• R Vimala Nair

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Reduction of ultraviolet-induced mitotic delay by caffeine in G2-phase irradiated plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum

      P R Jayasree R Vimala Nair

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      Synchronously mitotic surface Plasmodia ofPhysarum polycephalum were ultra-violet-irradiated at different times during G2-phase (—4 h to —20 min with respect to metaphase), and treated immediately thereafter with varying concentrations of caffeine. It was observed that ultraviolet-induced mitotic delay is reduced significantly by this methylxanthine. In plasmodia irradiated between —4 and —1 h with respect to metaphase, the effect was concentration-dependent and the need for a certain threshold dose for obtaining the reduction in delay was apparent. However, higher doses than this were fairly toxic when applied at this part of the cycle and led to more mitotic delay than that obtained with UV alone. The most striking observation made during this study was the phase-specific precipitous effect seen in those plasmodia irradiated at about 20 min before mitosis which almost eliminated the long delay due to ultraviolet-irradiation. These results are discussed in the context of some of the known effects of ultraviolet and caffeine on a mitosis-promoting factor. It is proposed that the significant reduction of ultraviolet-induced mitotic delay reported here is due to the reactivation of the ultraviolet-inactivated mitosis-promoting factor by caffeine. Alternatively, it is possible that caffeine may prevent the inactivation of this factor by ultraviolet.

    • Synthesis of actinomycin-insensitive RNA during the first post-irradiation mitotic cycle, in the synchronously mitotic plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum

      WPS Indirabai R Vimala Nair

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      A sucrose density gradient analysis of3H-uridine pulse-labelled RNA from the first postirradiation mitotic cycle ofPhysarum polycephalum shows that all the density classes of RNA synthesized during this period are resistant to the peptide-antibiotic, actinomycin D. In fact, the synthesis is found to be greater in the presence of the drug. The heterogenously sedimenting synthetic activity here may represent a single species of RNA and its precursors or more than one kind of RNA. Further characterization of this RNA is meaningful in view of the actinomycin insensitivity of the postirradiation mitotic cycle itself to this antibiotic.

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