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2.3.1 Herbarium Cryptogamae Indiae Orientalis (HCIO)

Enrichment of biodiversity. Seven hundred sixteen (716) fungal specimens were accessioned in HCIO raising the total number of specimens to 47,335.

New species proposed. Eight species of Hyphomycetes, viz., Corynespora baliospermigena, C.

clerodendri-viscose, C. nanospora, C. sapotacearum, C.

xylosma-longifoliae, Cercospora prosopidicola, Cladosporium cycadacearum and Taeniolella sapindi and 10 species of meliolaceous fungi, viz., Amazonia elaeocarp, Irenopsis sidae, Meliola kanniyakumariana var.brahmgiriensis, M. palakkadensis, M. saliciicola, M.

tabernaemontanae var. wrightiae, Asterina canthiigena, Asterostomella baliospermi A. strombosiae and Sarcinella wrightiae and two species of dematiaceous Hyphomycetes viz., Deightoniella mayeei and Dischloridium gangawanei were proposed as new species.

New genera created. A new fungus, Polyrostrata indica gen.nov., was described from the stems of Erianthus munja.

Polyrostrata indica gen. nov. (Hairy pycnidia)

2.3.2 Indian Type Culture Collection (ITCC)

Maintenance and preservation. About 3590 fungal cultures belonging to Mastigomycotina, Zygomycotina, Ascomycotina and Deuteromycotina were maintained by periodic transfer to suitable media. Of these, 200 cultures were preserved under mineral oil (liquid paraffin).

New additions. The culture collection was enriched by a new addition of 108 different fungal cultures. Some noteworthy plant pathogens accessioned include Fusarium fusarioides from cumin, Trichoderma citrinoviride, and Metarrhizium anisopliae from bamboo hopper, Colletotrichum capsici from turmeric, Mucor hiemalis from rice yellow stem borer, Trichoderma fasiculatum and Fusarium equiseti from brinjal, and Sclerotium rolfsii from saffron.

Culture supply. Four hundred twenty-nine (429) authentic fungal cultures belonging to different groups, viz., Zygomycetes (25), Hyphomycetes (156), Ascomycetes (17), Penicilli (46), Aspergilli (36), Coelomycetes (65) and Fusaria (84) were supplied.

Identification services. Three hundred and thirty-five (335) cultures/specimens, mostly plant pathogens, post harvest pathogens, biocontrol agents and industrial fungi were identified. Some important fungi identified include Phoma tropica from Dolichos lab lab, Stachybotrys atra from cucumber seed, Glomerella cingulata and Colletotrichum gloeosporoides from castor, Phoma glomerata from Ficus religiosa and Fusarium oxysporum from cardamom.

2.3.3 Insect Biosystematics

Under the insect identification service, 847 insect specimens were identified. Biological studies were conducted on cotton stem weevil Pempherulus affinis vis- à-vis its host plant relationship as a model. Speculative hypotheses on the concept of adaptive radiation and thereby towards faunistics were developed taking into account the results obtained through analysis of field biology and herbivory. With a view to facilitating the quarantine aspects towards confirmation of species identification of rice weevil Sitophilus spp., hitherto unexplored characters of rostrum and genitalia were worked out. RAPD PCR studies undertaken on the molecular aspects of intraspecific populations of Bemisia tabaci were further validated.

Relationships worked out in terms of correlation coefficients towards cluster and discriminant functions of

2.3.4 Nematode Biosystematics New nematode species

Predominantly occurring plant parasitic nematodes from the rhizosphere of peach and apple in the northern hilly region were isolated. Detailed morphological studies led to the identification of three new species, one of the genus Paratylenchus from Uttarakhand and two of the genus Xenocriconemella from Himachal Pradesh, and Bhutan, which are being described and illustrated. Molecular characterization of Steinernema species from Meghalaya

The complete ITS region of rDNA of the infective juveniles of Steinernema species was amplified and sequenced. A phylogenetic tree was obtained by maximum parsimony using default parameters of ClustalX. Tree evaluation was made using a heuristic search (simple stepwise addition, tree bisection reconnection branch swapping).Branch support was estimated by Bootstrap analysis (1000 replicates) using the same parameters as the original search. The phylogenetic relationships of Meghalaya strain (IARI-EPN- mg1) and Steinernema thermophilum with 18 other species, are presented in the following figure. The species were grouped in three main clusters, wherein the two Indian species – S. thermophilum and Steinernema species Meghalaya strain were located in different clusters, the former forming a clade in bicornutum group and the latter in carpocapsae group.

Componotus sericeus: 1. Lateral view of alitrunk showing propodeal spiracle (a); metapleural gland (b); metasoma (c); and node of periole (d) and 2. Enlarged view of metapleural gland (a)

the taxonomic characters were analysed in the background of molecular variations in these intraspecific populations.

Camponotus sericeus belonging to the Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) species group was found to possess the metapleural gland. This character is absent in most species of Camponotus worldwide, except for C. gigas from Indonesia and C. thadeus from Australia. Thus, it is the first report of the presence of metapleural gland in an Indian species of Camponotus and the third from the world. In Hemiptera, three type species, viz., Tetroda histeroides, Ectomocoris quadriguttatus and Phalantus geniculatus were redescribed with illustrations of their taxonomic characters.

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Phylogenetic relationships of Meghalaya strain of Steinernema with other 18 species of this genus based on bootstrap analysis of ITS regions of rDNA, with Heterodera glycines as an out group NCBI GenBank depositions

Three gene sequences of the ITS region of rDNA – one of indigenous entomopathogenic nematode species (Steinernema species Meghalaya strain Accession No. EF 219458) comprising 516 base pairs; and two of the bacteria (Xenorhabdus indica Accession No. DQ 211718; and Providencia vermicola Accession No. EF 192136) associated with S. thermophilum – were deposited with GenBank. National Nematode Collection of India (NNCI)

The NNCI was augmented with 22 type slides of newly described saprophagous nematode species (Longidorella retenta, L. rotunda, L. rashidae, L. saadi, L. perplexa, L.

pachyderma, L. papilloides and L. tunicata) and 218 wet

nematode suspensions, thus bringing its strength up to 2211 type accessions; and 3212 wet collections. After completing the database of type accessions, this year, a database of wet suspensions was designed, and 620 records entered. Nematode identification service

One hundred fifteen nematode specimens received from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal and Assam, were identified. The important species identified were: Meloidogyne incognita, Rotylenchulus reniformis, Paratrichodorus christiei, Xiphinema elongatum, Pratylenchus thornei, Aphelenchus avenae, Aphelenchoides composticola, Steinernema carpocapsae, S. riobrave, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, and some free living rhabditids (Cephalobus persegnis, Mesorhabditis sp.).