Genetic Resources of Curcuma and Zingiber from Northeast India: diversity characterization and utilization

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This study is an attempt to collect, maintain, characterize and observe the pharmacological properties of genetic resources of Curcuma and Zingiber from Northeast part of India so as to open a door for further in-depth studies regarding biochemical and molecular aspects and their biological applications in near future. The doctoral thesis work was focused on two significant genera Curcuma and Zingiber and the indigenous species C. amada and Z. moran in particular were collected, identified with taxonomic tools and properly maintained. In addition, ploidy level of C. amada and Z. moran was also studied and protocols were optimized for chromosome study of these two species. Efficient in vitro regeneration protocols were developed for four selected members of these two important genera, using different growth media, growth regulators and culture conditions and cyto-genetic fidelity was confirmed by RAPD and SDS-PAGE profiling and also by chromosome counting in regenerated plants. Intra and interspecific genetic variations and relationship was investigated using different molecular marker systems (RAPD, ISSR and AFLP) among 9 Curcuma species and 10 different ecotypes of endemic Z. moran, from Northeast India. The results hold promising potential for future identification and analysis of the members of family Zingiberaceae. Antimicrobial spectrum of the crude rhizome extracts of selected Curcuma and Zingiber species was studied using techniques like disc-diffusion, viability assay, growth rate and micro-Raman spectroscopy against various human pathogenic indicators. All rhizome extracts revealed potent antibacterial and antifungal activities inferring the immense therapeutic significance as antimicrobial agents. Z. moran hydrodistilled oil showed best result among all and hence was further characterized chemically using techniques like TLC, CC, NMR, FTIR, and HRMS. Finally 3 bioactive compounds (Camphene, Citral and Linalool) were isolated and identified from the Z. moran rhizome essential oil. The components were further characterized by evaluating the antitumerous property against cancerous HeLa cell lines. Three of the components revealed a significant cytotoxic and anti-cell proliferation effect on the malignant cells. This establishes their broad pharmacological effects against common pathogens and cancer cells. Characterization of the essential oil of such endemic species could bring immense possibilities in the pharmaceutical industry in near future as a pharmaceutical agent....
Supervisor: Latha Rangan