Staff Correspondent

MANIPAL: The Director of the Centre for DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, J. Gowrishankar, said on Monday that by using genetic and biochemical approaches, the centre had identified, for the first time, an “export” system of “arginine” in the bacterium “Escherichia coli” (E.Coli).

He was delivering “J.V. Bhat endowment lecture-2008”, organised by Manipal Life Sciences Centre (MLSC) of Manipal University, here.

Dr. Gowrishankar said that arginine was a nutrient and amino acid, and it was a paradox that living cells actively excreted such a nutrient. “The centre has found that the export system is very tightly regulated and it probably functions as a safety valve to prevent arginine from accumulating toxic-levels within the cells. Recently, similar export systems for other nutrients have been identified in bacteria,” he said. The centre had been able to exploit the discovery of arginine export system to devise a process for increased arginine production by bacterial fermentation, which would be “industrially useful” as it could be used as a nutrient for human beings and livestock, he said.

Senior scientist at the MLSC P.M. Gopinath welcomed the gathering. Vice Chancellor of Manipal University Rajasekharan Warrier presided over the programme.