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  • Author or Editor: P. K. Singh x
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Abstract  

The thermodynamic behaviour of bulk metallic glass (BMG) forming melts have been studied by analyzing the temperature dependence of the Gibbs free energy difference (∆G), entropy difference (∆S) and enthalpy difference (∆H)between the undercooled melt and the corresponding equilibrium solid phases. The study is made by calculating∆G, ∆S and ∆H in the entire temperature range T m (melting temperature) to T g (glass transition temperature) using the expressions obtained on the basis of Taylor’s series expansion. The entire analysis is made for La-based five samples of BMGs; La55Al25Ni20, La55Al25Ni15Cu5, La55Al25Ni10Cu10, La55Al25Ni5Cu15, and La55Al25Ni5Cu10Co5 and a comparative study is also performed between present results and results obtained in the framework of expressions proposed by earlier workers. An attempt has also been made to study the glass forming ability for BMGs.

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This study was carried out to compare composition, density and diversity of species between dryland and irrigated agroecosystems and between agroecosystems and the marginal grassland ecosystem in dry tropics. Main management characteristics of these ecosystems are: (1) Dryland cropping, low fertilizer input, rainfed (no irrigation) and seed sown rice; (2) Irrigated cropping, high fertilizer, water (irrigation) inputs, flooded rice by transplanting; (3) Grassland, post-rainy season herbage removal and light grazing. All ecosystems showed comparable number (12-14) of species in winter, but in the rainy season higher number of species (21) were recorded in the grassland ecosystem. The species composition of the grassland was entirely different from both agroecosystems (similarity <1%). Dryland and irrigated agroecosystems showed only 25% and 38% similarity with each other during winter and rainy cropping seasons, respectively. Occurrence of few grasses (e.g., Cynodon dactylon, Dichanthium annulatum and Sporobolus diander) in the agroecosystems depends on the propagules dispersed from the marginal grassland. The change from dryland to irrigated agroecosystem involved elimination of 4-5 species during both cropping seasons and simultaneous recruitment of 2 new species in winter and 6 species in rainy season. In both agroecosystems, forbs (C_ type) dominated over graminoids (C_ type) during winter season but the dominance was reversed during the warm, rainy season. During winter some forbs were abundant in both agroecosystems due to their tolerance to widely varying moisture conditions (e.g.,Chenopodium album), others were dominant in either drier soil conditions (e.g., Anagallis arvensis in dryland) or wet conditions (e.g., Melilotus indica and Phalaris minor in irrigated). Higher species diversity occurred in the grassland relative to both agroecosystems. The seasonal trends of species diversity and species evenness were broadly similar in both agroecosystems but irrigated agroecosystem exhibited relatively higher species diversity. The changes in species composition and species diversity in agroecosystems are mainly attributed to differences in water management. The water management in irrigated agroecosystem tends to reduce weed diversity but leads to the dominance of some potentially noxious weeds (e.g., Phalaris minor).

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Abstract

The glass-forming ability (GFA) of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) has been analyzed on the basis of the thermodynamic parameters such as the specific heat difference ΔC p m between the undercooled liquid and corresponding equilibrium solid phase at the melting temperature T m, entropy of fusion ΔS m, and the residual entropy ΔS R and characteristic temperatures, such as the Kauzmann temperature T K, glass transition temperature T g, and the melting temperature T m. The entire study is performed by analyzing the variation of critical cooling rate R c with T K/T m, ΔC p mS m, (T gT K)/T m and ΔS RS m for a large number of BMGs. The variation of T K/T m and ΔS RS m with ΔC p mS m has also been studied for BMGs. It has been found that materials having large ΔC p mS m exhibit large T K/T m and such materials require low R c for the glass formation. At the same time, it has also been found that materials having large T K/T m exhibit low ΔS RS m and such materials need a low R c for the glass formation. Attempt has also been made to correlate R c with T K/T m, ΔC p mS m, (T gT K)/T m and ΔS RS m for BMGs.

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A new lichenicolous fungus Buelliella indica colonising on the thallus of Graphis longiramea is described from the state of Nagaland, a part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot region in India. It is characterised by its brown epihymenium, much smaller ascospores with dimensions of 11.5–13.8 × 4.8–6 µm and the new host Graphis.

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The present report is in continuation to our earlier reports on the identification and fine mapping of three aroma QTLs in basmati rice using a bi-parental mapping population derived from a cross between Pusa 1121, a basmati rice variety, and Pusa 1342, a non-aromatic rice variety. We used a combination of genetic mapping and transcriptome profiling to narrow down the number of differentially expressed genes in rice to identify potential candidate genes for rice grain aroma. Highly aromatic and non-aromatic recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were identified through sensory analysis of mature milled grains. RILs with similar phenotypes were bulked together using bulk segregant analysis approach which drastically reduced the number of differentially expressed genes from 4016 to 1344. The transcriptome profiles generated were analyzed through Affymetrix rice genome array containing probe sets designed from all the predicted rice gene sequences. Microarray-based transcriptome profiling revealed one down-regulated gene co-located in QTL region aro3.1 on chromosome 3, eight genes co-located in the aro4.1 region on chromosome 4 and the badh2 gene on chromosome 8 to be differentially expressed in the aromatic parent and aromatic bulk. These genes are the most suitable candidates for future validation and development of new molecular functional markers to facilitate marker assisted breeding.

