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Articles by M. Afzal
Total Records ( 16 ) for M. Afzal
  Y.H. Siddique , G. Ara , S. Jyoti and M. Afzal
  Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. Drosophila mutants and transgenes have provided a platform to understand the mechanistic insight associated with the degenerative disease. In the present study, the effect of capsaicin was studied on the climbing ability of the PD model Drosophila expressing normal human alpha synuclein (h-αS) in the neurons. These flies exhibit locomotor dysfunction as the age progresses. Capsaicin at final concentration of 0.1, 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 μL mL-1 was supplemented with the diet and the flies were allowed to feed for the 21 days. Capsaicin showed a dose dependent significant (p<0.05) delay in the loss of climbing ability of PD model flies as compared to the untreated PD flies. The results suggest that the capsaicin is potent in delaying the climbing disability of PD model flies and also supports the utility of this model in studying PD symptoms.
  M. Afzal , Tahir Manzoor and Tasneem Ahmad
  Studies were conducted to observe the physico-morphic influence of different doses of Tamaron 600 SL viz., 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 ml per acre on FH-682 cotton at Faisalabad under natural field conditions. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with 6 treatments including control and with 3 repeats. The crop was sprayed 3 times during its growth season. All the physico-morphic characters were studied at crop maturity stage. Results revealed that Tamaron 600 SL @ 400 ml/acre was found to be the most effective than others. Seed cotton yield was found to be positively correlated only to the plant height, weight of dry brackets and number of opened bolls but other plant characters like weight of dry leaves, weight of dry stem, number of leaves, number of unopened bolls and leaf area index were found to be negatively correlated. All the characters under study showed significant differences to different doses of insecticide under trial.
  Y.H. Siddique and M. Afzal
  The present review gives the details of the genotoxic studies carried out till date for some selected synthetic progestins. Mutagenicity is defined as a permanent change in content or structure of the genetic material of an organism. A mutagenic hazard can be manifested as a heritable change resulting from germ-line mutations and/or somatic mutations leading to cancer or other chronic degenerative processes such as aging. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generated through normal metabolic processes or from toxic products, can lead to a state of oxidative stress that contributes to the pathogenesis of a number of human disease by damaging lipids, protein and DNA. Oral contraceptives have been used since the early 1960s and are now used by about 90 million women world wide. The pill is given as a combination of an estrogen and a progestogen. The estrogen component of combined oral contraceptives is either ethinylestradiol or mestranol and the progestogens used are cyproterone acetate, desogestrol, ethynodiol diacetate, levonorgestrel, lynestrenol, megestrol acetate, norethisterone, norethisterone acetate, norethynodrel, norgestimate and norgestrel. Little is known about the long term health risks and potential protective effects of these individual components. Synthetic progestins induced the genotoxic damage and also various types of cancers, both singly as well as in combination with estrogens. Various synthetic progestins have been tested for their genotoxic effects in different experimental models, using different genotoxic end points. Ethynodioldiacetate, norethynodrel, norgestrel, lynestrenol and medroxyprogesterone acetate were found to be genotoxic only in the presence of metabolic activation supplemented with NADP. Megestrol acetate, cyproterone acetate and chlormadinone acetate were found to be genotoxic in the absence of metabolic activation. On the basis of reports available it is suggested that the progestins in which double bond between carbon-6 and carbon-7 is present, they undergo nucleophilic reaction and generates free radical in the system to show the genotoxic effects and the progestins in which double bond between carbon-6 and carbon-7 is absent, they need metabolic activation like estrogens, such as estradiol-17β and ethinylestradiol to show the genotoxic effects.
