Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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School of Chemistry
3,754
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School of Physics
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Department of Computer & Information Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental estrogens are major cause of endocrine disruption in vertebrates, including aquatic organisms. Teleosts are valuable and popular models for studying the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment. In the present study, we investigated the changes caused by exposure to the synthetic estrogens 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2 ) and diethylstilbesterol (DES) during early stages of growth and sex differentiation of air-breathing catfish, Clarias gariepinus, at the morphological, histological, and molecular levels. Catfish hatchlings, 0 day post hatch (dph) were exposed continuously to sublethal doses of EE2 (50 ng/L) and DES (10 ng/L) until 50 dph and subsequently monitored for ovarian structural changes and alteration in the gene expression of steroidogenic enzymes till adulthood. Treated fish exhibited morphological deformities such as spinal curvature, stunted growth, and yolk-sac fluid retention. In addition to ovarian atrophy, DES-treated fish showed either rudimentary or malformed ovaries. Detailed histological studies revealed precocious oocyte development as well as follicular atresia. Further, transcript levels of various steroidogenic enzyme and transcription factor genes were altered in response to EE2 and DES. Activity of the rate-limiting enzyme of estrogen biosynthesis, aromatase, in the ovary as well as the brain of treated fish was in accordance with transcript level changes. These developmental and molecular effects imparted by EE2 and DES during early life stages of catfish could demonstrate the deleterious effects of estrogen exposure and provide reliable markers for estrogenic EDCs exposure in the environment. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2013.
    Environmental Toxicology 04/2015; 30(4). DOI:10.1002/tox.21920
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    ABSTRACT: To address possible cell-to-cell heterogeneity in growth dynamics of isogenic cell populations of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we developed a millifluidic drop-based device that not only allows the analysis of populations grown from single cells over periods of a week, but is also able to sort and collect drops of interest, containing viable and healthy cells, which can be used for further experimentation. In this study, we used isogenic algal cells that were first synchronized in mixotrophic growth conditions. We show that these synchronized cells, when placed in droplets and kept in mixotrophic growth conditions, exhibit mostly homogeneous growth statistics, but with two distinct subpopulations: a major population with a short doubling-time (fast-growers) and a significant subpopulation of slowly dividing cells (slow-growers). These observations suggest that algal cells from an isogenic population may be present in either of two states, a state of restricted division and a state of active division. When isogenic cells were allowed to propagate for about 1000 generations on solid agar plates, they displayed an increased heterogeneity in their growth dynamics. Although we could still identify the original populations of slow- and fast-growers, drops inoculated with a single progenitor cell now displayed a wider diversity of doubling-times. Moreover, populations dividing with the same growth-rate often reached different cell numbers in stationary phase, suggesting that the progenitor cells differed in the number of cell divisions they could undertake. We discuss possible explanations for these cell-to-cell heterogeneities in growth dynamics, such as mutations, differential aging or stochastic variations in metabolites and macromolecules yielding molecular switches, in the light of single-cell heterogeneities that have been reported among isogenic populations of other eu- and prokaryotes.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0118987. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118987
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    ABSTRACT: The light-harvesting complex (LHC) is an essential component in light energy capture and transduction to facilitate downstream photosynthetic reactions in plant and algal chloroplasts. The unicellular dinoflagellate alga Symbiodinium is an endosymbiont of cnidarian animals, including corals and sea anemones, and provides carbohydrates generated through photosynthesis to host animals. Although Symbiodinium possesses a unique LHC gene family, called chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC), its genome-level diversity and evolutionary trajectories have not been investigated. Here, we describe a phylogenetic analysis revealing that many of the LHCs are encoded by highly duplicated genes with multi-subunit polyprotein structures in the nuclear genome of Symbiodinium minutum. This analysis provides an extended list of the LHC gene family in a single organism, including 80 loci encoding polyproteins composed of 145 LHC subunits recovered in the phylogenetic tree. In S. minutum, 5 phylogenetic groups of the Lhcf-type gene family, which is exclusively conserved in algae harboring secondary plastids of red algal origin, were identified. Moreover, 5 groups of the Lhcr-type gene family, of which members are known to be associated with PSI in red algal plastids and secondary plastids of red algal origin, were identified. Notably, members classified within a phylogenetic group of the Lhcf-type (group F1) are highly duplicated, which may explain the presence of an unusually large number of LHC genes in this species. Some gene units were homologous to other units within single loci of the polyprotein genes, whereas intergenic homologies between separate loci were conspicuous in other cases, implying that gene unit 'shuffling' by gene conversion and/or genome rearrangement might have been a driving force for diversification. These results suggest that vigorous intra- and intergenic gene duplication events have resulted in the genomic framework of photosynthesis in coral symbiont dinoflagellate algae.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119406. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119406

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