Thursday, December 02, 2021
Gene Isolation

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Group Leader:

Dr. Muhammad Asif

Pr. Scientist

Team Members:

 Dr. Muhammad Sarwar       Principal Scientist


Gene Isolation Lab employs genomics, molecular biology and bioinformatics tools for the identification, isolation and molecular characterization of important genes for cotton crop improvement. Main focus and research objectives of gene isolation lab are:

  1. Cloning and characterization of plant derived and novel genes for multi-mechanistic and sustainable control of insect pest complex in cotton
  2. Next generation sequencing based identification of important genes in cotton
  3. RNA-Seq based transcriptomic analysis of Desi cotton to find differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under CLCuD infestation and to decipher mechanism of CLCuV resistance
  4. Utilization of useful promoters for tissue specific gene expression
  5. CRISPR Cas9 based genome editing for insect resistance in plants
  6. Development of novel gene constructs for plant transformation
  7. Molecular characterization, evaluation and biosafety of genetically modified crops (GMCs)
  8. Event characterization of transgenic cotton using genome walking technology and NGS
  9. Detection of GMOs and transgene analysis

A vibrant team of scientists, scientific staff, researchers, MPhil and PhD scholars is actively working and consistently pursuing these research endeavors.


GMO Testing Lab offers commercial services for PCR based GMO detection of food and feed products. An organism, in which genetic material is engineered in a manner that it does not exist in nature, is known as genetically modified organism (GMO) or living modified organism (LMO). Detection of GMOs has become necessary to allow consumers to make an informed choice and to comply with labeling regulations of many countries. Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) governs trans-border movement of GMOs at international level and permits governments to ban importation of a GMO if there are biosafety concerns. Pakistan has approved National Biosafety Guidelines and Pakistan Biosafety Rules 2005 for safe handling of GMOs at all levels.

  1. GMO testing lab has the facility for immuno-strip test, quantitative ELISA and qualitative PCR, while real time PCR based quantitative GMO testing is being established.
  2. Up-gradation of the facility for ISO-17025 accreditation
  3. Qualitative PCR based GMO testing services to public and private sectors in the country, mainly to rice exporters, hence helpful for compliance of international trade requirements.
  4. GMO testing services are also offered to test candidate cotton varieties in Bt NCVT national level trials to facilitate PCCC and cotton breeders.
  5. Substantial source of income for NIBGE with indirect positive impact on Pakistan’s economy


Insect Molecular Biology Lab has successfully executed the research projects on DNA barcoding of economically important insects;DNA based identification, genetic diversity and vector-virus relationship of thrips species; DNA based identification of aphids species and vector-virus association of aphids borne luteovirus; molecular analysis of insecticides resistance in insects and expression of genes involved in metabolic resistance; expression analyses, efficacy studies and environmental risk assessment of insecticidal proteins in transgenic plants.

Presently lab is involved in rearing of cotton bollworm, armyworm, pink bollworm and fall armywormfor various experimental purposes; insect bioassays for screening and evaluation of insect resistant transgenic cotton plants expressing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and Hvt(Hadronycheversuta); DNA barcoding of important insect speciesand isolation, sequencing, identification and functional analysis of genes from insects of economic importance. 


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