  J. Gupta , Y.H. Siddique , T. Beg , G. Ara and M. Afzal
  The aim of this review is to focus some light on the beneficial effects of the tea polyphenols on human health, based on various laboratory, epidemiological and clinical studies carried out on tea and tea polyphenols in the last few years. Tea is second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world. Tea has been consumed worldwide since ancient times to maintain and improve health. The health benefits associated with tea consumption have resulted in the wide inclusion of green tea extracts in botanical dietary supplements, which are widely consumed as adjuvants for complementary and alternative medicines. Depending upon the level of fermentation, tea can be categorized into three types: green (unfermented), oolong (partially fermented) and black (highly to fully fermented). Black tea represents approximately 78% of total consumed tea in the world, whereas green tea accounts for approximately 20% of tea consumed. Tea is particularly rich in polyphenols, including catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins, which are thought to contribute to the health benefits of tea. Tea polyphenols comprise about one-third of the weight of the dried leaf and they exhibit biochemical and pharmacological activities including antioxidant activities, inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and modulation of carcinogen metabolism. Several studies demonstrate that most tea polyphenols exert their effects by scavenging Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) since excessive production of ROS has been implicated in the development of a variety of ailments including cancer of the prostate gland (CaP). Tea catechins include (-)-epicatechin (EC),(-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These catechins have been shown to be epimerized to (-)-catechin (C), (-)-gallocatechin (GC), (-)-catechin gallate (CG) and (-)-gallocatechin gallate (GCG), respectively, during heat treatment. Tea polyphenols act as antioxidants in vitro by scavenging reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and chelating redox-active transition metal ions. Among the health-promoting effects of tea and tea polyphenols, the cancer-chemopreventive effects in various animal model systems have been intensively investigated; meanwhile, the hypolipidemic and antiobesity effects in animals and humans have also become a hot issue for molecular nutrition and food research. In vitro and animal studies provide strong evidence that tea polyphenols may possess the bioactivity to affect the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease and cancer. Research conducted in recent years reveals that both black and green tea have very similar beneficial attributes in lowering the risk of many human diseases, including several types of cancer and heart diseases.
  M. Afzal , Y.H. Siddique , G. Ara , T. Beg and J. Gupta
  Mental retardation has been the traditional foothold of psychologists and psychometricians, apart from clinicians and biologists. Nearly 30,000 genes control neurogenetic disorders. While these genes are yet to be explored, their ultimate expression and regulation defies a mechanistic model of behavioural and intellectual deficiency. Mental retardation, therefore, will be a complex problem to be diagnosed and cured. A polygenic theory demands delineating Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) problem, yet to be formulated among humans. At the molecular level, molecular genetics of neurological disorders have been worked out. Taking from basic roots of neuronal functioning and their integration at various levels of the central nervous system, the mutations of neuronal channelopathies resulting into loss of brain function (seizures, convulsions, epilepsy), uncontrolled muscle movement (ataxia), headache with vomiting and nausea (migraine) have been worked out. The trinucleotide disorders in huntington and mutations in the prion protein causing various types of encephalopathies have been established. Present study touches upon some important areas of mental retardation and psychiatry through history, cutting across diverse disciplines and methodologies and attempts recent developments in the field.
  Allah Bakhsh , Muhammad Arif Khan , C.M. Ayyub , Mubarak Ali Shah and M. Afzal
  These studies were conducted at Floriculture and Landscaping Research Sub-station Multan, during 1996, Cut tuberose were treated with solutions containing various chemicals to test their effects on vase life and quality. Vase life was increased three times by a solution containing 200 ppm silver nitrate (AgNO3) and 4 mM silver thiosulfate (STS). Pulsing cut tuberose stems in a solution containing glucose and sucrose prolonged vase life and improved quality. Flower harvested at tight bud stage had significantly longer vase life compared to flowers cut at half opened bud stage. The quality of flowers was also improved greatly by pulsing flowers in silver nitrate (AgNO3) and silver thiosulfate (STS) chemicals.
