• K P Gopinathan

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Stimulation of valyl- and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase reactions by polyamines

      V Natarajan K P Gopinathan

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      The aminoacylation of tRNA catalysed by valyl-tRNA synthetase (EC and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase (EC fromMycobacterium smegmatis is dependent on the presence of divalent metal ions. Polyamines alone, in the absence of metal ions, do not bring about aminoacylation. In the presence of suboptimal concentrations of Mg2+, polyamines significantly stimulate the reaction. Of the cations tested, only Mn2+, Co2+ and Ca2+ can partially substitute for Mg2+ in aminoacylation, and spermine stimulates aminoacylation in the presence of these cations also. At neutral pH, spermine deacylates nonenzymatically aminoacyl tRNA. AMP and pyrophosphate-dependent enzymatic deacylation of aminoacyl-tRNA (reverse reaction) is also stimulated by spermine. The inhibitory effect of high concentration of KC1 on aminoacylation is counteracted, by spermine. The low level of activity between pH 8.5–9.0 at 1.2 mM Mg2+ is restored to normal level on the addition of spermine. The inhibitory effect of high pH on aminoacylation in the presence of low concentration of Mg2+ is also prevntedvby spemine.

    • Bacteriophage burst size during multiple infections

      Raghavendra Gadagkar K P Gopinathan

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      A significant positive correlation was observed between multiplicity of infection and burst size of mycobacteriophage 13. During multiple infections, the average contribution of each infecting phage to the burst size was inversely correlated with multiplicity of infection even when bacterial resources were not limiting. We conclude that the efficiency of phage-coded functions rather than the extent of bacterial resources determines the burst size.

    • Growth ofMycobacterium smegmatis in minimal and complete media

      Raghavendra Gadagkar K P Gopinathan

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      The growth patterns ofMycobacterium smegmatis SN2 in a minimal medium and in nutrient broth have been compared. The growth was monitored by absorbancy (Klett readings), colony forming units, wet weight and content of DNA, RNA and protein. During the early part of the growth cycle, the bacteria had higher wet weight and macromolecular content in nutrient broth than in minimal media. During the latter half of the growth cycle however, biosynthesis stopped much earlier in nutrient broth and the bacteria had a much lower content of macromolecules than in the minimal medium. In both the media, a general pattern of completing biosynthesis rapidly in the initial phase and a certain amount of cell division at a later time involving the distribution of preformed macromolecules was seen. The possible adaptive significance of this observation has been discussed.

    • Influence of formamide on the thermal stability of DNA

      Chanchal Sadhu Santanu Dutta K P Gopinathan

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      The utility of formamide in the denaturation and renaturation of DNA has been examined. The melting temperature of duplex DNA is lowered by 0·6°C per per cent formamide. The depression of melting temperature is independent of the GC content. Formamide also increases the width of the thermal transition. Upto 30%, it does not affect the rate of DNA reassociation

    • Isolation, characterization and mapping of temperature-sensitive mutants of mycobacteriophage I3

      Chanchal Sadhu Mohan lal Gope Krishna Sadhu K P Gopinathan

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      Eighteen temperature-sensitive mutants of mycobacteriophage I3 have been isolated and partially characterized. All the mutants were defective in vegetative replication. Based on temperature shift experiments with the temperature sensitive mutants, the thermosensitive phase of the phage development period has been characterized for each mutant. The genes have been mapped by recombination analysis. The early, continuous and middle genes seem to cluster on the genetic map

