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  • Author or Editor: D. Banerjee x
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Endophytic fungi of three tissues (petiole, bark and leaf) of Alstonia scholaris were assessed. A total number of 1,152 endophytic fungi were isolated from 1,002 different plant segments of seven different localities of Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India. The isolated fungi belong to nineteen genera, including four unidentified fungi and yeast. Colletotrichum sp. (20.39%) and Sordaria sp. (29.68%) were most commonly isolated from this plant. Hyalopus sp., Fusarium sp. and Curvularia sp. were also isolated. The colonization frequency of endophytic fungi is much higher in leaves (44.66%) in comparison to petioles (32.16%) and barks (23.17%). The study provided evidence for tissue specificity of endophytic fungi. The endophytic fungal species diversity was higher in plant segments collected from Gopegarh and Khoirullahchak, while diversity was the lowest in Rice mill area. Screenings of antimicrobial activity of these isolated endophytic fungi were done. Eight endophytic fungi showed antimicrobial activity. Among them Curvularia sp., Aspergillus sp. and one unidentified fungus showed maximum activity against test pathogens.

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Tannase an industrially important enzyme was produced by Aspergillus aculeatus DBF9 through a solid-state fermentation (SSF). The organism produced good amount of enzyme and gallic acid in wheat bran among the solid substrate used in SSF. Maximum enzyme and gallic acid production occurred in 5% tannic acid after 72 h. Eighty percent initial substrate moisture and 30 °C temperature was found suitable for tannase production.

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Summary  

Nuclear quadrupole interaction study using Time Differential Perturbed Angular Correlation technique has been carried out to identify the sites where hafnium can reside in hydroxyapatite in order to mimic the behavior of plutonium adsorption on hydroxyapatite. Hf(IV) has been found to occupy three sites with the quadrupole interaction frequency(ωQ) and its asymmetry(η): (i) ωQ = 136.7(5) Mrad/s, η = 0.54(1); (ii) ωQ = 300.1(9) Mrad/s, η = 0.35(2); (iii) ωQ = 124.6(5), η = 0.0(1). Narrow frequency distributions indicate the sites are well-defined. This study has been extended to barium orthophosphate to confirm our inference for the apatite structure.

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Three medicinal plants Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum bacilicum and Leucas aspera were screened to study endophytic diversity of the plants. Altogether 103 fungal endophytes belonging to fourteen genera were isolated. Leaves of all three medicinal plants were colonized by a great number of endophytic fungi. Leaves of O. sanctum were colonized by the most, that is, eleven endophytes. Highest Shannon-Wiener index (2.256) was exhibited by O. sanctum with the highest Simpson’s diversity (0.8654) indicating great species specificity. O. bacilicum and L. aspera showed the highest similarity coefficient. Some fungal genera have been showed to be host specific. In the present study Curvularia sp., Hymenula sp., Tricoderma sp. and Tubercularia sp. exclusively colonized O. sanctum ; whereas Alternaria sp. and Spicaria sp. colonized only L. aspera .

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Abstract  

Feasibility of using fixed bed column of conventional ion exchangers/sorbent and chemical precipitation based processes have been examined for the effective removal of the very low levels of 106Ru activity from NH4NO3 effluent generated during wet processing of rejected sintered depleted uranium fuel pellets. Based on the results, a simple process involving precipitation of cobalt sulphide along with ferric hydroxide was selected and further optimization of process variables was carried out. The optimized process has been found to be highly efficient in reducing 106Ru activity down to extremely low levels.

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Abstract  

Attempt has been made to develop methodologies for preconcentration of chromium in the biodegradable polymer beads. The uptake behaviors for chromium have been studied with Ca-alginate (CA) and Fe-doped calcium alginate (Fe-CA) beads. The work also aims to study the differential attitude of CA and Fe-CA towards Cr(III) and Cr(VI) so that, depending on the oxidation state of chromium effluent, environmentally sustainable methodologies can be prescribed for removal of chromium. Radiotracer 51Cr has been chosen as precursor of stable chromium throughout the experiment. It was found that Fe-CA beads are suitable for removal of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) while CA beads can be used for the speciation and separation of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) at pH 5.

