• Volume 29, Issue 2

      June 2004,   pages  129-207

    • How to design a highly effective siRNA

      Ghanshyam Swarup

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    • The enigma of carcinogenesis — Stroma or epithelial cells?

      Rita Mulherkar

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    • Bhattacharyya’s distance measure as a precursor of genetic distance measures

      Aparna Chattopadhyay Asis Kumar Chattopadhyay Chandrika B-Rao

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      In Population Genetics, two populations are distinguished from each other on the basis of the differences in the distributions of the alleles at the locus or loci under consideration. These differences are measured by a “genetic distance” between the two populations (not to be confused with genetic distance between two loci, which is based on recombination fractions) and they play a major role in inferences at the population level. Several measures of genetic distance have been proposed by different authors (Sanghvi 1953; Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards 1967; Jukes and Cantor 1969; Nei 1972; Kimura 1980; Reynoldset al 1983; reviews in Felsenstein 1991; Nei and Kumar 2000). Most of these measures are actually dissimilarity measures and not mathematically true distance measures (B-Rao and Majumdar 1999). Independently, and much before the geneticists, statisticians too were concerned with the idea of distinguishing between two (statistical) populations. In order to discriminate between two populations on the basis of one or more characters, divergence measures like “Mahalanobis’D2 statistic” or “Mahalanobis’ generalized distance” (1936) and “Bhattacharyya’s distance” (1943, 1946), Kullback-Leibler’s divergence measure (1951) etc. have been proposed by statisticians. Mukherjee and Chattopadhyaya (1986) have mentioned measures based on distances, association between two attributes and discrimination function. There are similarities between the distance measures defined by applied scientists and by theoreticians. Felsenstein (1985) shows that three of the allele frequency-based genetic distance measures were anticipated by Bhattacharyya (1946). Nei and Takezaki (1994) have also studied the effectiveness of several genetic distance measures in the context of phylogenetic analysis, including Bhattacharyya’s distance measure.

    • John Maynard Smith 6 january 1920–19 April 2004

      Raghavendra Gadagkar

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    • Exploring germ-soma differentiation inVolvox

      Marilyn M Kirk David L Kirk

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      Professor MOP Iyengar, a preeminent expert on the green algae in the order Volvocales, and particularly those that are found on the Indian sub-continent (Iyengar and Desikachary 1981), first described this forma (subspecies) ofVolvox carteri (Iyengar 1933) and provided criteria for distinguishing the various formas ofV. carteri from one another.

    • A novel potassium deficiency-induced stimulon inAnabaena torulosa

      Anuradha Alahari Shree Kumar Apte

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      Potassium deficiency enhanced the synthesis of fifteen proteins in the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteriumAnabaena torulosa and of nine proteins inEscherichia coli. These were termed potassium deficiency-induced proteins or PDPs and constitute hitherto unknown potassium deficiency-induced stimulons. Potassium deficiency also enhanced the synthesis of certain osmotic stress-induced proteins. Addition of K+ repressed the synthesis of a majority of the osmotic stress-induced proteins and of PDPs in these bacteria. These proteins contrast with the dinitrogenase reductase ofA. torulosa and the glycine betaine-binding protein ofE. coli, both of which were osmo-induced to a higher level in potassium-supplemented conditions. The data demonstrate the occurrence of novel potassium deficiency-induced stimulons and a wider role of K+ in regulation of gene expression and stress responses in bacteria.

    • KCTCCA, a peptide-based facilitator for bioelectrochemistry

      R Mukhopadhyay

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      Electrochemical and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) studies have been carried out to investigate the suitability of the hexapeptide KCTCCA as a facilitator for bioelectrochemistry. The stable, quasi-reversible electro-chemical response of cytochromeb562 on a KCTCCA modified gold electrode and the high degree of surface coverage of KCTCCA on gold (111), as observed by STM, indicate applicability of the molecule as an electro-chemical facilitator.

    • Microbial acetate oxidation in horizontal rotating tubular bioreactor

      A Slavica B Šantek S Novak V Marić

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      The aim of this work was to investigate the possibility of conducting a continuous aerobic bioprocess in a horizontal rotating tubular bioreactor (HRTB). Aerobic oxidation of acetate by the action of a mixed microbial culture was chosen as a model process. The microbial culture was not only grown in a suspension but also in the form of a biofilm on the interior surface of HRTB. Efficiency of the bioprocess was monitored by determination of the acetate concentration and chemical oxygen demand (COD). While acetate inlet concentration and feeding rate influenced efficiency of acetate oxidation, the bioreactor rotation speed did not influence the bioprocess dynamics significantly. Gradients of acetate concentration and pH along HRTB were more pronounced at lower feeding rates. Volumetric load of acetate was proved to be the most significant parameter. High volumetric loads (above 2 g acetate l−1 h−1) gave poor acetate oxidation efficiency (only 17 to 50%). When the volumetric load was in the range of 0.60–1.75 g acetate l−1 h−1, acetate oxidation efficiency was 50–75%. At lower volumetric loads (0.14–0.58 g acetate l−1 h−1), complete acetate consumption was achieved. On the basis of the obtained results, it can be concluded that HRTB is suitable for conducting aerobic continuous bioprocesses.

