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  • Author or Editor: V. Rao x
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The present study deals with the ontogeny, structure and development of Cardiospermum halicacabum fruit and the mode of its dehiscence. The trigonous, pyriform and bladdery capsular fruit of C. halicacabum develops from a 3-celled ovary with one ovule in each cell. The ovary wall is 5 to 7 cell layers thick. The outer epidermis of the ovary wall develops into a single-layered epicarp. The isodiametric cells of developing epicarp contain abundant tanniniferous contents. The 3 or 4 layers thick ground parenchyma of ovary wall constitutes the mesocarp. The thin walled cells of developing mesocarp are found to get apart from each other, as their elongation is meagre, to keep pace with the increment in the circumference of fruit. The tangentially elongated cells of inner epidermis of ovary wall form a single layered endocarp. The endocarpic cells of developing fruit do not exhibit much structural changes, except vacuolation. Due to the disintegration of thin walled parenchyma cells situated throughout the length of the septum and rupture of similar type of cells located in between two lateral vascular bundles, the ripe capsule of C. halicacabum dehisces septicidally.

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The spiny capsule of Argemone mexicanadevelops from a unilocular ovary with numerous ovules borne on pariteal placentae. The ovary wall comprises a layer of outer epidermis and inner epidermis each with 12 to 14 layered ground parenchyma or mesoderm in between. The epicarp, which develops from the outer epidermis of the developing pericarp, possesses numerous anomocytic type of stomata, but no trichomes. The deep lyind mesodermal layers from the mesocarp, which embed pericarpic vascular bundles and their tangentially extended ramifications. The thin walled and highly vacuolated mesocarpic cells undergo disorganisation at the maturity of fruit. The tangentially elongated cells of inner epidermis of ovary from the endocarp, which at maturity of the fruit possesses thick walled cells. The cells of placentum of developing fruit contain abundant starch. Due to the contraction of disorganised parenchyma cells, the dried fruit, leaving the marginal veins and persistent stigma, dechisces at its apical region.

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Sixty durum wheat genotypes were analysed for protein (gliadin) polymorphism to find out the existing genetic diversity, and to assess its utility for improvement in grain yield along with quality traits. Six different Gli-B 1 alleles were found in land races, rust resistance sources and old released varieties, while two in recently released and advance lines. Most of the recently released varieties and advance lines showed γ-45/ Gli-1 alleles, which is the best type for pasta making quality, remaining showed γ-42/ Gli-1 allele, which are not good for pasta making. It is advisable to select for γ-45/ Gli-1 as a bio-chemical marker in the future breeding programmes. The rust resistance sources do not possess γ-45/ Gli-1 alleles, so these lines can be used as donors to introduce disease resistance in the good quality recently released varieties, which are containing γ-45/ Gli-1 alleles. From hierarchical analysis, it was found that landraces, released varieties and rust resistance sources are genetically distinct. The presence of new γ-gliadin patterns are interesting in rust resistance sources and need to be investigated for their role in pasta making as well as overall technological quality of durum wheat.

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Ten dicoccum wheats were analyzed for their physico-biochemical and milling properties to evaluate the pasta making potential. Dicoccums showed higher protein content and mixograph midline peak values compared to durum variety MACS2846. Mixographic properties of dicoccums were poor compared to durums, due to lower functional visco elastic gluten content. Dicoccums were poorer in milling properties compared to durums, due to lower test weight and thousand-grain weight. Among dicoccums, DDK 1025 showed high micro SDS sedimentation volume and strong mixographic properties, but values were still lesser compared to durum MACS 2846. HMW glutenin subunits in recently developed/released dicoccums were similar to durum parents and were different from the older dicoccums. LMW glutenin subunits, however, were similar to dicoccum parents, except in DDK 1025 which showed LMW glutenin subunits similar to durum wheat. To breed high quality dicoccum wheat for pasta products, breeders should select superior glutenin subunits composition, along with better mixograph properties, keeping morpho-botanical characteristics of dicoccum wheat.

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Sorghum can be an alternative to corn for industrial uses, especially in drought prone areas of the world. Sorghum cultivars with high potential of grain and starch yields are needed to continuously meet the industrial demands. We have studied the genetics of grain yield and starch content of sorghum to decide the breeding procedure to develop suitable cultivars for starch industry. The genetic material from 8 × 8 diallel (28 F1 and 8 parents) was grown in a randomized complete block design, with three replications at Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad, India. Observations were recorded on seven agro-morphological and two grain quality traits including grain yield and starch content. Correlation studies revealed that the grain hardness was negatively correlated to starch and positively correlated to grain yield, panicle weight and days to flowering. Variance due to specific combining ability effects was greater in magnitude for both starch content and grain yield. Bi-parental crossing in F2 will help in getting pure lines with high starch content and high grain yield. The parents chosen for breeding program need to be good combiners for starch and grain yields to obtain superior hybrid. One MS line, 422B was a good combiner for grain yield, high starch content and 100 grain weight, and had good per se performance.

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The hepatocurative potential of ethanolic extract (ETO) and sesquiterpene lactones enriched fraction (SL) of Taraxacum officinale roots was evaluated against carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ) induced hepatotoxicity in mice. The diagnostic markers such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bilirubin contents were significantly elevated, whereas significant reduction in the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) and enhanced hepatic lipid peroxidation, liver weight and liver protein were observed in CCl 4 induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Post-treatment with ETO and SL significantly protected the hepatotoxicity as evident from the lower levels of hepatic enzyme markers, such as serum transaminase (ALT, AST), ALP and total bilirubin. Further, significant reduction in the liver weight and liver protein in drug-treated hepatotoxic mice and also reduced oxidative stress by increasing reduced glutathione content and decreasing lipid peroxidation level has been noticed. The histopathological evaluation of the liver also revealed that ETO and SL reduced the incidence of liver lesions induced by CCl 4 . The results indicate that sesquiterpene lactones have a protective effect against acute hepatotoxicity induced by the administration of CCl 4 in mice. Furthermore, observed activity of SL may be due to the synergistic action of two sesquiterpene lactones identified from enriched ethyl acetate fraction by HPLC method.

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