Day 2 :
Institute for Biological Problem of Cryolithozone , Russia
Keynote: Yakutia as the territory of the crane most diversity in the northern part of Asia-Pacific region
Time : 9:30-10:10
Solomonov Nikita Gavrilovich, Research Professor, Doctor of Biology, Corresponding member of Russian Academy for Science, honored scientist of Russia, honored worker of science of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia). He was born in 1929. He conducted research to identify regional features for population ecology of mass mammal species in Central Yakutia, the number dynamics of the most endangered species. Under his leadership, the Red Data Book of Yakutia was prepared and published in 1987. Together with foreign partners, he conducted research on ecology and migrations of unique birds of North, Siberian crane and spectacled eider. He is author of more than 280 publications, including 7 monographs. He has supervised 25 master and 16 doctoral Thesis. He is member of scientific councils, commissions and editorial boards of academic journals. He is Chief Editor of the journal of the Academy for Sciences of Sakha (Yakutia) Science and Education.
Asia-Pacific region occupies the great part of northeastern Eurasia and North America. Two crane species, Whooping crane Grus americana and Sandhill crane G. canadensis, inhabit North America including USA, Canada and Mexico. 7 cranes, Common crane species: G. grus, Sandhill crane, Hooded crane G. monarcha, White-naped crane G. vipio, Siberian crane G. leucogeranus, Red-crowned crane Grus japonensis, Demoiselle cranes Anthropoides virgo inhabit Russia. Republic Sakha (Yakutia) territory includes 6 crane species, 4 nesting (Common, Hooded, Siberian and Sandhill cranes), and 2 vagrant species. Demoiselle crane appears regularly in the Middle Lena River, Vilui River and Upper Yana River Valleys. The first appearance of White-naped crane was reported in 2014, when a pair of birds was registered in Upper Yana River Valley in 2014. Case of vagrant Brolga Antigone rubicunda was described in 90-s XIX century by the Moscow State University Museum data. The bird was killed in 80-s near Yakutsk city (Central Yakutia). But the information was no confirmed for the whole XX and early XI centuries and later this species was excluded from Yakutia ornithological fauna list due to a possible error in the labeling. Nevertheless, Republic Sakha (Yakutia), situated in the north-eastern part of Siberia and is the largest subject of Russia Federation, occupying more than 18% of Russia (3.1 million of km2), is the territory of the crane most diversity in the northern part of Asia-Pacific region.
Andhra University, India
Time : 10:10-10:50
Dr. Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju is a Professor and Chairman, Board of Studies of Environmental Sciences and Microbiology in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. He was the Head of the Department during 2009-2012. He was the Visiting Professor of University of Colima, Mexico. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Akron, USA for a period of two years. He has conducted extensive field work in Olympic Mountains, Colorado Rocky Mountains, Siskiyu Mountains, Yosemite National Park, Yellostone National Park and Grand Teton Mountains in connection with reproductive biology of an arctic-alpine genus Pedicularis and its conservation and management aspects. Further, he has also conducted field research in Mexico. He has published more than 300 research papers, participated and presented scores of research papers at more than 50 national and more than 30 International conferences held in India and abroad. He visited USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, Paraguay, Italy, Mexico, Spain, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In recognition of his superior record of scholarship, he was awarded Distinguished Achievement Award by the University of Akron, Ohio, USA. He is also the recipient of Best Research Award and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Best Academician Award of Andhra University, Loyola Environmental Award from Loyola College, Chennai and Andhra Pradesh Scientist Award from Andhra Pradesh Council of Science & Technology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. Recently, he received State Level Best Teacher Award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He is the Consultant of Convention of Biological Diversity Programme of Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy. He did excellent work on the effects of radiation on tomato seeds which were exposed to space by NASA, USA. He successfully completed a number of major research projects on the Eastern Ghats Forests funded by ICAR, UGC, DST, CSIR, DBT and MoEF. Further, he successfully completed All India Coordinated Research Projects on the endangered species of Eastern Ghats funded by MoEF and Phytogeography and morphometrics of honey bees and stingless bees of Andhra Pradesh funded by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, New Delhi. He is the Expert member of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India. He has worked on biodiesel plants such as Pongamia and Jatropha and his work laid foundation for others to initiate work in commercial lines. He has also published ten books on various subjects published by national and international publishers. Thirty Ph.Ds and eight M.Phils were awarded under his guidance. Further, he is currently serving as a resource person for All India Radio, TV Channels, Consultant for issues relating to environmental issues. He is an expert-cum-reviewer for scores of scientific journals published by Elsevier, Springer publishers, Indian Publishers, US Publishers and African Publishers. He is the Chief Editor of Advances in Pollen-Spore Research Journal and Journal of Palynology.
