Research Journal of Biotechnology

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Recovery of Hydrogen and Methane from Wastewater using a Two-Stage UASB System

Pisutpaisal Nipon, Tanikkul Pinanong and Boonyawanich Sirione

Abstract: Biological hydrogen and methane production from a sucrose-containing synthetic wastewater was setup in a two stage up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) system. Thermally pretreated UASB granule was used as an inoculated seed in a 1 L hydrogenogenic reactor (first stage) whereas non thermally pretreated UASB granule was used as the inoculated seed in a 1.5 L methanogenic reactor (second stage). All experiments were conducted under the room temperature (30±3oC) and fixed influent pH of 5.5 for the hydrogenogenic reactor and that of 7.0 for the methananogenic reactor. The hydrogenogenic reactor was operated at varied hydraulic retention time (HRT) and organic loading rates (ORL) whereas the methanogenic reactor was operated at fixed hydraulic retention time of 12 hr and OLR dependent on the COD effluent from the hydrogenogenic reactor. In the hydrogenogenic stage, hydrogen productivity, production rate and COD removal efficiency of 21.87 mM g-1 COD, 1.8 L d-1 and 49.23% were optimally achieved at operational condition of HRT 6 h with OLR of 6.5 g COD d-1. Methane productivity, production rate and COD removal efficiency of 96.00 mM g-1 COD, 2.9 L d-1 and 87.40%, respectively were observed in the methanogenic stage. Overall performance of combined two stage system is 90% with respect to COD removal efficiency.

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Isolation of a Novel Bacteria Bacillus pantothenticus 8063, Capable of Natural Rubber Latex Degradation

Cherian Elizabeth and Jayachandran K.

Abstract: In an attempt to select a potent rubber degrading strain, several bacterial strains were isolated. After the primary screening, the selected 50 strains were identified of which the dominant strains were Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus sp.. The bacterial strains were subjected to grow on mineral salt latex medium as well as mineral salt latex agar medium. Of these, the bacterial isolate Bacillus pantothenticus could grow well on the agar medium, was also found to reduce the latex content of the mineral salt latex medium considerably. Scanning Electron Micrographs of the rubber surface proved its ability to grow on latex. This organism was selected for further studies in the biodegradation of natural rubber latex.

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Regeneration Studies using Nodal Explant in Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. -An Endangered Medicinal Plant

Kamble Kaveri M. and Srinath Rao

Abstract: In vitro studies were initiated for developing an efficient protocol callus induction and direct regeneration using different explants of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. Callus induction and direct regeneration of shoots was observed on MS basal medium supplemented with various concentrations of auxins and cytokinins. Callus induction was higher in leaf explants compared with other explants. Leaf explant produced maximum amount of callus on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l 2, 4-D + 1.0 mg/l BAP compared to other combinations used. Multiple shoots were induced from nodal explants on MS medium fortified with 1.5 mg/l BAP (10 ± 2 per culture) and subsequent rhizogenesis was achieved on MS + 0.5 mg/l IBA.

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Studies of Antimicrobial Activity of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa L.) Leaves and Rhizomes collected during Plant Growth Phases

Shirgurkar M. V. and Thengane S. R.

Abstract: Turmeric is the processed underground rhizome used as spice, herbal medicines, dying agent and cosmetics. The leaves and rhizomes of this plant were collected at periodic intervals. These samples were air dried, powdered and extracted with MeOH and EtOH. Antibacterial activity of these extracts was determined against three different index microbes, gram-positive cocci, gram-negative rod and cocci using well diffusion method with appropriate controls. Antimicrobial activity of the 4-month-old leaves was found to be the maximum while that of mature and fresh rhizomes was the maximum against both gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

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Protective Role of the Apigenin against Tinidazole Induced Genotoxic Damage in Cultured Human Lymphocytes

Siddique Yasir Hasan and Afzal Mohammad

Abstract Tinidazole has been reported mutagenic in various test systems, besides having anti-protozoal properties. In the present study the effect of apigenin was studied against the genotoxic doses tinidazole using chromosomal aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges as a parameter in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. A significant dose dependent decrease in chromosomal aberration and sister chromatid exchange was observed when the tinidazole genotoxic doses treatments were given along with the non-genotoxic doses of apigenin. The results suggest a protective role of apigenin against the tinidazole genotoxic doses.

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Determination of Genome Size of Bhim Kol (Musa balbisiana)

Zaman M. and Konwar B.K.

