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Neo planta V O L . 2

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M A R C H

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Microorganisms for you

Earth, Man and Environment

Medicinal Plants of the Month

Research Methodology— Ethnobotanical studies

Facts: Inventions and Discoveries related to Plant Science


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Aspergillus niger It is used in the industrial preparation of citric acid and gluconic acid. Many useful enzymes are produced using industrial fermentation of A.niger. For example, A.niger glucoamylase is used in the production of high fructose corn syrup and pectinases are used in cider and wine clarification. Alpha galactosidase, an enzyme that breaks down certain complex sugars is a component of Beano and other products that decrease flatulence. Another use of A.niger within the biotechnology industry is in the production of magnetic isotope containing variants of biological macromolecules for NMR analysis. A.niger growing from gold mining solution contained cyano metal complexes, such as gold, silver, copper, iron and zinc. The fungus also plays a role in the solubiluzation of heavy metal sulphides. It is used in the fermentation of pureh tea. A.niger also cultured for the extraction of the enzyme, glucose oxidase, used in the design of glucose biosensors, due to its high affinity for beta D glucose. A.niger is commonly found as a saprophyte growing on dead leaves, stored grain compost piles and other decaying vegetation. The primary use of A.niger is for the production of enzymes and organic acids by fermentation. Macroscopically this fungus can be identified growing on substrates producing colonies of fest like yellow to white hyphae turning black with the formation of conidia. A.niger has been found to be thermotolerant and have shown a tolerance to freezing. A.niger makes citric acid, the main ingredient in soda. Some strains of A.niger have been reported to produce potent mycotoxins called ochratoxins. It also produces the isoflavone orobol.

Aspergillus wentii MICRO ORGANISMS FOR YOU

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It is used in the processing of soybeans. It has the ability to produce beta glucosidase when used with malt extract as a carbon source.

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Aspergillus oryzae It is a filamentous fungus used in Chinese and other East Asian cuisines to ferment soybeans for making soysauce and fermented bean paste and also to saccharify rice, other grains and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, makgeolli and shochu. It is also used in the production of rice vinegars. The mycelium shows rapid growth on and into the rice kernels. It exhibits strong secretion of amylase, some carboxy peptidase and low tyrosinase. Its aesthetic properties include pleasant fragrance and accumulation of flavouring compounds. The hyphae is hyaline and septate and conidiophores ends at a round shaped vesicle. From the vesicle extend a long filament called a conidial chain, which appear as long fluffy strands on the surface of the substrate. The spore bearing cells or asci, are produced within the ascocarp, or the fruiting body. The primary enzyme secreted by the filamentous fungi is called amylase, which lends a sweet taste to the food it is fermented into. The primary metabolism of A.oryzae receives its energy through contact with energy sources (grains or starches). Once it made the contact with an energy source, it secretes enzymes that degrade the proteins and peptide bonds within the starch and convert them into aminoacids and sugars for consumption. The preferable temperature for growth is 30-40ยบC. It is more rare due to its domestication for use in fermentation in the food industry. In solid substrate cultivation, A.oryzae is sprinkled over rice, barley or soybeans and fermented at a specific temperature ideal for fungus growth. The A.oryzae is sprinkled on the grain at a temperature under 45ยบC, and the fungus grows on the steamed rice, which then raises in temperature and moisture level to allow the propagation of fungus. The enzyme it secreted breaks down the starches and proteins within the grain and converts it into aminoacids and sugars.

Bacillus cereus It is a gram positive, rod shaped, aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, motile beta haemolytic bacterium commonly found in soil and food. Some strains are beneficial as probiotics for animals. It competes with other microbes like Salmonella and Camphylobacter in the gut, so its presence reduces the number of those microorganisms. In animals that are consumed as food like chickens, rabbits and pigs, some harmless strains of B.cereus are used as probiotic food additive to reduce Salmonella in the intestine and cecum. This improves the growth of the animals as well as food safety for humans who eat it. It parasitizes codling moth larvae. Some strains produce Cereins, bacteriocins active against different B.cereus strains or other gram positive bacteria.