    • Effects of anisotonicity on pentose-phosphate pathway, oxidized glutathione release and t-butylhydroperoxide-induced oxidative stress in the perfused liver of air-breathing catfish,Clarias batrachus

      Nirmalendu Saha Carina Goswami

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      Both hypotonic exposure (185 mOsmol/l) and infusion of glutamine plus glycine (2 mmol/l each) along with the isotonic medium caused a significant increase of14CO2 production from [1-14C]glucose by 110 and 70%, respectively, from the basal level of 18.4 ± 1.2 nmol/g liver/min from the perfused liver ofClarias batrachus. Conversely, hypertonic exposure (345 mOsmol/l) caused significant decrease of14CO2 production from [1-14C]glucose by 34%.14CO2 production from [6-14C]glucose was largely unaffected by anisotonicity. The steady-state release of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) into bile was 1.18 ±0.09 nmol/g liver/min, which was reduced significantly by 36% and 34%, respectively, during hypotonic exposure and amino acid-induced cell swelling, and increased by 34% during hypertonic exposure. The effects of anisotonicity on14CO2 production from [1-14C]glucose and biliary GSSG release were also observed in the presence of t-butylhydroperoxide (50 (Amol/1). The oxidative stress-induced cell injury, caused due to infusion of t-butylhydroperoxide, was measured as the amount of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage into the effluent from the perfused liver; this was found to be affected by anisotonicity. Hypotonic exposure caused significant decrease of LDH release and hypertonic exposure caused significant increase of LDH release from the perfused liver. The data suggest that hypotonically-induced as well as amino acid-induced cell swelling stimulates flux through the pentose-phosphate pathway and decreases loss of GSSG under condition of mild oxidative stress; hypotonically swollen cells are less prone to hydroperoxide-induced LDH release than hypertonically shrunken cells, thus suggesting that cell swelling may exert beneficial effects during early stages of oxidative cell injury probably due to swelling-induced alterations in hepatic metabolism.

    • Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

      Monika Sadananda

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      The distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch was studied using enzyme histochemistry. AChE fibres and cells are intensely labelled in the forebrain nucleus area X, strongly labelled in high vocal centre (HVC) perikarya, and moderately to lightly labelled in the somata and neuropil of vocal control nuclei robust nucleus of arcopallium (RA), medial magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (MMAN) and lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN). The identified sites of cholinergic and/or cholinoceptive neurons are similar to the cholinergic presence in vocal control regions of other songbirds such as the song sparrow, starling and another genus of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), and to a certain extent in parallel vocal control regions in vocalizing birds such as the budgerigar. AChE presence in the vocal control system suggests innervation by either afferent projecting cholinergic systems and/or local circuit cholinergic neurons. Co-occurrence with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) indicates efferent cholinergic projections. The cholinergic presence in parts of the zebra finch vocal control system, such as the area X, that is also intricately wired with parts of the basal ganglia, the descending fibre tracts and brain stem nuclei could underlie this circuitry’s involvement in sensory processing and motor control of song.

    • Foraging behaviour in tadpoles of the bronze frogRana temporalis: Experimental evidence for the ideal free distribution

      Dheeraj K Veeranagoudar Bhagyashri A Shanbhag Srinivas K Saidapur

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      The ability of bronze frogRana temporalis tadpoles (pure or mixed parental lines) to assess the profitability of food habitats and distribute themselves accordingly was tested experimentally using a rectangular choice tank with a non-continuous input design. Food (boiled spinach) was placed at two opposite ends of the choice tank in a desired ratio (1:1, 1:2 or 1:4) to create habitat A and B. The tadpoles in Gosner stage 28–33, pre-starved for 24 h, were introduced in an open ended mesh cylinder placed in the center of the choice tank, held for 4 min (for acclimation) and then released to allow free movement and habitat selection. The number of tadpoles foraging at each habitat was recorded at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 min time intervals. The actual suitability,Si (the food available in a habitat after colonization of tadpoles) of each habitat was obtained from the equationSi =Bifi (di) whereBi is basic suitability (amount of food provided at each habitat before release of tadpoles),fi is the rate of depletion of food (lowering effect) with introduction of each tadpole, anddi is the density of tadpoles in habitati. The expected number of tadpoles at each habitat was derived from the actual suitability. With no food in the choice tank, movement of the tadpoles in the test arena was random indicating no bias towards any end of the choice tank or the procedure. In tests with a 1:1 food ratio, the observed ratio of tadpoles (11.71: 12.28) was comparable with the expected 12:12 ratio. The observed number of tadpoles in the habitats with a 1:2 food ratio was 8.71:15.29 and 7.87:16.13 for pure and mixed parental lines respectively. In both cases, the observed ratios were close to the expected values (7:17). Likewise, in experiments with a 1:4 food ratio, the observed number of tadpoles in the two habitats (10.78:37.22) did not differ significantly from the expected ratio of 7:41. In all tests, the number ofR. temporalis tadpoles matched ideally with habitat profitability (undermatching indexK ≜ 1. The study shows that tadpoles of the bronze frog exhibit an ideal free distribution while foraging regardless of whether they are siblings or non-siblings in a group, which correlates well with their group living strategy in nature.

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