Hidden diversity in castor expression genetics

Castor plant is a complex and evolved biological system which can be defined by its series of complex expressions emerged in the life cycle.An universal observation of them reveal us a fact that the traits are expressed with temporal control and found to coupled to pre-programmed genetics.As the phenomena have been monitored skillfully by intellectual minds associated with castor, the complete knowledge pertaining to genetics of them stood nascent for subsequent improvement and other sort of modifications in castor to suit the demands of humans.The condition is now approaching violation with advent and progression in molecular plant genetics which permitted scientists to overcome the seen limitations in castor plant expressions independent of their level.

Research study discussed in this blog concentrates on molecular profiling of temporal  genes implicated to seed germination and leaf development.It is convenient to differenciate these two phenotypic traits which enabled biologists to expect a great degree of linked gene expression diversity.The scientists followed fingerprinting analysis in partially representative genetic libraries of two concerned castor subjects, made in microbes and they employed differential multiple, molecular probes hybridization technique for the selection of unique genes contributing to the traits of study.To their surprise,the extent of polymorphism in genes and their pattern of expression in castor from two of its component systems was something significant and anomalous,  thus demanding for additional research efforts to have an exact understanding.It is a good proof and initiative action  in the industrially respected agricultural crop, castor.

For reference: http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/108/3/1141.short

Emergence of viral pathogens in host castor

Castor plant is well known to be fairly resistant to biotic stress under the field conditions except for some notorious pests and microbial pathogens.Nevertheless,this condition cannot be taken as a constant phenomenon in castor life cycle since the pathogen-host in interaction in any known biological species is continuous and will selectively generate wavy non-overlapped advantage for one of the two colliding biological systems over an irregular intervals of time and the outcome of which would be co-evolution of both or extinction of either one of the factors.To practically realize this concept, castor plant of wild types have been chosen as a model system in an unusual way after an observation of disease symptoms witnessed in the concerned subjects in Europe.

Scientists from Italy have followed initially an experimental design called “Koch’s Postulates” to confirm that the disease was due to a microbial pathogen and further made extensions in their experimental investigation by molecular probes.They used techniques, PCR and dot blot to precisely detect the nature of pathogen and observed the virulent factor to be a  virus.  Specifically, the researchers categorized it as Olive Latent Virus 2(OLV2) and found to be a closest relative of type strain OLV 1,infecting tobacco.

Co-evolution of host-pathogen is well noticed in this case following the discovery of a novel viral pathogen in a host what is considered to be resistant.Another interesting aspect is also to be watched with respect to the timely disease observation made by phyto-pathologists on the wild castor plants whose frequency in the natural ecosystem is normally limited.The experimental approach is also relatively robust enough to permit an unambiguous identification of an evolving pathogen.Efforts are still required to better the understand the pathogen behaviour and its transmission media for formulation of effective disease management procedures in agricultural cultivars in a pre-determined way.

For reference: http://www.sipav.org/main/jpp/volumes/0202/020208.pdf

Return of Castor in North America

Castor, an oil seed crop is currently confined to oriental countries to a vast extent in terms of cultivation and oil production but the demand is constantly mounting from the western countries so as to produce precious chemical derivatives from it.It is a crop relatively suitable for cultivation in West as well but  has been strongly ignored on account of its toxic properties including allergens and toxins.Research efforts have been continuously made to overcome the defined, negatives of castor and yielded appreciable results in recent years particularly in USA.

Such committed actions in castor biology are not restricted to research levels but tend to proceed further when a collaborative agreement has been made between a Canadian bio-products company Lubbock-Castagra and Texas AgriLife Research to produce castor seed with less toxin and high, sustainable yield. Reports from concerned authourities said that  encouraging the crop improvement in castor would restore the abandoned castor cultivation with desired modifications in cropping patterns of the Texas state and directly reduce the burdens of import of this plant oil commodity from countries including India.CEO of Canadian Castagra-Lubbock, Mr:Peter Roosen further added that the oil extracted from this quantitatively toxin compromised, castor would be exploited for the production of renewable bioplastics and hence carrying a tremendous potential for the generation of employment in green technology sector.Presently,the castor crop with reduced levels of toxin is at the trial stage in Texas and evaluation studies are being undertaken for a bulk cultivation, expected in 2012.