Abstract Musa balbisiana is perhaps one of the progenitors of the commercial banana. It is widely distributed in North East India. Economic importances of this plant as well as morphological traits were studied. DNA from M. balbisiana was isolated and restriction digestion was done to check the purity and clean nature of the DNA sample. Mostly, the genome size is determined by using flow cytometry but genome size can also be determined by microscope, which is the easiest and less expensive method than the flow cytometry. The genome size of the plant was determined approximately 0.62 pg per haploid set of chromosome (1.24 pg / 2C). Among, the Musa species the genome size of M.balbisiana is the smallest.

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Assessment of Aqueous Extracts of Selected Nepali High Altitude Medicinal and Aromatic Herbs as Antimicrobial Agents against Selected Gram-Negative and Gram-Positive Opportunistic Pathogens

Dixit S.M., Upadhyaya J., Dulal P., Poudel S., Dhakal A., Gautam P., Malla D., Manandhar A., Pandey S., Shrestha P. and Pokhrel B. M.

Abstract Research in medicinal and aromatic herbal extracts against representative gram-negative and gram-positive widely occurring bacterial pathogens was carried out. Results of Growth Kinetic Broth Assay (GKBA), using Escherichia coli (TUTH strain) and Enterococcus faecalis (TUTH strain) as target bacteria indicated that a number of herbal extracts were able to affect growth of both bacterial strains at two different growth periods 4h and 7h. Out of 22 herbal extracts assessed for growth inhibitory activity against E. coli at both time points, 10 extracts showed significantly different (p<0.05) absorbance values under spectroscopic measurements compared to controls. This value was less when same extracts were assessed against E. faecalis, with 6 extracts inhibiting growth significantly (p<0.05). Interestingly, growths promoting activities, rather than growth inhibitory activities towards the bacterial strains were also exhibited by certain herbal extracts at different time points indicating prebiotic-like functionality of those herbs.

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Homology Modeling and Structure based Validation of Mtb-Ddla of M.Tuberculosis

Kasturi K. and Suresh Kumar C.

Abstract: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the main causative organism of Tuberculosis (TB), is a successful pathogen that overcomes the numerous challenges presented by the immune system of the host. TB remains one of the world's greatest causes of mortality and morbidity, with approximately 8 million new infections and 2 million deaths per year. More adults die due to TB every year than AIDS and malaria together. In the last 40 years few anti-TB drugs have been developed, while the drug-resistance problem is increasing; there is thus a pressing need to develop new anti-TB drugs active against both the acute and chronic growth phases of the mycobacterium. D-alanine-D-alanine ligase (ddla) is a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of peptidoglycan membrane. As an anti-TB drug target, Mtb–ddla has been well validated. A homology model of ddla has been constructed using the X-ray structures of S.aureus ddla (PDB code: 2I80) as template, by comparative protein modeling principles. The resulting model has the correct stereochemistry as assessed from the Ramachandran plot. The structurally and functionally important residues (active site) of Mtb–ddla have been identified using the S.aureus ddla crystal structure. Selective and specific Mtb–ddla inhibitors can be designed using the homology model, by the structure-based drug design approaches.

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Effect of Growth Regulators on Micropropagation of Rauvolfia Serpentina (L.) Benth

Harisaranraj R., Suresh K.* and Saravana Babu S.

Abstract: Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. called Sarpagandha (the snake root) in Hindi, belongs to family Apocynaceae. This plant is listed in earliest Ayurvedic medicinal text the Charaka Samhita (c. 700 B.C.) and has been used since in olden days for the treatment of mental illness and insomnia. The roots of R. serpentina contain numerous alkaloids. Its indiscriminate use and poor method of conventional propagation have led this species to be included in the list of endangered plants. Thus a need arises to generate an efficient protocol for cloning of R. serpentina in order to regenerate propagules to replenish depleting forests and meeting the demand of commercial cultivation. The present study reveals the development of an efficient and simple process for large-scale clonal micropropagation of selected plants of R. serpentina and their successful field establishment. In vitro shoot multiplication from nodal explants of Rauvolfia serpentina was standardized by using MS) medium13 supplemented with a cytokinin (BA or Kin). Inclusion of NAA in the culture medium along with BA promoted a higher rate of shoot multiplication. The mean number of shoots per explant after 4 weeks of culture was maximum (5.21) on the MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mg l-1 BA and 0.25 mg l-1 NAA. The elongated shoots rooted within 7-8 days in ½ strength MS medium supplemented with 0.25 mg l-1 of NAA and 2% (w/v) sucrose. About 85% of the rooted plantlets survived acclimatization and transfer to the greenhouse. The present study paves a way for conservation and propagation of this important medicinal plant.

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Somaclonal Variations in an Endangered and Medicinally Important Cucurbit, Citrullus Colosynthis (L.) Schrad

Shasthree T. and Mallaiah B.