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Seismically Kutch peninsula is very active. The distribution of seismicity in Peninsular Shield region from 1902 to 2001 show 12 earthquakes of M ≥ 6. The energy ratio from Kutch basin to Deccan trap is 20:1 and from trap to rest of the shield is 5:1. The last one hundred years seismicity data show Kutch basin is seismically more active than Deccan trap and the rest of the Peninsular Shield. The maximum magnitude of earthquake in the Kutch region is 7.7. The generations of large earthquakes in the region are difficult to explain, as plate boundary does not exist. In order to understand the physical processes that are taking place in the region to generate such large events the detailed analyses of geophysical and geological data have been examined in the light of development of rift, subsidence of basin, vertical tectonics and recent geophysical findings. In such regions, petrologic model can provide better explanation for release of fluid that generates large earthquakes, sprouting of sands, liquefaction, and large number of aftershocks activities and direction of stresses for aftershock sequences. The presence of magma in the Kutch upper mantle could be derived from various geological (subsidence of basin, development of rift faults) and geophysical observations (high heat flow over Cambay region, prominent positive Bouguer gravity anomalies and low shear velocity in the upper mantle). The inspection of seismological data shows all the medium size to large earthquake have occurred in shear zone of large gravity gradients or along the four major faults of the region. In view of geological and geophysical observations, petrologic model is proposed for generation of earthquakes in the region. The number of aftershocks and direction of stresses in the focal region of aftershocks would depend on the direction of movement of fluid incursion in the focal region after the occurrence of the main events. The recent Bhuj earthquake also shows more than 3000 aftershocks from Jan 29 to April 15, 2001. The expanding swarm activity in the focal region and the direction of stresses derived from first motion data of aftershocks for focal depths 2 to 8 km, 8 to 25 km, and 25 to 38 km supports the proposed model. Also, shear wave tomography studies in this region have revealed low shear wave velocity in the upper mantle of Cambay from shallow depth to 200 km depth showing high temperature zone. The analyses reveal the presence of conducting fluid in the focal zone, which is the main cause for generation of medium size to large earthquake in the region.

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Movement and abstraction of groundwater in the geological formations are dependent on the hydro-geological parameters of the aquifers. The purpose of any aquifer test is to determine the hydro-geological parameters. Among the basic parameters are the specific storage, permeability and leakage coefficients. The hydro-geological parameters are hidden in the field test data and their identification is possible using the available physically plausible models suitable for the prevailing field circumstances. In this context, a generalized theoretical solution for the effect of partial penetration superimposed over the full penetration on draw-down in a large-diameter well in artesian aquifer discharging at a constant rate has been presented for non-dimensional quantities describing the variable geometries of wells. The well-function curves are developed by varying the percentage amount of drilling and the percentage amount of casing lowered which then control to vary the percentage amount of open-hole or screened interval for the three categories: when the diameter of the cased interval in which the water level changes is greater than, equal to, and less than the diameter of the open interval. The skin effect and the effect of leakage are neglected. A comparison of results with the published works has also been presented. The present study is useful in such areas where wells are located either in harder or in collapsible loose formations; and a decision is required that, at the planning, construction, or development stage, as to what extent the amount of drilling be reduced, and/or an additional amount of casing be lowered within the aquifer. Also this reduces the cost of well construction and development in a specific situation.

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Abstract  

A new method for the possible incorporation of nuclear wastes has been attempted here by using ceramic matrix of TiO2 as a host precursor for confinement. Hafnium is used as a simulant for actinide high-level waste. After incorporating 181Hf tracer into TiO2 matrix, the leaching property of the resulting matrix was studied in water, sodium chloride and humic acid solutions. The leaching was measured in each of the case by following the radioactivity of 181Hf. TiO2 matrix has also been exposed to γ-radiation in order to simulate the radiation field for nuclear waste. It has been investigated with a nuclear technique called time differential perturbed Angular Correlation (TDPAC) that the lattice structure of titania remains undisturbed even under a strong radiation field. The leaching of 181Hf has also been studied after irradiating the TiO2 matrix with γ-radiation and the leaching behavior was observed not to change from that before irradiation.

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