It is inspiring to watch such an activity adopted by the legal bodies in developed nations to complement the defects what they are experiencing in their environment with respect to castor. Similar sort of co-ordinated plans are mandatory to maximize the revenues from castor in India.This is well punched with reference to the promotion of end derivatives of castor oil in which India is placed way behind the Westerners in the production tally.It not alone ensures economic exchanges of profits but depicts India an industrially competitive nation at the global level.

For reference: http://media-newswire.com/release_1152924.html

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New organelle discovery in castor

Castor plant is a complex biological system which can be characterized by the affluent magnitude of functional traits noticed in its life cycle.It becomes a routine process in the current day botanical sciences to scrutinize a biological phenomenon witnessed at morphological level of a plant species to its deep root cellular degree for absolute understanding.This scientific trend has been now applied in castor plant in the context of senescence physiology that is so prominently noticed in its life span.

Cytological analysis of castor plant cells has revealed a new sub-cellular compartment called ricinosomes whose biochemical evaluation specifically proteins as biomarkers led scientists to identify that it takes up its origin from endoplasimc reticulum.It seems to be an organelle comprehensively packed with proteins having proteolytic activity which is turn derived from paretal endoplasmic reticulum.Further,the scientists’ experimental designs over dominant protein members and their functional activation detected that ricinosomes are associated to apoptosis or programmed cell death in castor plant.

It is remarkable to notice a strange cell organelle and implicating it with a definite function.However it is equally significant to point the turn over of the organelle for a functional regulation in the system and revealing the associated bio-molecular members driving the ricinosomes of castor.

For Reference: http://www.pnas.org/content/98/9/5353.short

Castor oil derived eyewears

Castor oil is known well for its industrial applications and a new crown has been added up to  its credit when Italian fashion icon Gucci announced an eco-eyewear made from castor oil as a prime constituent.It has claimed that the rationale behind  the promotion of eco wears is to integrate environmental consciousness with fashion and further added that this latest eco-friendly product will perform on par to its synthetic counterparts.However no clear release of information has been made over the price of this elite product in the market.Reports say that Safilo Australia will overlook the commercial aspects of the eco-eyewear.It is optimistic to note a vital product in fashion, being made available on techno-economical and sustainable grounds.Functional efficacy of Castor oil yet again is proved and serves to be a true elixir in addressing the accessory demands of humans in a clean way.

For reference: http://www.ragtrader.com.au/news/gucci-invests-in-eco-eyewear

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Glyoxysomes driven castor seed germination

Castor seed development is a complex process in which the mother plant nutrients are stored in specialized tissues called endosperm of the seed as lipids which continue to nurture the embryo during the process of germination. The chemical principle that is followed by the seed system is the oxidation of reserve lipids to liberate energy rich sugars to achieve metabolic functional diversity until the seedling attains self-generation potential by photosynthesis and is proved scientifically to occur in specialized sub-cellular organelles called glyoxysomes in plant cells.

Researchers have made an experimental study to evaluate the catalytic factors accounting for the oxidation of lipids from the castor seed endosperm isolated glyoxysomes. The experimental design involves incubation of natural substrates with catalytic preparations under in vitro conditions and monitored time based synthesis of corresponding products and the scientists observation in this respect coincided with their hypothesis. Hence it led them to identify and implicate that catalytic enzymes of glyoxysomal origin are acting as key factors driving the synthesis of sugars for seed germination from stored lipids and also with regulation of oxidative stress in plants.

This is an unique experimental study attributing the significance of glyoxysomes to a fundamental physiological process of castor seed germination.

For reference: http://www.jbc.org/content/244/13/3514.short

Staticness in castor trade

Castor oil is an industrial commodity with India ranks first in terms of global production and export.As the oil is exclusively designed for production of a broad range of chemical derivatives and coupled with varying demands from local and international markets,its prices continue to remain in a high degree of fluctuation.In the recent past,prices of castor oil and seed saw a giant leap but brought some negative consequences indirectly from the buyers.Currently demands for the castor oil have been subdued inspite of a relatively good supply and make a stagnant position in consignment bookings which can be indicated by the castor seed prices for the June delievery which closed at Rs:4520 per quintal showing only a modest rise of Rs:29 from its previous close.

Extreme dynamics in market supply and price volatility are not positive signs of a stable economy as they do not ensure a stable partnership between business partners in a long run which is what is seen in castor trading currently to a mild extent.By introducing regulatory measures in supply chain,conditions hope to recover and display sustainable dominance from the Indian castor market.

