A compendium of Monopodial Orchids of Meghalaya


Sixty nine species of monopodial orchids belonging to 7 Subtribes namely Vandinae, Deceptorinae, Phalaenopsidinae, Gastrochilinae, Aeridinae, Pelatantheriinae, Taeniophllinae are enumerated. Up-to-date nomenclature, salient features, phenology and place of occurrence in Meghalaya of each species is provided in the present communication.

Keywords Monopodial, orchid, Meghalaya

Notes on diversity and distribution of tribe Orchideae in Meghalaya


The tribe Orchideae is represented by 28 species, 7 genera falling under 4 subtribes viz. Orchidinae, Herminiinae, Platantherinae and Habenarinae in Meghalaya. Of these, genus Peristylus is largest (11 species) followed by Habenaria (9 species). The genera Brachycorythis, Platanthera and Pecteilis are represented by 2 species each; while remaining genera like Diplomeris and Herminium are represented by 1 species each. Key characters of each ones along with phenology, distribution in Meghalaya and other states of NE India have been given. Colored photographs of species have been provided for their easy identification in the field.

Keywords Orchideae, diversity, Meghalaya

Protoplast fusion in potato improvement


Gene transfer is the basis for almost all crop improvement including potato. Wild species of potato harbors myriad of genes providing resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses. Breeders have been tempted to utilize them for incorporating valuable genes ranging from resistance to grain yield, and produce quality. But many sources of useful genes cannot be included in crop improvement programme in potato due to tetrasomic inheritance, asexual mode of propagation, a heavy load of deleterious recessive alleles and varying levels of sexual and EBN (endosperm balance number) incompatibilities. Gene transfer through transformation, though possible, requires identification, isolation and cloning of the concerned genes. Somatic hybridization through targeted protoplast fusion between two dihaploids of tetraploid potatoes, or between a dihaploid and a wild diploid Solanum species across sexual/ EBN barriers, or between two monoploids of diploid/ dihaploid potatoes offers great opportunities for targeted whole genome manipulation vis-à-vis complementation. The technology is slowly being functionally integrated into the potato breeding program in India at CPRI, Shimla by developing parental lines with increased level of resistance against late blight and Potato virus Y.

Keywords Potato, protoplast fusion, somatic hybrid.

BLAST: An introductory tool for students to Bioinformatics Applications


BLAST which is a sequence similarity search program is an excellent starting point for teaching bioinformatics to students and it has the potential to enhance a student’s grasp of biomedical, biochemical, and biogeochemical concepts. This article discusses the underlying concepts of the BLAST algorithm, the scores and statistics of the alignments; with illustrations using the NCBI BLAST. The article also emphasizes the need for students to be familiarized with the basic concepts and programs of bioinformatics which is a necessity in biological sciences now-a-days because of the recent advances in high-throughput techniques for data generation and analysis.

Keywords BLAST, algorithm, introductory tool, bioinformatics teaching, bioinformatics applications

Monitoring of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) in ambient air in the campus of Lady Keane College, Shillong.


Clean air is necessary for healthy life. Air is one of the five vital basic natural ingredients of life system. A first ever study on the ambient air quality in the campus of Lady Keane College, Shillong was undertaken during the month of November, 2013. The findings indicate that the mbient air in the campus possess light air pollution. The current mean concentration of total suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the vicinity of Lady Keane College was found to be 97.42µgm-3which is much lower than the NAAQ Standard limit (200µgm-3). Also, the mean respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) was observed to be 54.40µgm-3which is also lower that the NAAQ Standard limits (100µgm-3). The low concentration of RSPM can be attributed to the immediate and important green surrounding in and around the college.

