Monday, 31 March 2014

Even 'Junk' DNA - Non Coding DNA Sequences are Functional!

Non-coding DNA sequences found in all plants may have undiscovered roles in basic plant development and response to the environment.

DNA encodes the information necessary to make all the proteins in a cell, but the vast majority of the DNA in a cell is non-coding DNA, in the past sometimes referred to as "junk" DNA. Recent research paper published in The Plant Cell has identified non-coding DNA sequences that are found in nearly all plants and appear to have roles in basic processes such as tissue and organ development, response to hormones, and regulation of gene expression.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Food Security and Ecology in India

 -Arpita Bhattacharjya
Washington DC
@greenfork on twitter
Author completed her M.Phil in Economics from Punjab University, India
Worked as consultant for The World Bank

How to cite this article                                                                                         Download PDF
Bhattacharjya, A., (2014), Food Security and Ecology in India. Indian Botanists Blog-o-Journal.

    In India, last year, there was an intense debate on the proposed Food Security Bill. It centered mostly around the impact on the national budget and the mechanism of distributing extra supplies of food grains to consumers throughout the country. Parliament eventually passed the Bill but the question remains: is this really the food security initiative that will serve people best? For the rural population, which is primarily involved in agriculture, food security is not merely a matter of entitlement to a certain amount of cash or food grains; but is reflected in the existence of an available, accessible and assured source of food that will hold steady in the face of stresses and shocks to the food system. It is not just about hunger, it is about the ability to rely on a source of food in a stable way.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Celebrate International Mother Earth Day - 22nd April 2014 with Indian Botanists Blog-o-Journal

A number of countries consider Mother Earth as the source of all life and nourishment. Cultures and religions from different part of the world honour the Earth at highest esteem. Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit. United Nation designated 22nd April as International Mother Earth Day. Since 2009 all the member states of United Nation are celebrating the day to advance the relationship of nature and the earth.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Forensic Botany: An Emerging Discipline of Plant Sciences

Rabish Chandra* and Vinny Sharma1
*Central Excise Officer
Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
(Views expressed herein are personal)
1Research Scholar
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007

How to cite this article
Chandra, R., Sharma, V., (2014), Forensic Botany: An Emerging Discipline of Plant Sciences. Indian Botanists Blog-o-Journal.

ABSTRACTVarious disciplines have emerged due to vast expansion in the studies of plant sciences. Discovery of new methods, protocols and analytical techniques facilitates for thorough and deep study of the given subject. One among many disciplines which has appeared as an offshoot from basic plant science is forensic botany. Forensic botany is an interdisciplinary area where the knowledge of botany is applied to solve the crime. This paper introduces about the basic of the subject explaining various sub-disciplines and its application in forensic science. It also cites some cases where botanical evidences have been the part of judgements. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Professor Mahendra Prasad Memorial Lecture Organised at Botany Department of Ranchi University

To commemorate and honour Professor Mahendra Prasad, a legendary plant pathologist, on the occasion of his 80th birth anniversary, Department of Botany of Ranchi University, Ranchi, India in collaboration with Ranchi University Botany Alumni Association (RUBAA), today on 13th March 2014 (Thursday), organised 'Professor (Dr) Mahendra Prasad Memorial lecture'. The event was organised at Dhanwantri Hall of Department of Botany at Ranchi University,  Ranchi India.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sipra Guha Mukherjee - An Inspiration to Many Indian Women Botanists

Rabish Chandra
@rabishchandra on twitter

Happy International Women's Day 2014!

Since the days of my higher secondary school, I have observed Botany is always dominated by female. In a class of thirty postgraduate students at Ranchi University, India, each year the average admission of male students were five to six in number. Whereas in other departments like physics and chemistry the ratio was reverse. However when it comes to male and female ratio among teachers in the department of botany, again the number of male professor were  higher than that of female professors. Lower number of female botanists cannot be linked to inspiring girls and female students to consider science as a career path. Perhaps problem lies in retaining women in academia after they have obtained their degrees. Science subjects including plant sciences have the history of lower female scientists and academician than male.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Nepenthes- The Deadly Pitcher

(Submitted for World Wildlife Day contest organised by Indian Botanists Blog-o-Journal)

-Gauri Nerkar, Coimbatore, India.

Nepenthes goettingensis
hotographed at Botanischer Garten, Berlin (Germany)
Carnivory in plants is a relatively rare phenomenon. There are about 600 species, the majority of which belong to the Orders Caryophyllales and Lamiales (Ellison et al., 2009). Nepenthaceae (Caryophyllales) contains >100 species, making it the largest Family of pitcher plants. Nepenthes are the largest genus of pitcher plants, with its center of diversity in South-east Asia. The plants grow in substrates that are deficient in nitrogen and offset this deficiency by trapping animal prey, primarily arthropods. Nepenthes use combinations of wettable peristomes, wax layers and viscoelastic fluid to trap and retain prey (Moran and Clarke, 2010).