Dynamics in genetic expression of castor allergen

Gene expression is a phenomenon by which bio-function to be exhibited is emerging from the genetic material of an organism.In this process, bio-systems have developed a property to express them in a regulated way for effective survival,development and energy conservation and regulated gene expression seems to be punched well in higher organisms.People nowadays regularly concentrate on molecular events in diverse biological subjects that are occurring at the cellular level for the differentially expressed biological functions which they witness at the gross morphological level. Progression in plant molecular sciences led to castor seed protein 2s albumin expression as a subject of study today for biologists.2s albumin is an abundant castor seed protein characterized to be potent allergen.

The researchers to address the expression pattern of concerned plant protein made use of different stages of castor seed, developed right after fertilization and exploited a real time expression profiling tool called quantitative polymerase chain reaction.The fingerprint of cDNA transcripts revealed a dynamic pattern in the mode of expression with highest degree of 2s albumin during the middle stages while the presence of it at the initial and maturation phases shows converse levels.The scientists however did not restrict there but proceeded further to generate a profile of active allergen and noticed some degree of relation with transcript.However the allergen contrastingly continued to thrive even after elimination of transcripts which posted an elusive operation of molecular mechanism in castor plant cells for a sustained existence of the allergen,2s albumin as multiple variants.

One thing certain from this study is a correlation between complex intermediary molecular events and phenotypes and hence assists us to better understand and manipulate the traits to our convenience.

For info: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf071272p

Functional significance for castor allergens

Castor seed has abundant level of proteins which are evolved spontaneously to serve the survival demands of the organism in response to the selection pressures. Among multiplicity in proteins, scientists have started focussing on three candidate proteins 2S namely albumins,Ric c1 and Ric c3 which have been earlier characterized as allergens for their biological significance.In general, bio-molecular functional definition can be arrived from analysis of its constituents and its spatial configuration that stood as bases for the functional implications in chosen castor proteins.The allergen proteins under study are found to contain a domain for digestive enzyme inhibition which made researchers to design an insect feeding bio-assay in insects Callosobruchus maculatus, Zabrotes subfasciatus, and Tenebrio molitor over their most optimal diet with parameters of insect larvae mortality and body mass gain from diet containing castor protein allergens .The results confirmed that a loss of body weight by one-fifth fraction compared to control lines which enabled researchers to arrive at the enzyme inhibitory activity from concerned plant proteins due to test domain in them.Further scientists claimed that the castor proteins are potential targets in the design of inhibitors with importance in crop protection and biomedical field.

The results seem to be promising for the feeding deterrent activity from castor proteins  but it would be convincing if an in vitro enzyme assay with gut enzymes against castor allergens and histopathological analysis of insect tissues for molecular complexes would have been performed for confirmed functional implication.

For further info: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf104638b

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Enzyme regulations in castor seed development

Enzyme’ characterization is important for understanding metabolism as their catalytic role and regulation determines the flow of mass and homeostatic control in biological systems. It is particularly pronounced well in case with enzymes associated with basic metabolic pathways which made a Canadian researcher to apply this fact in castor metabolism to study an enzyme called pyruvate kinase and its materialistic regulation by proteolytic enzymes in sub-cellular compartments called leucoplasts.

Proteins are in general regulated from their activities by proteolytic degradation,chemical modification,cell sequestration etc and pyruvate kinase chosen as model system in this scientific study was evaluated for its degradation by protease called cysteine endopeptidase.A crude preparation of protein fraction from castor endosperm over different developmental stages of castor seed was made. Protein profiling data revealed an accelerated degradation of the enzyme in wild preparations but when samples were treated with probe inhibitors specific for endopeptidases,a converse result was noticed, by which the researcher was able to conclude that it is the cysteine endopeptidase, acts as a negative regulator of pyruvate kinase in castor seed development, with temporal regulation in its activity inspite of a consistent synchronous existence with pyruvate kinase at the extra-plastid region.He further reported that a regularity in pyruvate kinase driven functional castor physiology was attributed to enzyme’s presence.

This is an interesting study in this oilseed crop where an entire picture of molecular events pertaining to vital enzymes has been presented and enables us to produce a resolved map in seed maturation and development.However attention is required to profile the associated molecular factors driving this complex phenomenon without generating an exaggerated  interwoven metabolic network to pose difficulties in selection and isolation of members in the cellular tie ups.

For reference: Plant Physiol. (1991) 97, 1334-1338