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1.  Insect gut microbiome - An unexploited reserve for biotechnological application 
Metagenomics research has been developed over the past decade to elucidate the genomes of the uncultured microorganisms with an aim of understanding microbial ecology. On the other hand, it has also been provoked by the increasing biotechnological demands for novel enzymes, antibiotic and signal mimics. The gut microbiota of insects plays crucial roles in the growth, development and environmental adaptation to the host insects. Very recently, the insect microbiota and their genomes (microbiome), isolated from insects were recognized as a major genetic resources for bio-processing industry. Consequently, the exploitation of insect gut microbiome using metagenomic approaches will enable us to find novel biocatalysts and to develop innovative strategies for identifying smart molecules for biotechnological applications. In this review, we discuss the critical footstep in extraction and purification of metagenomic DNA from insect gut, construction of metagenomic libraries and screening procedure for novel gene identification. Recent innovations and potential applications in bioprocess industries are highlighted.
PMCID: PMC4025310  PMID: 25183073
Microbiome; Metagenomics; Non-cultivable microbes; 16S rRNA; Gypsy moth; Termite gut
2.  Vitellogenin from the Silkworm, Bombyx mori: An Effective Anti-Bacterial Agent 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73005.
Silkworm, Bombyx mori, vitellogenin (Vg) was isolated from perivisceral fat body of day 3 of pupa. Both Vg subunits were co-purified as verified by mass spectrometry and immunoblot. Purified Vg responded to specific tests for major posttranslational modifications on native gels indicating its nature as lipo-glyco-phosphoprotein. The Vg fraction had strong antibacterial activity against Gram negative bacterium Escherichia coli and Gram positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Microscopic images showed binding of Vg to bacterial cells and their destruction. When infected silkworm larvae were treated with purified Vg they survived the full life cycle in contrast to untreated animals. This result showed that Vg has the ability to inhibit the proliferation of bacteria in the silkworm fluid system without disturbing the regular metabolism of the host.
PMCID: PMC3772815  PMID: 24058454
3.  Impact of TBT on the vitellogenesis and sex hormones in freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii (De Man, 1879) 
Aquatic Biosystems  2013;9:10.
Tributyltin (TBT) is a ubiquitous persistent xenobiotic that can be found in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystem. TBT is a strong endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) that can cause toxic threat to aquatic organisms. Imposex, sexual deformities and endocrine dysfunctions are the causes of TBT to most of the aquatic organisms. Effect of TBT on the vitellogenesis and sex hormonal changes in Macrobrachium rosenbergii has never been reported. Hence, the present investigation was undertaken to find out the impact of TBT on histological changes in the different reproductive tissues, sex hormonal alterations and level of biomarkers like vitellogenin and vitellin in M. rosenbergii.
The present investigation documents the possible impact of tributyltin (TBT) on the vitellogenesis in freshwater female prawn M. rosenbergii. TBT at 10 ng/l, 100 ng/l and 1000 ng/l concentrations were exposed individually to prawns for a period of three months. At higher concentration of 1000 ng/l, the ovarian development was arrested and ovary remained at spent stage. At lower concentration of TBT (10 ng/l), the development proceeded up to early vitellogenic stage. At intermediate concentration of 100 ng/l TBT, the ovary remained at pre vitellogenic stage and thereafter no development was noticed. Histological results indicated the normal ovarian development with vitellogenic oocytes, filled with yolk globules in control prawn. On the other hand, the TBT treated groups showed reduction in yolk globules, fusion of developing oocytes and abundance of immature oocytes. Immunofluorescence staining denoted the remarkable reduction in vitellin content in ovary of TBT treated prawn. Hence, TBT had conspicuously inhibited the vitellogenesis by causing hormonal imbalance in M. rosenbergii.
TBT had notably inhibited the vitellogenesis due to hormonal imbalance. This endocrine dysfunction ultimately impaired the oogenesis in the freshwater female prawn M. rosenbergii.
PMCID: PMC3653679  PMID: 23634699
Macrobrachium rosenbergii; Tributyltin; Ovarian development; Vitellogenesis; Sex hormones
4.  Census of cultivable bacterial community in common effluent treatment plant (CETP) of tannery discharge and computational scrutiny on their leading residents 
Bioinformation  2013;9(2):101-105.