  M. Afzal , Naeem Hussain Gill , M. Razaq and Sajid Ali
  The physio-morphic influence of 10 different insecticides from 4 major groups of modern synthetic insecticides, compounds with new pesticidal chemistry, surfactants and emulsifiers in form of five different latest recommended schedules were studied on newly released cotton cuitivar FH-672 at Faisalabad (Pakistan). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four repeats. The physio-morphic characters under present research investigations were plant height, weight of dry leaves, weight of dry branches, weight of dry stem, number of leaves, number of branches, number of unopened bolls, number of opened bolls, leaf area index, leaf area and seed cotton yield. Results revealed that spray-schedules influenced only 4 physio-morphic characters like seed cotton yield, plant height, leaf area index and leaf area. The final performance was negatively correlated with leaf area index and leaf area. All other characters did not show any correlation to seed cotton yield.
  F. Naz , S. Jyoti , N. Akhtar , M. Afzal and Y.H. Siddique
  Oral Contraceptives (OCs) are the most popular type of birth control pills. The study was designed to examine the biochemical changes which occur due to the use of oral contraceptive pills (OCs). The study was based on the questionnaire for having the information of any reproductive history fasting, age, health, nature of menstrual cycle, bleeding, disease etc and blood profiling for biochemical analysis of the women includes High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C), Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C), Total Cholesterol (TC) and Triglycerides (TG). Lipid profiling was carried out by using a commercially available diagnostic test kits. SPSS was used to analyze the data. The results showed statistically significant differences among users of OCs compared to non-users. Total cholesterol (242.92±2.842 mg dL-1), HDL-C (58.65±1.098 mg dL-1), LDL-C (115.84±1.266 mg dL-1) and triglycerides (105.56±2.341 mg dL-1) were significantly higher compared to the Non-users (Total cholesterol 218.49±1.762, HDL-C 48.17±0.543, LDL-C 100.32±0.951 and triglycerides 83.77±2.299 mg dL-1). The result suggests that OCs increase the level of High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C), Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C), Total Cholesterol (TC) and Triglycerides (TG).
  A. Ghafoor , M.A. Zahid , Z. Ahmad , M. Afzal and M. Zubair
  Three hundred and ten mungbean lines were evaluated in the field for 9 quantitative traits at NARC, Islamabad, Pakistan (33.40 o N and 73.07o E). These showed high variance for yield contributing characters except pod length, seeds/pod and seed weight. Germplasm under investigation displayed a wide range of diversity for most of the traits. Pure-lines with unique characters which could help to identify, select and hybridize land races to induce evolution for important traits were identified and for that matter 44 pure-lines were selected and recommended for testing under wide range of agro-ecological condition in pursuit of best mungbean cultivars. Data on harvest index revealed that the genotypes from 25 to 40% harvest index exhibited better performance and thus this range is suggested as one of the criteria for future improvement in mungbean.
  M. Afzal , M. Farooq , M. Razaq and Suhail Ayub
  Comparative efficacy of 3 different doses of two carbonates viz., Lannate 40SP (methomyl) at 400, 500 and 600 gm/acre and Larvin 80 DF (thiodicarb) at 200, 300 and 400 gm/acre was sorted out against cotton whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Genn) on NIAB. Karishma cotton at Faisalabad. All the doses of both insecticides failed to keep the population of the pest below economic threshold level (4-5/leaf). Population of the whitefly after 3 sprays due to different doses of Lannate 40SP and Larrin 80F was 6.77, 6.04, 4.98 and 7.87 and 7.87, 8.13, 6.07 per leaf respectively as compared with control (10.51 per leaf). Lannate 40SP provided better control of whitefly, maximum population decrease was observed due to highest dose (600 gm/acre). However, population reduction due to both of the insecticides did not differ significantly.
  Fatima S. Mehdi , Imran Ali Siddiqui , Nasima Imam Ali and M. Afzal
  The fungal species of rhizosphere of Avicennia marina was studied and results were evaluated in terms of occurrence, distribution and dominance. Species of Aspergillus and Penecillium were found to be more dominent constituents of the rhizosphere mycoflora. The rhizospheres examined revealed the preponderance population of Deuteromycotina and Ascomycotina whereas Mastgomycotina were poorly represented. The results of the study lead us to the conclusion that the mangrove swamp, specially the rhizosphere is a potential habitat for fungal inhabitation. The rhizosphere soils were found to favour the establishment of the fungal community, irrespective of varying salinity levels, perhaps due to their pronounced rhizosphere effects.