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SOPHORA GLAUCA Rehd et Wils. Family : Fabaceae Medicinal properties: Bark heated with hot stones and made into poultice to treat wounds or rubbed on sore back or made into an infusion to treat bruising or muscular pains. Phytochemicals reported from the plant: Alkaloids Medicinal plants of

Facts

In 1941, Van Overbeck et al used coconut milk for embryo development and callus formation in Datura

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In 1958, F.C.Stewart and J. Reinert obtained regeneration in callus tissue culture of carrot.


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TEPHROSIA SPINOSA Family : Fabaceae Medicinal properties: Whole plant is anthelmintic, antirheumatic, antipyretic, indigestion, antidiarrheal, anti inflammatory. Phytochemicals reported from the plant: Eupalitin 3-O-β-D galactopyranoside, eupalitin, tephrospinosin.

Facts

The foundation of commercial plant tissue culture

was laid in 1960 with the discovery of G.M. Morel for a

million fold increase in clonal multiplication of an orchid cymbidium. 

Skoog et al found out the role of cytokinins in culture media.

Miller et al in 1955 isolated a potent cell division factor from degraded DNA preparations, identified and named it as Kinetin.

Miller in 1957, advanced the hypothesis of organogenesis in cultured callus by varying the ratio of auxin and cytokinin in growth medium.


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TEPHROSIA VILLOSA (L.)Pers Family : Fabaceae Medicinal properties: Leaf juice is used to treat dropsy and diabetes in India. Phytochemicals reported from the plant: Carbohydrates, saponins, coumarin, glycosides, flavonoids and phytosterol.

Facts

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In 1952, the PfizerInc, Newyork,

USA got the US patent and started

producing industrially the secondary metabolites of plants. 

In India, work on tissue culture was started during mid 1950s at the department of Botany (University of Delhi) by Panchanan Maheshwari who is regarded as the Father of Embryology in India.

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ABRUS PRECATORIUS L. Family : Fabaceae Medicinal properties: Roots– emetic and alexiteric. Decoction of roots and leaves used to treat cold and colic. Seeds are purgative, emetic, tonic, aphrodisiac and used to treat nervine disorders. Poultice of seeds is used to bring out abortion. Paste of seeds applied locally to treat sciatica, stiffness of shoulder joints and in paralysis. Phytochemicals reported from the plant: Abrine, abraline, abrasine, abricin, abrusgenic acid, anthocyanin, calcium, campesterol, carbohydrates, delphinidin, gallic acid, hypaphorine, pectin, pentosans, polygalacturonic acids, trigonelline.

Facts 

Skoog in 1944 for the first time indicated that the

organogenesis could be chemically controlled.

White in 1934 reported the successful organ culture.


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Earth, man and environment

Man and environment are interrelated. Environment influences the life of man and man modifies his environment as a result of growth, dispersal, activities, death and decay. Various social structures like industrial, agricultural, religious etc., emerged on the course of human civilization and these structures represent man’s accumulated cultural resources based on environment. The environment of man thus consists of both natural and man made resources or substances. Man is connected with his environment by constant interaction. The environment helps man in the development of different structures of his society, the existence and quality of the environment are now determined by the reactions of these social structures. The reactions lead to environmental problems like quality of the environment, disruption of earth’s natural ecosystem, environmental degradation, pollution, ecological imbalance, depletion of resources etc. The interaction between human and environment depends largely on the social and political system. The perceptions and interactions to the environment caries with the system. These differential interactions are due to uneven distribution of natural resources, uneven economic and social development, dissimilarity of demographic factors etc., Continuous and increased exploitation of natural resources, industrialization, technological growth, unplanned urbanization and capitalism by the modern world are the major reasons for today’s environmental crisis and ecological imbalance. Rapid population explosion puts tremendous pressure on the natural resources and environmental quality.