Keywords Air, health, monitoring, particulate, respirable

Characterization of selected south Indian tea (Camellia spp.) germplasm using morphological traits and RAPD markers


The genetic variation and relationship among the selected south Indian tea (Camellia spp.) germplasm was evaluated using morphological traits and RAPD markers. Ninety four mother bushes were selected for germplasm characterization. Morphological characterization of selected mother bushes identified significant divergence among them.The dendrogram constructed using UPGMA method based on RAPD fingerprinting divides the selected mother bushes into two major groups. The present investigation confirms the ability of RAPD markers to characterize the high variation exists within and between the selected accessions of tea germplasm. The results of the present study indicate that there is no correlation between molecular and morphological (both quantitative and qualitative) relationships.

Keywords Camellia spp., genetic diversity, RAPD markers, morphological markers

The Lyngdoh Mawnai Sacred Grove, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya: Mapping and analysis of disturbance


The Lyngdoh Mawnai Sacred Grove, representing humid sub-tropical montane forest, is a fairly well preserved sacred grove, covering an area of 20.84 ha, of which about 0.09 ha area was non-forest and 1.9 ha was degraded to various extents.The tree density was found to 1126 ha-1 . Anthropogenic disturbance in form of wood cutting, burning was visible in the peripheral regions while wood-cutting and clearance of ground vegetation for collection of edible fruit was seen within the dense forest area. Disturbance in form of cut stems especially in the 5-12 cm diameter class was found in both – the peripheral as well in the forest interior with peripheral areas exhibiting higher cut stems (26%) than the interior (14% ) of the total stems ha-1.

Keywords Sacred grove, mapping, Meghalaya, West Khasi Hills, Lyngdoh Mawnai sacred grove

Meteorological drought occurrences at Shillong, Meghalaya


Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya receives an annual average rainfall of 2,267 mm. The state is mostly agrarian with mostly rice-potato and potato-potato based cropping system. Rainfed rice mostly practiced in and around this belt. Rainfall analysis was done based on thirty five years (1973-2007) daily rainfall data to study monthly, seasonal and yearly occurrence of drought at Shillong based on India Meteorological Department (IMD) protocols. There was an incident of severe drought in the year 2000; eight years with moderate and eleven years with mild drought at Shillong. The more frequency of drought incidents were recorded for the January, November and December compared to other months.

Keywords Drought year, meteorological drought, rainfall analysis.

Two new distributional records of Liverworts (Marchantiophyta) from Meghalaya


Two liverworts, namely Cyathodium aureonitens (Griff.) Mitt. (Cyathodiaceae) and Fossombronia pusilla (L.) Dumort. (Fossombroniaceae) have been recorded for the first time from the Meghalaya, of which the latter one is recorded for the first time from East Himalayan Bryo-geographical territory. The same have been described with relevant photographs.

Keywords Liverwort, Cyathodium, Fossombronia, meghalaya.

Fourteen new distributional records of Orchid from Mizoram


Fourteen species of orchids are added to the flora of Mizoram for the first time from Murlen National Park, Champhai. The same have been described and photographs of each species provided for their easier identification.

Keywords Orchid, distributional record, Mizoram

New and noteworthy records of Gingers from North-east India


The present paper includes Curcuma latifolia as new record for North-east India, Curcuma amada, Curcuma prakasha, Parakaempferia synantha are new to Mizoram, Gingiber roseum is new to Assam and Globba rubromaculata is new record for Meghalaya. The same are described along with field photographs.

Keywords Gingiber, noteworthy, North-east, India

Pteridophytes of Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Mizoram, India


Pteridophytic flora of Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Mizoram has been carried out. A total of 33 species belonging to 21 genera and 18 families are enumerated for the first time from the sanctuary. This includes three new distributional records viz., Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott, Pleocnemia submembranacea (Hyata) Tagawa & K. Iwats. and Tectaria decurrens (C. Presl) Copel. from Mizoram, remaining all are new report to this sanctuary. An identification key along with basionym and distribution of each species in Northeast India has been provided in present communication.

Keywords Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary (NGWLS), Pteridophytes, Mizoram.