    • Transcriptional specificity after mycobacteriophage I3 infection

      V Nagaraja K P Gopinathan

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      Transcriptional regulation following mycobacteriophage I3 infection has been investigated. For this purpose, RNA polymerase mutants (rif)of host bacterium,Mycobacterium smegmatis have been isolated and characterised. Phage growth inrifs and rifr cells in presence of rifampicin revealed the involvement of host RNA polymerase in phage genome transcription. This was confirmed by studies onin vivo RNA synthesis as well as by direct RNA polymerase assay after phage infection. Significant stimulation in RNA polymerase activity was seen following phage infection. The maximal levels were attained in about 60 min post infection and maintained throughout the phage development period. The stimulation of polymerase activity was most pronounced when the phage DNA was used as the template. RNA polymerases from uninfected and phage-infectedMycobacterium smegmatis have been purified to homogeniety. The enzyme purification was accomplished by a rapid procedure utilising affinity chromatography on rifampicin-Sepharose columns. Subunit structure analysis of the purified RNA polymerase from uninfected and phage-infected cells showed the presence of α,β, β′ and σ subunits similar to the other prokaryotic RNA polymerases. In addition, a polypeptide of 79, 000 daltons was associated with the enzyme after phage infection. The enzymes differed in their properties with respect to template specificity. Phage 13 DNA was the preferred template for the modified RNA polymerase isolated from infected cells which may account for the transcriptional switch required for phage development.

    • Analysis of nuclear proteins from silk glands ofBombyx mori

      Pushpa Agrawal K P Gopinathan

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      A gentle method for the isolation of nuclei from developing silk glands ofBombyx mori has been standardized. The nuclei, whether isolated or directly visualizedin situ within the silk glands, exhibit complex morphology. The nuclei occupy almost the entire volume of the gigantic silk gland cells. Although the isolated nuclei still retain their ramified morphology, being polyploid they are fragile and often become fragmented. The histone and low-salt-extractable proteins from nuclei isolated from the middle and posterior silk glands on different days of the fourth and fifth instars of larval development have been analysed. The histones did not show any stage- or tissue-specific variations whereas the low-salt-extractable proteins showed some developmental stage specific variation. Using the antibody raised against one such protein, its absence in the early stage of development has been confirmed by Western blotting techniques. This developmental stage specific protein may be functionally linked to some activities responsible for boosting up the production of silk or silk-related proteins during the fifth instar of larval development.

    • Characterization of the genome ofOryctes baculovirus, a viral biocide of the insect pestOryctes rhinoceros

      K S Mohan K P Gopinathan

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      Oryctes baculovirus is a viral biocide exploited for the control of the insect pestOryctes rhinoceros. We have recently established a physical map of the genome of the Indian isolate ofOryctes baculovirus (OBV-KI). Here we examine the genomic relatedness between OBV-KI and OBV-PV505, the type isolate (originally from the Philippines), by DNA reassociation kinetics and by the use of restriction endonucleases. On the basis of differences in restriction-enzyme profiles between the two genomes, and previously reported differences in protein profiles and antigenic makeup, we propose the taxonomic status of a variant ofOryctes baculovirus for the Indian isolate

    • The wings ofBombyx mori develop from larval discs exhibiting an early differentiated state: a preliminary report

      Madhuri Kango-Singh Amit Singh K P Gopinathan

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      Lepidopteran insects present a complex organization of appendages which develop by various mechanisms. In the mulberry silkworm,Bombyx mori a pair of meso- and meta-thoracic discs located on either side in the larvae gives rise to the corresponding fore- and hind-wings of the adult. These discs do not experience massive cell rearrangements during metamorphosis and display the adult wing vein pattern. We have analysed wing development inB. mori by two approaches, viz., expression of patterning genes in larval wing discs, and regulatory capacities of larval discs following explantation or perturbation. Expression of Nubbin is seen all over the presumptive wing blade domains unlike inDrosophila, where it is confined to the hinge and the wing pouch. Excision of meso- and meta-thoracic discs during the larval stages resulted in emergence of adult moths lacking the corresponding wings without any loss of thoracic tissues suggesting independent origin of wing and thoracic primordia. The expression of wingless and distal-less along the dorsal/ventral margin in wing discs correlated well with their expression profile in adultDrosophila wings. Partially excised wing discs did not showin situ regeneration or duplication suggesting their early differentiation. The presence of adult wing vein patterns discernible in larval wing discs and the patterns of marker gene expression as well as the inability of these discs to regulate growth suggested that wing differentiation is achieved early inB. mori. The timings of morphogenetic events are different and the wing discs behave like presumptive wing buds opening out as wing blades inB. mori unlike evagination of only the pouch region as wing blades seen inDrosophila.

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