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Growth in population leads to poverty which directly or indirectly declines the environmental standard. Increased population resulted in pollution. The restoration of water quality of our water bodies and their optimal uses are the challenges before the present society. The over cultivation of land to meet the food need of the growing population, resulted in nutrient deficiency, lack of organic matter, soil salinity and damage to the physical structure of the soil. Deforestation resulted in soil erosion, which can be prevented by restoration of land or soil resources. The forest resources are depleted at a very faster rate to meet the growing needs of timber and farmland for the increased population. Vast forest areas have been converted into barren waste lands. So it is the need of the present society to restore our forest resources through social forestry and afforestation programs. The over exploitation of natural resources, intervention of biogeochemical cycles and trace elements cycle, extraneous release of matter and energy etc., cause serious environmental hazards. The continuous emission of green house gases, hazardous chemicals of industries and agriculture, radioactive wastes cause global catastrophism. Hence, the prevention of pollution is of prime importance for the present society.

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Facts

Skoog and Miller in 1957 demonstrated that the

high ratio of auxin and cytokinin stimulated the formation of root in tobacco callus but a low ratio of the

same induced shoot formation. 

Theodore Schwann in 1837 demonstrated that the development of fungus on fruit juice cause fermentation.

Charles Cagniard Latour in 1838 observed yeast budding using microscope having 300-400 power magnification.

Charles Chamberland in 1884 constructed a porcelain bacterial

filter. 

Edward Jenner in 1798 used vaccination by taking out liquid

material from cowpox lesions and introduced into people having small pox. 

Watson and Crick in 1953 discovered the double heix DNA.

Werner Arber in 1971 discovered restriction enzyme in bacteria.

Muir in 1953 developed a successful technique for the culture of single isolated cells which is commonly called paper raft nurse technique (placing a single cell on filter paper kept on an actively growing nurse tissue).

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Facts 

In 1908, the British Physician Garrod first proposed one gene one product hypothesis.

In 1941, G.W.Beadle and E.L. Tatum demonstrated one gene one enzyme hypothesis.

Gilbert in 1978 termed the split genes as introns.

Thomas Cech in 1986 discovered that pre rRNA is self splicing.

S.Altman showed that ribonuclease cleaves a fragment of pre t-RNA from one end.

In 1970, S. Mizutami, H.M. Temin and D. Baltimore discovered the RNA dependent DNA polymerase (i.e.) Reverse transcriptase in retrovirus. They were awarded Nobel prize in 1975.

A.Tiselius in 1937 pioneered electrophoresis which is a method of separation of charged molecules applying an electric field.

J.J. Thomson in 1900 introduced mass spectrometer which employed fixed magnetic and electric fields to separate ions of different mass and energy.

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Facts 

In 1983, Messings and co workers developed the PUC vectors at the University of California.

Collins and Hohn in 1978 developed cosmid.

In 1987, David and his coworkers developed Yeast Artificial Chromosomes (YAC) by using new approaches where DNA segments of several thousand base pairs (about 1mb can be cloned).

Maniatis etal in 1976 described the basic techniques of gene cloning.

Wolf et al in 1990 injected naked DNA into the muscle of mice which led to the expression of encoded marker protein. Thereafter, there has been a surge to use this approach to generate DNA vaccines against a variety of infectious diseases.

In 1974, George Kohler and Milstein isolated clones of cells from the fusion of two parental cell lines.

Kohler and Milstein in 1975 proposed that he antibodies for specific antigens immunized the myeloma cells.