  M. Afzal and F.S. Mehdi
  Altogether 53 species of fungi belonging to 21 genera present up to a height of 10m were trapped in the atmosphere of Karachi city. Species of Aspergillus, Alternaria, Penicillium and Cladosporium were the most frequently encountered. A data on the prevalence of atmospheric fungi isolated during 1998-1999 is presented.
  M. Afzal , F.S. Mehdi and Z.S. Siddiqui
  A survey on atmospheric fungi of Karachi city was performed during the years 1998 and 1999.A total number of 53 species belonging to 21 genera of fungi was recorded. During the entire study, seasonal variation was found to be related with atmospheric temperature and relative humidity, especially. An increase in temperature and relative humidity of the atmosphere resulted in increased number of mycoflora, qualitatively and quantitatively.
  M. Sajjad , S.M. H. Andrabi , S. Akhter and M. Afzal
  Several methods are currently employed to manipulate rumen fermentation to enhance post-ingestion nutritive value of fibrous forages through use of biotechnology including inoculants of native and recombinant rumen microorganisms, natural adaptation and microbial feed enzymes. In this essay, progress and problems related to manipulation of rumen ecosystem through inoculation of natural and genetically modified rumen microorganisms are discussed. Also advancements in exogenous fibrolytic enzymes to improve digestibility of fibrous diets is briefly reviewed.
  M. Afzal , M. Anwar , M.A. Mirza and S.M.H. Andrabi
  This study was conducted to compare the effect of open grazing system and feeding green fodder at the stall (cut and carry system) on the growth of male buffalo calves. Twelve male buffalo calves (of Nili Ravi breed) were either grazed (n = 5) on natural pasture or were offered seasonal green fodder ad lib in the manger (n = 7). The calves were kept on these treatments for 9 months. Live body weight of the calves was recorded at the start of trial and then fortnightly. The overall weight gain per day over nine months of feeding period did not differ significantly between open grazing (0.415±0.028kg) and stall fed groups (0.433±0.056kg) (P > 0.05). It is concluded that grazing on natural pasture may result in growth of male buffalo calves comparable to that after feeding them cultivated green fodder at the manger.
  A hydroponics experiment was conducted to evaluate the role of potassium (K) and silicon (Si) in mitigating the deleterious effects of NaCl on sugarcane genotypes differing in salt tolerance. Two salt-sensitive (CPF 243 and SPF 213) and two salt-tolerant (HSF 240 and CP 77-400) sugarcane genotypes were grown for six weeks in ½ strength Johnson's nutrient solution. The nutrient solution was salinized by two NaCl levels (0 and 100 mmol L−1 NaCl) and supplied with two levels of K (0 and 3 mmol L−1) and Si (0 and 2 mmol L−1). Applied NaCl enhanced Na+ concentration in plant tissues and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced shoot and root dry matter in four sugarcane genotypes. However, the magnitude of reduction was much greater in salt-sensitive genotypes than salt-tolerant genotypes. The salts interfered with the absorption of K+ and Ca2+ and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) decreased their uptake in sugarcane genotypes. Addition of K and Si either alone or in combination significantly (P ≤ 0.05) inhibited the uptake and transport of Na+ from roots to shoots and improved dry matter yields under NaCl conditions. Potassium uptake, K+/Na+ ratios, and Ca2+ and Si uptake were also significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased by the addition of K and/or Si to the root medium. In this study, K and Si-enhanced salt tolerance in sugarcane genotypes was ascribed to decreased Na+ concentration and increased K+ with a resultant improvement in K+/Na+ ratio, which is a good indicator to assess plant tolerance to salt stress. However, further verification of these results is warranted under field conditions.
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