• Sudeshna Mazumdar-Leighton

      Articles written in Resonance – Journal of Science Education

    • Metagenomics at Grass Roots

      Sudeshna Mazumdar-Leighton Vivek K Choudhary

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Metagenomics is a robust, interdisciplinary approach for studyingmicrobial community composition, function, and dynamics.It typically involves a core of molecular biology, microbiology,ecology, statistics, and computational biology. Excitingoutcomes anticipated from these studies include unravelingof complex interactions that characterize the ecologicalmilieu of microbial communities. Diverse habitats fromwhich metagenomes have been reported include human guts,caterpillar guts, thermal vents in oceans, ore deposits, polarcaps, and even soils that adhere to plant roots. Knowledgegenerated from metagenomic projects has tremendous potentialto benefit human health, agriculture, and ecosystemfunctions. This article provides a brief history of technicaladvances in metagenomics, including DNA sequencing methods,and some case studies. A specific example is providedof microbial metagenomes found at the roots of native grassspecies (family Poaceae) that can grow on degraded lands undergoingrevegetation.

    • Going Places: Insect Migration

      Tabasum Akhter Pawan Kumar Sudeshna Mazumdar-Leighton

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      We describe various facets of the fascinating world of insect migrations, both those that are often perceived to be news­worthy, as well as the lesser known. In the form of questions and answers, we describe how the phenomenon of migration is specific to certain insects, the factors that influence insect migration, and how insect migration can be studied. We use examples of well-known agricultural pests and endangered butterflies to describe how hormones, biological clocks, genes, and predilection for particular host plants contribute to the process of migration. We exhort the readers to participate in global citizen science initiatives that recognize and document insect migrations in their vicinity.

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