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A new lichenicolous fungus Melaspilea nitidochapsae colonising on the thallus of Nitidochapsa leprieurii (Mont.) Parnmen, Lücking et Lumbsch is described from India. The new species differs from other known species colonising lichen family Graphidaceae by having completely carbonised exciple, hyaline to pale brown transversely 1-septate ascospores and a different host.

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The present investigation was conducted to investigate the impact of bio-inoculants on the magnitude and direction of gene effects and mean performance for root length density, root biomass per plant, AMF colonization in roots and micronutrient uptake (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) in wheat under low input field conditions. The material for study comprised three wheat cultivars, WH 147 (low mineral input), WH 533 (drought-tolerant), Raj 3077 (high mineral input) and six generations (P 1 , P 2 , F 1 , F 2 , BC 1 and BC 2 ) of three crosses, namely WH 147 × WH 533, WH 533 × Raj 3077 and WH 147 × Raj 3077. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design with three replications having three treatments, i.e. (i) control; (ii) inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomus fasciculatum ); (iii) dual inoculation with AMF and Azotobacter chroococcum ( Azc ). The fertilizer doses in all three treatments were 80 kg N + 40 kg P + 18 kg ZnSO 4 ha −1 . Root length density, root biomass per plant, AMF colonization in roots and Zn and Mn content were found to be maximum after dual inoculation with AMF+ Azc in all three crosses. Joint scaling tests revealed that additive-dominance gene effects were mainly operative in governing the expression of root biomass, Cu and Zn content in all three crosses for all three treatments (i.e. control, AMF and AMF + Azc ). Pedigree selection in crosses WH 147 × WH 533 and WH 147 × Raj 3077 could be effective for breeding pure lines of wheat for sustainable agriculture (low input genotypes responsive to biofertilizers such as AMF and Azotobacter ).

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The present investigation was conducted to study the impact of bio-inoculants under low input field conditions on the magnitude and direction of gene effects and the mean performance of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) use in wheat. Three wheat cultivars suitable for different agro-ecological conditions, i.e. WH 147 (low mineral input), WH 533 (water deficit), Raj 3077 (high mineral input), and six generations (P 1 , P 2 , F 1 , F 2 , BC 1 and BC 2 ) of three crosses, namely WH 147 × WH 533, WH 533 × Raj 3077 and WH 147 × Raj 3077, were evaluated in a randomized block design with three replications under low input field conditions (80 kg N + 40 kg P + 18 kg ZnSO 4 doses applied in each treatment) with three treatments, i.e. control, inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF, Glomus fasciculatum ) and dual inoculation with AMF and Azotobacter chroococcum ( Azc ). Bioinoculation with AMF and AMF+ Azc had a positive impact on the mean performance of all the wheat crosses. The mean performance of AMF was maximum in the cross WH 147 × WH 533 for N and P response (%), N and P use index (%) and P content (ppm), whereas for N and P uptake it was maximum in the cross WH 147 × Raj 3077. The response and use index for N and P were better in the combined AMF+ Azc treatment in all three crosses. The adequacy of the additive-dominance model for the phosphorus uptake (mg/plant) by all three crosses in all three treatments (i.e. control, AMF, AMF+ Azc ) suggested that additive (d) and dominance (h) gene effects mainly governed the inheritance of this trait. In all cases, digenic interactions were present, where the duplicate type of epistasis prevailed except for the P content in the control in the cross WH 147 × WH 533, where the complementary type of interaction was present. Pedigree selection in crosses WH 147 × WH 533 and WH 147 × Raj 3077 could be effective for breeding pure lines of wheat for sustainable agriculture (low input genotypes responsive to biofertilizers such as AMF and Azotobacter ).

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The influence of inorganic carbon compounds (sodium bicarbonate and carbon dioxide) on cell volume of nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria - Nostoc calcicola and its mutant resistant to high concentrations of bicarbonate (HCO3 -R), and Anabaena sp. and its mutant resistant to high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2 R) was investigated. Morphologically, HCO3 -R and CO2 R mutants (isolated through mutagenesis with MNNG) exhibited shorter trichomes consisting of 4-20 cells per trichome. Following incorporation of HCO3 - or CO2 in the growth medium, the cell volume increased in the wild type strains and their mutants in a concentration dependent manner. It was concluded that the significant effect on cell volumes of wild type and mutants, may be due to intracellular influx of bicarbonate ions or CO2 molecules.

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Castration of the catfish Clarias batrachus in late preparatory-early prespawning phase (April&May) caused time-dependent stimulatory effect on morphology, weight, and in the concentrations of biochem- ical correlates, such as total proteins, fructose, hexosamines and sialic acid in the seminal vesicle (SV). The peak changes were noticed on week 4 of castration. The hyperactivity was related to augmented pro- duction of testosterone by the SV of castrates with the levels significantly high from week 3 onwards. As a result, serum testosterone level fluctuated with a significant decrease in the first and fifth weeks, a sig- nificant increase in the third week, and no significant difference in the second and fourth weeks. Serum E2 level decreased significantly throughout. Cyproterone acetate treatment (CA; 1 mg/fish daily for 21 days) from the second day of castration decreased the size and weight of the SV and the concentrations of total proteins, hexosamines, fructose and sialic acid. The antiandrogen treatment did not alter serum testosterone level but the E2 level was significantly decreased. It is concluded that the hypersecretory activity of the SV in castrates is a sequel to local synthesis and action of testosterone and the effect could be prevented by CA by blocking androgen actions.

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