• G Ravikanth

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Patterns of species discovery in the Western Ghats, a megadiversity hot spot in India

      N A Aravind B Tambat G Ravikanth K N Ganeshaiah R Uma Shaanker

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      Even since Linnaeus, naturalists and taxonomists have been systematically describing species new to science. Besides indicating gaps in taxonomic effort, understanding the temporal patterns of species discovery could help in identifying drivers that determine discovery. In this study we report the patterns of discovery of eight taxa – birds, butterflies, frogs, tiger beetles, grasses, asters, ferns and orchids – in the Western Ghats, a megadiversity centre in India. Our results indicate that the discovery curves for birds and butterflies have been saturated while those for frogs and grasses continue to increase. Within each taxon, the major drivers of discovery were commonness of the species and their size. The average years taken for discovery across taxa were directly related to the per cent endemicity and species richness of the taxa. We discuss the trajectories of discovery with respect to rarity or endemicity of the species and life history features, and the implications these might have for strategizing the discovery process in India.

    • Stylish lengths: Mate choice in flowers

      B T Ramesha M D Yetish G Ravikanth K N Ganeshaiah Jaboury Ghazoul R Uma Shaanker

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      The styles of flowers may represent an arena for pollen competition in the race to fertilize ovules. Accordingly, selection should favour a longer ‘race’ to better discriminate among variable pollen by increasing style length. Sampling across a taxonomically diverse range of wild and outcrossed species, we found that the distribution of style lengths within plants were skewed towards longer styles, as predicted. In self-pollinated domesticated species, where discrimination among pollen is less important, we found no such pattern. We conclude that style length is under directional selection towards longer styles as a mechanism for mate choice among pollen of variable quality.

    • Transcriptome analysis of stem wood of Nothapodytes nimmoniana (Graham) Mabb. identifies genes associated with biosynthesis of camptothecin, an anti-carcinogenic molecule

      BL Manjunatha HR Singh G Ravikanth Karaba N Nataraja Ravi Shankar Sanjay Kumar R Uma Shaanker

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      Camptothecin (CPT), a monoterpene indole alkaloid, is a potent inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase I and has applications in treating ovarian, small lung and refractory ovarian cancers. Stem wood tissue of Nothapodytes nimmoniana (Graham) Mabb. (family Icacinaceae) is one of the richest sources of CPT. Since there is no genomic or transcriptome data available for the species, the present work sequenced and analysed transcriptome of stem wood tissue on an Illumina platform. From a total of 77,55,978 reads, 9,187 transcripts were assembled with an average length of 255 bp. Functional annotation and categorization of these assembled transcripts unraveled the transcriptome architecture and also a total of 13 genes associated with CPT biosynthetic pathway were identified in the stem woodtissue. Four genes of the pathway were cloned to full length by RACE to validate the transcriptome data. Expression analysis of 13 genes associated with CPT biosynthetic pathway in 11 different tissues vis-a-vis CPT content analysis suggested an important role of NnPG10H, NnPSLS and NnPSTR genes in the biosynthesis of CPT. These results indicated that CPT might be synthesized in the leaves and then perhaps exported to stem wood tissue for storage.

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