose floral structure deviates from that of the eudicots. It is concluded that the model is universally applicable to the angiosperms as a whole, and the enormous diversity seen among angiosperms flowers is due to genetic pathways that are downstream, or independent, of the genetic programme that specifies floral organ identity.

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