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Ethnobotanical study methodology Before

selecting the methods or approaches one must

define the goals of his/her work. The methods used for ethnobotanical studies are time consuming and expensive. The successful studies are those which involve several seasons and continued for many years. The long term study will help to know details on ritual occasions, practices and farming activities. In case when long term study is impossible, rapid ethnobotanical study can be applied: The techniques do not require expensive tools. A small group of local people is selected and interviewed Research

quantitatively. The topics are first covered in a preliminary

methodology

way which allows a comprehensive view of how the community acts as a whole. Measurements are qualitative and few statistical tools are used in the interpretation of the results. The techniques are highly visual and carried out by the collaboration of the researchers with the community members. But the short term study do not create a deep working relationship between the ethnobotanist and community

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groups. To make an ethnobotanical field study, the researcher must get permission from the government officials, scientists and local people. The researcher must get permission from the officials for carrying out research in indigenous community. The researcher must also obtain permission from community members before starting any research works. The researchers are also expected to compensate informants and communities with a fair amount of money and gifts or services to the indigenous people. The intellectual property rights regarding the ecological knowledge of the indigenous people must be taken into consideration. Points to ponder while planning for short term research: 

The secondary information like maps, floras, faunas, vegetation analysis, census statistics, conservation issues in the region etc., must be obtained.

A prior contact with a person (linguistic) familiar with the local knowledge, a botanist who know the flora, an anthropologist who has studied the local people’s classification and other researchers who have worked in the region.

Full cooperation and permission from local authorities must be ensured.

The study must be carried out systematically which must include a map of the sites you made the visit, recording name of the people who have participated in the research, identification of species collected and recording the interviews that are carried out.

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The conclusion of the study, together with the drawings, charts and graphs created should be presented in the final report. Points to ponder while Planning a long term project: First a rapid study must be carried out, the research must be continued for a few weeks, seasons or several years more rigorous research methods must be applied. 

Specimens of all the species in the study must be collected, identified and deposited in a herbarium or seed bank. Labels must be attached to the specimens which include scientific name, locality, description, collector, number of collection and other essential details.

Local categories of plants identified and uses collected must be confirmed in discussions with numerous community members.

All local names and other key terms must be accurately transcribed using a widely accepted system.

The plant population sampled for analysis in a laboratory or research centre should be documented by a voucher specimen.

The environment in which the study has been carried out should also be noted.

The economic value of the biological resources should be estimated.

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“Before giving up an effort just analyze how close you are to the result”

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Facts 

In 1975, Fredereck Sanger developed the most widely used technique for DNA sequencing.

In early 1990s, the expressed sequence taq (ESI) approach was pioneered by J. Craigventer et al.

In 1962, using sequence variability Zuckerkandl and Pauling proposed a new strategy to study evolutionary relations between organisms which is called ‘molecular evolution.’

In 1902, a German Botanist Gottileb Haberlandt in Berlin developed the concept of culture of isolated cells of Tradescantia in artificial condition. Due to this endeavour, he is regarded as the father of tissue culture.

Gautheret in 1939 cultured cambium tissue of carrot on Knop’s solution supplemented with other chemicals in trace amount.

White in 1939 cultured tobacco tumor tissue from the hybrid Nicotiana glauca and N. langsdorffii.

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Facts 

King and Street in 1977 described the technique of cell separation by changing the nutritional

composition of the medium.

Street in 1977 suggested that the cell density should be determined before sub culturing.

Kurz and Constabel in 1979 have described the properties of cultured plant cell suspensions.

H.W.Kohlehbach in 1978 classified embryos into zygotic, non zygotic, somatic, parthenogenetic, androgenic embryos.

Stewart et al in 1958 first induced somatic embryogenesis in suspension culture.

Carlson in 1983 stated that the genetic heterogeneity of cells in a population represents continuity of genotypes, whereas phenotypically the population is represented as a discrete sum of subclones.

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Darani Vasudevan daraniauthor.ga

Hi readers, I am a Botanist and writer. This magazine is an outcome of the topics that interested me a lot while doing my research works. I chose this magazine as a platform for sharing many interesting facts related to plant Science and microorganisms.

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Neo Planta, March 2019 (Issue 1)  

The issues of this magazine hold interesting information related to Plant Science, Environmental Biology and Microorganisms.

Neo Planta, March 2019 (Issue 1)  

The issues of this magazine hold interesting information related to Plant Science, Environmental Biology and Microorganisms.

Profile for daraniv93
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