Dr. Sunil S. Thorat,Scientist-C & OSD (IBSD, Sikkim Centre)
Development of bioresources database of the Indian region of Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot
Eastern Himalayan region is unequivocally one of the most diverse of all biodiversity rich regions in the country. The area harbours multitude of flora and fauna which have largely gone undocumented. The programme therefore holds immense significance in the area of cataloguing the vast biodiversity of this region. Another aspect of this programme is to understand the properties of bioresource based on the traditional knowledge provided by the aboriginal communities inhabiting this region. This approach can further contribute towards its social implications in general and towards a better understanding of these bioresources in particular.
In silico phytochemical drug-likelihood analysis
The Eastern Himalayan region is a treasure house of varied medicinal plants with unexplored properties within. An in-silico approach to study the phytochemicals for its drug-likelihood hence becomes a need of the hour by studying the molecular mechanism of action of these plants derived molecular entities (PDME) for its possibility on drug development. A similar study was performed on amarogentin for its inhibitory action on human cyclooxygenases-2 (COX-2) to find the selectivity of the ligand for the induced isoform of cyclooxygenases (COX). Similar research problems are looked into other prevalent bioresources of the region specific to targeted diseases.
Rhododendron Database of Sikkim Himalayas
The genus Rhododendron belongs to family Ericaceae with beautiful and attractive flowers represented by 850 species in the world was founded by Linnaeus. In India, these species are found in Himalayan region states like Arunachal Pradesh (61), Darjeeling in West Bengal (12), Himachal Pradesh (1), Jammu and Kashmir (3), Manipur (5), Mizoram (3), Nagaland (2), Sikkim (36), Tamil Nadu (1) and Uttaranchal (3). It has been recorded that 98% of Indian species are found in the Himalayan region out of which 72% are found in Sikkim. Beside its horticultural value, these species are used for other purpose like treatment of various diseases, incense and fuel. Human interference in the natural populations of Rhododendrons is declining due to deforestation and unsustainable extraction from this plant which has become a conservation issue. The present work is meant to document the morphological information and the various applications of this species to understand its value as a potential bioresources and an awareness drive for conservation of Rhododendrons of the Sikkim Himalayan region in the form of a digital informative database.
As Project Investigator (PI/Coordinator)
Project Name: Distributed Information Sub Centre (DISC); Funding Agency: Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
Project Name: Establishment of Regional Resource Agency for DNA Club (DBT’s Natural Resource Awareness Club); Funding Agency: Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
As Project Co-Investigator (Co-PI)
Project Name: Molecular identification and traditional starter used for rice wine production in Manipur, India. [Indo-Italian POC in Science & Technology 2005-2007]; Funding Agency: Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India
Project Name: Biodiversity, characterization & conservation of cyanobacteria of Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspots (NE Zone of India) for harnessing of value added products; Funding Agency: ICAR, Govt. of India
Project Name: Screening, purification and characterization of fibrinolytic enzymes from Bacillusresources originated from fermented soybean-hawaijar; Funding Agency: Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
Project Name: Evaluation of cyanobacteria for high protein content; Funding Agency: Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
Project Name: Creation of fresh water cyanobacterial Repository at IBSD, Imphal, Manipur; Funding Agency: Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
Ph.D., 2015 (SGB Amravati University, Amravati -Maharashtra)
M.Sc., Biotechnology, 1998 (Amravati University, Amravati -MS)
Advance Diploma in Bioinformatics, 1999 (University of Pune –MS)
April 2010 – Present: Scientist-C & Officer on Special Duty, IBSD, Sikkim
April 2005 – April 2010: Scientist-B, IBSD
Lecturer, Godavari Foundation, Jalgaon -MS
Supervisor, Jain Tissue Culture, Jalgaon – MS
Software Developer, MIST, Pune – MS
Awards & Fellowships
2007: DBT Travel Grant for attending International Conference in Bioinformatics (InCoB 2007) at HKUST, Hong Kong
1999: DBT Merit Scholarship during Advance Diploma in Bioinformatics at University of Pune
Life Member of Society for Biotechnologists (INDIA)
Academic Member of the ‘AMRAVATI BIOTECHNOLOGY ALUMINI ASSOCIATION’ (AMBAA), SGB Amravati University, Amravati.
Bioinformatics – in silico analysis
Biodiversity Informatics – Database Development
Next Generation Sequence Analysis – in silico
Shukla S, Bafna K, Sundar D, Thorat SS (2014) The Bitter Barricading of Prostaglandin Biosynthesis Pathway: Understanding the Molecular Mechanism of Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibition by Amarogentin, a Secoiridoid Glycoside from Swertiachirayita. PLoS ONE9(3): e90637. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090637
Jayashankar Das, Sandhya Thapa, Deepti Pradhan, Sunil S. Thorat, Narayan C. Talukdar. (2013). Intra-specific genetic diversity, phytochemical analysis and antioxidant activities of apotential Himalayan Swertia (Swertiabimaculata Hook. F. & Thomas.). Crops Prod. 49: 341-347.