Common effluent treatment plant (CETP) for tannery effluent, is the combination of physical, chemical and biological treatment to facilitate the degradation of industrial waste water. Obviously, the biomass which survives in this extreme environment may have the ability to utilize the effluent as the sole carbon source for its survival. The ultimate aim of the present investigation is to expose the microbial diversity in each stage of the CETP through the culture dependent way. Bacterial diversity in the effluent were analysed through 16S rRNA gene. The community study revealed the dominance of firmicutes and the dominant genus was Bacillus sp, with variable species diversity. Notably, Putative Bacillus sp, B. firmus and B. licheniformis were observed in all stages of treatment. The dominant residents were analysed by BProm and TF site scan to prove their uniqueness. This species richness indicates the capability of liveliness in treatment plant and whose can be exploited for treating the effluent by using modern molecular approach.
CETP - Common Effluent Treatment Plant, PTIET - Pallavaram Tanners Industrial Effluent Treatment Company Ltd.
PMCID: PMC3563406  PMID: 23390354
CETP; Bacterial community; 16S rRNA; Tannery; Effluent; Firmicutes; Bacillus sp
5.  A proteomic view on the developmental transfer of homologous 30 kDa lipoproteins from peripheral fat body to perivisceral fat body via hemolymph in silkworm, Bombyx mori 
BMC Biochemistry  2012;13:5.
A group of abundant proteins of ~30 kDa is synthesized in silkworm larval peripheral fat body (PPFB) tissues and transported into the open circulatory system (hemolymph) in a time-depended fashion to be eventually stored as granules in the pupal perivisceral fat body (PVFB) tissues for adult development during the non-feeding stage. These proteins have been shown to act anti-apoptotic besides being assigned roles in embryogenesis and defense. However, detailed protein structural information for individual PPFB and PVFB tissues during larval and pupal developmental stages is still missing. Gel electrophoresis and chromatography were used to separate the 30 kDa proteins from both PPFB and PVFB as well as hemolymph total proteomes. Mass spectrometry (MS) was employed to elucidate individual protein sequences. Furthermore, 30 kDa proteins were purified and biochemically characterized.
One- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (1/2D-PAGE) was used to visualize the relative changes of abundance of the 30 kDa proteins in PPFB and PVFB as well as hemolymph from day 1 of V instar larval stage to day 6 of pupal stage. Their concentrations were markedly increased in hemolymph and PVFB up to the first two days of pupal development and these proteins were consumed during development of the adult insect. Typically, three protein bands were observed (~29, 30, 31 kDa) in 1D-PAGE, which were subjected to MS-based protein identification along with spots excised from 2D-gels run for those proteomes. Gas phase fragmentation was used to generate peptide sequence information, which was matched to the available nucleotide data pool of more than ten highly homologous insect 30 kDa lipoproteins. Phylogenetic and similarity analyses of those sequences were performed to assist in the assignment of experimentally identified peptides to known sequences. Lipoproteins LP1 to LP5 and L301/302 could be matched to peptides extracted from all bands suggesting the presence of full length and truncated or modified protein forms in all of them. The individual variants could not be easily separated by classical means of purification such as 2D-PAGE because of their high similarity. They even seemed to aggregate as was indicated by native gel electrophoresis. Multistep chromatographic procedures eventually allowed purification of an LP3-like protein. The protein responded to lipoprotein-specific staining.
In B. mori larvae and pupae, 30 kDa lipoproteins LP1 to LP5 and L301/302 were detected in PPFB and PVFB tissue as well as in hemolymph. The concentration of these proteins changed progressively during development from their synthesis in PPFB, transport in hemolymph to storage in PVFB. While the 30 kDa proteins could be reproducibly separated in three bands electrophoretically, the exact nature of the individual protein forms present in those bands remained partially ambiguous. The amino acid sequences of all known 30 kDa proteins showed very high homology. High-resolution separation techniques will be necessary before MS and other structural analysis can shed more light on the complexity of the 30 kDa subproteome in B. mori. A first attempt to that end allowed isolation of a B. mori LP3-like protein, the complete structure, properties and function of which will now be elucidated in detail.
PMCID: PMC3306753  PMID: 22369700

Results 1-5 (5)