• L Singh

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) – A promising spice for phytochemicals and biological activities

      R S Policegoudra S M Aradhya L Singh

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      Mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) is a unique spice having morphological resemblance with ginger but imparts a raw mango flavour. The main use of mango ginger rhizome is in the manufacture of pickles and culinary preparations. Ayurveda and Unani medicinal systems have given much importance to mango ginger as an appetizer, alexteric, antipyretic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, emollient, expectorant and laxative and to cure biliousness, itching, skin diseases, bronchitis, asthma, hiccough and inflammation due to injuries. The biological activities of mango ginger include antioxidant activity, antibacterial activity, antifungal activity, anti-inflammatory activity, platelet aggregation inhibitory activity, cytotoxicity, antiallergic activity, hypotriglyceridemic activity, brine-shrimp lethal activity, enterokinase inhibitory activity, CNS depressant and analgesic activity. The major chemical components include starch, phenolic acids, volatile oils, curcuminoids and terpenoids like difurocumenonol, amadannulen and amadaldehyde. This article brings to light the major active components present in C. amada along with their biological activities that may be important from the pharmacological point of view.

    • Molecular characterization of `Bhut Jolokia' the hottest chilli

      J Purkayastha S I Alam H K Gogoi L Singh V Veer

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      The northeast region of India, considered as ‘hot spot’ of biodiversity, having unique ecological environment with hot and high-humidity conditions, has given rise to the world’s hottest chilli, ‘Bhut Jolokia’, which is at least two times hotter than Red Savina Habanero in terms of Scoville heat units (SHU). This study was undertaken to determine the distinctiveness of ‘Bhut Jolokia’ from Capsicum frutescens or Capsicum chinense through sequencing of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene-internal transcribed (ITS) region along with its phylogenetic analysis. Although a compensatory base change (CBC) in the ITS2 region was not observed between the closely related species of C. frutescens and C. chinense when compared with Bhut Jolokia; phylogenetic analysis using ITS1, 5.8S and ITS2 sequences indicated a distinct clade for all the accessions of ‘Bhut Joloikia’, while C. frutescens and C. chinense occupied discrete lineages. Further, a unique 13-base deletion was observed in all the representative accessions of ‘Bhut Jolokia’, making it distinct from all other members within the genus and beyond. The degree of genetic variations along with its extreme pungency might be related to ambient environmental factors of northeastern India.

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