Sunil S. Thorat and Prashant V. Thakare. (2013). Analysis of Staphylococcus using comparative genomics. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research. 4(12):1775-1779.
Thorat Sunil and Thakare Prashant. (2012). Comparison of simple sequence repeats in Staphylococcus strains using in-silico approach. Bioinformation. 8(24). p. 1182-86.
Shreth, C. N., William S. J and Thorat, S. S. (2012). In-silico constructon of phylogenetic tree to establish the relationship amongst family Zingiberaceae found in Manipur, North-east India, based on chloroplast matK gene. J. Nov. Trends in Pharm. Sci. 2(5): 174-177.
Rajiv Das Kangabam, S. S. Thorat and Medhabati Kangabam. (2012). Natural resources conservation at grass root level – A study among the selected school children of Manipur (India) towards biodiversity conservation and its sustainable conservation. NeBio. 3(3). ISSN 0976-3597.
Somkuwar B.G. Thorat S.S. Subharani S. Abem N. and Hore D.K. (2011). Status and Conservation of Bio-Diversity in North East India. on Biodiversity of Bamboo: Aspect and Prospect in North-East India’ Chapter 12. Edited by M.D. Choudhary et.al.
S. Subharani, S. S. Thorat, N. Abem, L. Amit Kumar and T. K. Singh. (2010). A database on parasitoid of insect pests of crops in Manipur, India. The Journal of Plant Protection Sciences. 2(2). p.10-16.
Databases Developed (In-House)
Biodiversity database of NE region of India with 5700 species records on Flora, Fauna and Microbes is developed from the secondary as well as primary sources.
Comprehensive database on Zingiberaceae of Manipur is developed with 54 species records from 9 genera of Manipur. This interactive database comprises more than 60 data field to accommodate more amount of data considering end users requirements.
Database on Fishes of Manipur is developed from the secondary as well as primary data for 249 species of fishes in Manipur; the data is validated from the expert.
Documentation of Ethnobotanical plants of Manipur is completed with altogether 500 records from the secondary data which was validated from the traditional healers of Manipur.
Citrus database of Manipur is developed with collections of 41 records gathered from various sources. This database is temporarily parked at http://azeemibsd.99k.org/Home.php for public access.
Database on Birds of Sikkim is developed with collection of 216 records from secondary data from the published literature.
Database on freshwater Cyanobacteria of Manipur is developed with 236 records collected from the primary research findings of expert scientists at IBSD.
Cyano-base- National database of Cyanobacteria is developed with collection of 492 records of Cyanobacteria in collaboration with National Facility of Marine Cyanobacteria (NFMC), Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapally.
A database on Edible insects of Manipur is developed. At present the database comprises 55 species records collected from the secondary data resources; mostly from the unpublished records available at the university libraries.
North Eastern Human Resource Database (NEHRDB) is developed by collecting information from 80 experts/researchers working in the area of biodiversity in North-eastern region of India.
Documentation of Comprehensive Plant Bioresources of Sikkim Himalaya: This database comprises 22 tables having about 200 field entries. Data collection was carried out using primary and secondary data resources. The front-end is designed for web-based interface approach for implementing query processing and data retrieval for easy interface.
Database on Rhododendrons of Sikkim: This database comprises 36 species of Rhododendron if Sikkim with reference to its phytochemical potential to provide importance to Rhdodendron as bioresources of the region. The database presently has all available phytomolecules which shall be taken further for in-silico studies on Rhododendrons of Sikkim.
Software/Application Developed (In-House)
Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) is software developed using Perl, PHP and Webserver to find out the Simple Sequence Repeats from the given sequence. A combination of Di, Tri, Tetra, Penta and Hexanucleotide repeats from the given sequence can be found as a result along with tabular and graphical descriptions.
Re-Digester – Restriction Digestion Software is developed to locate, fragment and calculate the size of a given sequences using defined Restriction Enzymes from ReBASE. This programme intends to locate the restriction site in the sequence for a selected Restriction Enzyme and cuts the sequence into fragments. Multiple restriction enzymes can be applied to find out the number of fragments, its location sites and sizes. This programme is developed using Perl, PHP, Web server and HTML that can be used to identify unknown sequence segments on comparing known restriction digested fragment data.
Rajendra Kumar Labala
Information Officer, Distributed Information Sub Centre (DISC)
Work Profile: Bioinformatician
L. Amitkumar Singh
Technical Assistant, Distributed Information Sub Centre (DISC)
Work Profile: Technical assistance in Computer/IT related issues.
Project Assistant (Bioinformatics)
Problem Addressing: Documentation of bioresources of Sikkim Himalaya with reference to its applications leading to in silico studies, & Developing anti-cancerous plants database of Sikkim Himalayas.