Butterflies occupy a vital position in the ecosystem and are useful as indicators of environmental change. Their occurrence depends on the climatic dicta, the presence of suitable caterpillar foods and appropriate adult nectar sources or other food, suitable arenas for flight and courtship. They require a continuous supply of food sources, especially nectar sources from a number of plant species. In this context, floral morphological and nectar characteristics are important for visitation by butterflies. Nectar plays an important role in the nutrition of adult butterflies. Nectar is a highly enriched food resource consisting of carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, antioxidants, alkaloids, proteins, vitamins, salts, etc. But, all these nutrient chemicals are not found in a single floral nectar source and hence flower-visiting butterflies should pay visits to different floral nectars to acquire all the required nutrients. The knowledge accumulated in this direction is very much limited and it is particularly so for India; this knowledge on butterfly-flower interactions is essential especially in the context of changing environments for the effective conservation and management of the butterfly diversity.
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Time : 11:10- 11:50
Geetha Annavi has her expertise in population genetics, molecular and behavioural ecology, and conservation biology, particularly of wild animals (i.e., mammals) and terrestrial ecosystems. Currently, her research is focused on the endangered Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) both in captive and wild in Peninsular Malaysia. She is investigating the genetic, ecology and behaviour aspects of this animal to protect them from extinct further in the wild. She is also interested to develop an effective ex-situ captive breeding model to maximize the number of healthy progeny that are produced in captivity and a successful reintroduction program of these captive born tapirs into wild.
Statement of the Problem: Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) comes from family Tapiridae and presently facing high risk of extinction due to multiple factors including loss of habitat and human disturbance. Currently, Malayan tapir is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, which calls for more serious conservation efforts for this mammal. Mating with relatives in captivity becomes common when the number of individuals decreases. As this happens, inbreeding depression and the reduction of population fitness will cause major threats to the viability of successive generation. Therefore, successful mating, fertilization, and genetic diversity are vital to ensure the viability of the population. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a set of highly polymorphic genes in vertebrates with hundreds of different alleles at some loci. Some of the functions related to MHC region include immune response, olfaction and reproduction. One of the mechanism MHC genes polymorphism is maintained is by disassortative mating selection by kin recognition that contributes to inbreeding avoidance. The objective of this study is to characterise the MHC genes of Tapirus indicus. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: gDNA was isolated from whole blood samples from 7 individuals. Next, primers targeting MHC Class II loci were designed from closely related species on consensus region and amplified using PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of each MHC loci was performed on consensus alignment against sequences from other closely related species. Findings: In exon 2, we found at least two alleles that encode for DRα and DQα domains, while three alleles are found encoding DRβ and DQβ domains. Evidence of selection was observed at DRB loci and exhibit possibility of trans-species polymorphism when aligned with closely related species. Conclusion & Significance: This preliminary study in Malayan tapir will serve as a basis for further studies of MHC variability, mate choice, and pathogen resistance which aims to increase the population size of Malayan tapir in Malaysia through ex-situ conservation by improving its survival rate and reproduction success in long term.