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170. Dr. Amjad Masood Husaini

Dr. Amjad Masood Husaini is Assistant Professor/Jr. Scientist (PBG) in Rice Research & Regional Station, SKUAST-K and is currently engaged in rice improvement using modern breeding & biotechnological tools. He has obtained Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi and a PG Diploma in Bioinformatics too. He has the distinction of being awarded “Junior Scientist of The Year 2007 Award” by National Environmental Science Academy, New Delhi, and the prestigious “Jawahar Lal Nehru Award” by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of Environmental and Agricultural sciences. He has excelled in NET (Life Sciences) of CSIR and NET (Agricultural Biotechnology) of ICAR, being among the top position holders, and won Gold and Silver for his presentations in several seminars/conferences.

Along with his fellow colleagues Dr. Amjad Masood Husaini has been actively pursuing the hybrid rice development for Kashmir conditions and tailoring of new high yielding, disease resistant rice varieties through hybridization between indica and japonica sub-species using wide compatible source as bridge. He is also associated with characterization of local landraces and evaluation, field testing of rice accessions procured from Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad and International Rice Research Institute, Phillipines.

He has published quality research papers in national and international journals of repute, on different aspects of agricultural biotechnology. He has conducted successful transformation of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch) with gus gene, using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA 4404 containing pBI 121 as a binary vector and has successfully developed salinity-tolerant transgenic strawberry overexpressing osmotin gene of Nicotiana tabacum.

His major publications include:

1.      Samina Aquil, Amjad M. Husaini, M. Z. Abdin, Gulam Muhammad Rather (2009) Overexpression of HMG-CoA reductase gene leads to enhanced artemisinin biosynthesis in transgenic Artemisia annua L. plants. Planta Medica 75: 1-6

2.      Mohd. Arif, Najma W. Zaidi, Qazi Mohd. Rizwanul Haq, Salim Khan, Amjad M. Husaini and Uma S. Singh (2009) Nuclear rDNA Sequence-based Identification and Relative Efficiency of ISSR and RAPD Markers for Genetic Diversity of Fusarium sp. Associated with Mango Malformation in India. International Journal of Plant Breeding 3 (1):65-70

3.      Amjad M. Husaini, Shafiq A. Wani, Parvez Sofi, Abdul G. Rather, Javid I. Mir (2009) Bioinformatics for Saffron  (Crocus sativus L.) Improvement.  Communications in Biometry and Crop Science 4 (1): 1-6

4.      Husaini AM and Abdin MZ (2008) Development of transgenic strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) plants tolerant to salt stress. Plant Science 174: 446-455

5.      Amjad M. Husaini, Samina Aquil, Mukhtar Bhat Tabassum Qadri, Kamaluddin and Malik Zainul Abdin (2008) A high-efficiency direct somatic embryogenesis system for strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) cultivar Chandler. J. Crop Science and Biotechnology 11 (2):107-110

6.      Husaini AM and Abdin MZ (2008) Overexpression of tobacco osmotin gene leads to salt stress tolerance in strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) plants. Indian J. of Biotechnology 7: 465-472

7.      Salim Khan, Amjad M. Husaini, Usha Kiran, Kamaluddin, Mauji Ram and M. Z. Abdin (2008) SCAR Markers for Authentication of Herbal Drugs. Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology 2 (2): 79-85

8.      Parray GA, Shikari AB, Ganai MA and Husaini AM. (2008) Local aromatic rice cultivars of North Himalayas- Present status and future strategies for their sustainable improvement. Crop Research 36 (3): 380-381

9.      Parray GA, Shikari AB, Husaini AM, Wani SA, Rather AG and Teli MA (2008) Kohsar: a new high yielding japonica rice variety released for high altitude irrigated areas of Jammu & Kashmir. Research on Crops 9 (2): 508-510

10.  Pervaze Sofi, AG Rather, Abdul Matteen, Amjad Husaini (2007) Sequencing the maize genome: rationale, current status and future prospects. Current Science 92: 1702-1708

11.  Husaini AM and Abdin MZ (2007) Interactive effect of light, temperature and TDZ on the regeneration potential of leaf discs of Fragaria x ananassa Duch. In vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant 43:576-584

12.  Husaini AM and Srivastava DK (2006). Genetic transformation in strawberry- a review. Asian Jr. of Microbiol. Biotech. Env. Sc. 8(1): 75-81

13.  Husaini AM and Srivastava DK (2006) Plant regeneration and Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer studies in strawberry tissues (Fragaria x ananassa) Asian Jr. of Microbiol. Biotech. Env. Sc. 8(3): 671-678

14.  Murtaza I, Beigh GM, Shah TA, Husaini AM, Khan AA, Kaur C (2005) Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of kale genotypes grown in Kashmir valley. J. Plant Biochemistry & Biotechnology 14:215-217


Xenobiotic detoxification/ bioremediation with transgenic plants is the prime research problem that fascinates me. Interest in bioremediation of land using plants is of special significance because the capital costs and the operational costs of using plants for bioremediation are several times lesser than the use of equal amount of bacterial biomass and the implementation is easy and non-invasive. Unfortunately most plants lack the versatility that enables microorganisms to detoxify a wide variety of xenobiotic compounds. Therefore, I am interested in ‘digging out’ a potential candidate gene from microbial source and transfer it into a suitable plant for its over-expression, using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technology. This approach will combine the most suitable plant for the task with over-expression of a high capacity metal uptake transporter. I have several potential plants in mind and the most suitable among these is mustard (Brassica juncea) because of its rapid biomass production and higher capacity to accumulate lead, strontium, cesium, chromium, nickel and cadmium. There are a few good candidate genes that can be targeted into this plant to enhance its metal mopping capacity and am therefore interested in developing such transgenic mustard plants.

In my opinion, textbook depictions of metabolism as rigid pathways do not accurately reflect the dynamic nature of plant metabolism and this static picture limits our understanding of the function of genes and their protein products. As sessile organisms, plants require a tremendously flexible metabolism to allow them to adapt to, and withstand changing environmental conditions. This requirement for flexibility and adaptability is reflected in the presence of gene families in plant genomes; individual members of the same gene family fulfill subtly different roles. I am therefore interested in using proteomic and reverse genetic approaches to identify and functionally characterize this defense network in plants. At the metabolic level, I am interested in developing metabolic flux maps and link them to transcriptomic and proteomic changes so as to generate a systematic picture of the regulatory hierarchy that controls metabolism during stress.
Furthermore, I am interested in using computational methods to explore the relationship between structure and function in stress proteins. Computer simulations allow proteins to ‘come alive’ and hence help to explore the relationship between (static) structure and dynamic function.
My long-term research goal is to generate a more complete picture of the way in which changes in gene expression adjust and control the metabolic network to suit the prevailing conditions.

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