Abstract: Somaclonal variations were studied in in vitro regenerated plants of an endangered cucurbit, Citrullus colosynthis (L.) commonly known as ‘bitter apple’. It is a medicinally important plant used as a antirheumatic, anthelminthic and its exractive ‘colosynth’ is a very strong laxative. Roots are used in urinary diseases, mammalitis and opthalmia. Its exract cucurbitacin glucosides inhibit growth of human breast cancer. During in vitro mutagenesis and regeneration studies, a number of somaclones have been isolated and characterized. Regenerated plants from R0 are scored for the identification of variant plants in R1 and R2 generation. During these studies a number of variations in habit, leaf and tendrillar character, floral somaclones like androecious, gynoecious, andro monoecious and andro gynoecious were isolated. Variation in fruit number, sizes, colours and seed coat colours were also screened.

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Polyphenol Analysis and Antitumor activity of Crude Extracts from Tegmen of Artocarpus Heterophyllus

Rajendran Nanda Kumar and Ramakrishnan Jayapradha

Abstract: Artocarpus heterophyllus are rich sources of the isoprenylated phenolic compounds including flavonoids. In this study, crude extracts from the tegmen of A. heterophyllus were tested in vitro for their antitumor activity. Total polyphenol content of the extracts ranged from 97.33 to 117.75 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) /g extract depending on the solvent used and extraction time applied. Among the three solvent extracts, methanol extract showed maximum polyphenol content at 2 hr extraction time followed by ethanol and butanol respectively. The methanolic extract showed maximum cytotoxicity on HEp2 cells up to 1:4 dilutions. Cytotoxic changes observed was cell aggregation, cell rounding and cell death. The overall result indicates the promising baseline information for the potential uses of crude extract from the tegmen of A. heterophyllus as an antitumor agent.

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A Mathematical Model for Ethanol Fermentation by Mutant Neurospora Crassa

Shanmuga Prakash M.

Abstract: The fermentation kinetics of ethanol by Neurospora crassa was studied in a batch system. A simple model was proposed using the logistic equation for growth, the Luedeking–Piret equation for ethanol production and Luedeking–Piret-like equation for cellulose consumption. The model appeared to provide a reasonable description for each parameter during the growth phase. The production of ethanol was growth-associated.

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Differences in Biochemical and Electrophoretic Properties of Lactobacillus Plantarum on Adaptation to GIT Conditions with Functional Pproperties

Agrawal Renu, Vanaja G., Gotcheva Velitchka and Angelov Angel

Abstract: The lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus Plantarum(LB) was initially isolated from Bulgarian pickle. The culture strain has been adapted to GIT conditions (like tolerance to low acid, pH 2.0) and high bile salt concentration (4%) and was coded as LBcfr. It was also studied for the antimicrobial properties and antibiotic resistance. Antagonistic property was found against toxic food pathogens like Klebsiella sp., Citrobacter sp., S. typhi, L. mono-cytogens, S. paratyphi, Shigella sp., Pseudomonas sp., S. aureus, E.coli and L. greyii. The adapted strain (LBcfr) not only had higher antimicrobial activity than the parent strain (LB) but was also found active against additional toxic food pathogens like S.typhi, L. monocytogens, S.paratyphi, S. aureus and L. greyii. The presence of S- layer protein at 30, 60 and 70 KD and good adherence property (as tested by different solvents) in LBcfr culture strain makes it a potential probiotic strain. It also had high antioxidant activity (47.60%) as assayed by DPPH scavenging assay. All these properties make the probiotic culture strain (LBcfr) to be used in the functional foods to impart beneficial effects.

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Review Paper: Possibilities of Existence of Weird Life without Conventional Biochemistry

Rajalakshmi S. and Varatharaju G.

Abstract: Life on mother earth is diverse to a great extent, which none could even imagine of, but all organisms ranging from simple unicellular organism to intricate human beings possess a shared Biochemistry (carbon based metabolism, liquid water as biosolvent, DNA as genetic material) inherited from a common ancestor. But it had now been revealed that life is possible in forms different from those on earth, referred to as ‘weird life’ possessing a new alternative Biochemistry of life. There is always a possibility that there are still organisms that tell something about early life and even possibly the origin of life. Although man has ravaged deep into life, even up to molecular or even nano level interactions and biosignalling there is so much about earth life, which we do not understand. Nothing would be more tragic in the exploration of space than to encounter an alien life but fail to recognize it. The problem behind all these is that it is difficult to look for life, which we do not know because we do not know how to look for it. While man is looking for life outside earth, he looks for earth like life. Thus the encountered alien life is left unrecognized and without his knowledge, man is posing serious contamination to earth by serving as a transporter of alien weird life through his missions to the space. Thus the search for weird life claims much significance owing to the consequences of contamination and lack of proper tools and scientific preparations in order to meet the consequences.

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