• S Ignacimuthu

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Nutritional and hormonal effects on storage proteins in the silkworm,Bombyx mori L.

      S Janarthanan S Sankar M Krishnan S Ignacimuthu

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      Starvation of 48 h old fifth instar larvae depressed storage protein titres initially for 48 h but retained the levels comparable to control thereafter, possibly due to nutrients obtained during the 48 h feeding after fourth ecdysis. After an initial decline ligated larvae accumulated maximum storage proteins in haemolymph. This is because of inhibitory juvenile hormone titre at the basal level besides the appropriate release of 20-hydroxyecdysone from the ectopic source(s). Injection of methoprene (10 Μg/larva) repressed accumulation of storage proteins while 20-hydroxyecdysone (10 Μg/larva) increased the same. P-soyatose injection to starved and ligated larvae accelerated storage protein accumulation in haemolymph, signalling nutrient indispensability for initiation of storage protein synthesis at the appropriate time of last instar development inBombyx mori.

    • Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of chickpea with α-amylase inhibitor gene for insect resistance

      S Ignacimuthu S Prakash

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      Chickpea is the world’s third most important pulse crop and India produces 75% of the world’s supply. Chickpea seeds are attacked byCallosobruchus maculatus andC. chinensis which cause extensive damage. The α-amylase inhibitor gene isolated fromPhaseolus vulgaris seeds was introduced into chickpea cultivar K850 throughAgrobacterium- mediated transformation. A total of 288 kanamycin resistant plants were regenerated. Only 0.3% of these were true transformants. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and Southern hybridization confirmed the presence of 4.9 kb α-amylase inhibitor gene in the transformed plants. Western blot confirmed the presence of α-amylase inhibitor protein. The results of bioassay study revealed a significant reduction in the survival rate of bruchid weevilC. maculatus reared on transgenic chickpea seeds. All the transgenic plants exhibited a segregation ratio of 3:1.

    • Antimycobacterial activity of two natural alkaloids, vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine, isolated from Indian shrub Adhatoda vasica Ness. leaves

      S Ignacimuthu N Shanmugam

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      In folk medicine, Adhatoda vasica Ness. (Acanthaceae) is used to treat asthma and cough. The leaves of A.vasica were powdered and extracted with hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol. The hexane extract showed 97% reduction in colony-forming units (CFU) at 100 𝜇g/ml. The hexane extract was subjected to column chromatography. Two natural compounds, vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine, were isolated from it. They were bioassayed against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The two compounds showed strong antimycobacterial activity. Vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine isolated from hexane extract of A. vasica leaves, significantly inhibited M. tuberculosis and one multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strain and one sensitive strain at 200 and 50 𝜇g/ml, respectively. Our study demonstrated that both the compounds, vasicine acetate and 2-acetyl benzylamine, could be evaluated further for developing a drug to control M. tuberculosis.

    • Development of transgenic finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) resistant to leaf blast disease

      S Ignacimuthu S Antony Ceasar

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      Finger millet plants conferring resistance to leaf blast disease have been developed by inserting a rice chitinase (chi11) gene through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Plasmid pHyg-Chi.11 harbouring the rice chitinase gene under the control of maize ubiquitin promoter was introduced into finger millet using Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 (pSB1). Transformed plants were selected and regenerated on hygromycin-supplemented medium. Transient expression of transgene was confirmed by GUS histochemical staining. The incorporation of rice chitinase gene in R0 and R1 progenies was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. Expression of chitinase gene in finger millet was confirmed by Western blot analysis with a barley chitinase antibody. A leaf blast assay was also performed by challenging the transgenic plants with spores of Pyricularia grisea. The frequency of transient expression was 16.3% to 19.3%. Stable frequency was 3.5% to 3.9%. Southern blot analysis confirmed the integration of 3.1 kb chitinase gene. Western blot analysis detected the presence of 35 kDa chitinase enzyme. Chitinase activity ranged from 19.4 to 24.8. In segregation analysis, the transgenic R1 lines produced three resistant and one sensitive for hygromycin, confirming the normal Mendelian pattern of transgene segregation. Transgenic plants showed high level of resistance to leaf blast disease compared to control plants. This is the first study reporting the introduction of rice chitinase gene into finger millet for leaf blast resistance.

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