Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Gene Transformation

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(Group Leader)

Dr Zahid Mukhtar 

Dy. Chief Scientist          

Team Members:


The group is involved in the development of transgenic plants for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and herbicide resistance. For developing insect resistance in plants, we have developed synthetic Bt (cry1Ac and cry2Ab) and non-Bt (Hvt) genes which have been transformed into cotton. The transgenic cotton is being used as a germplasm by breeders to evolve insect resistant varieties. We are working on the development of salt/drought tolerant wheat, cotton, potato, sugarcane and tomato. Six different drought and salt tolerance conferring genes (AVP1, HVA1, AtNCED3, WXP1, DREB1A and AtNHX1) are being transformed into local varieties of wheat. Limited field trials of some of these transgenic lines have shown better yield under drought stress conditions. Work is also underway for development of virus resistant crops i.e. CLCuD resistance in cotton and potato viruses X, Y and PLRV. The group has provided Bt technology to cotton breeders at NIAB, NIA and NIBGE.


Transgenic cotton transformed with cry1Ac gene (A); immuno-blots showing the detection of expressed Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac protein in transgenic cotton (B); detached leaf bioassays, of transgenic cotton (Coker 312) bearing synthetic Bt Cry1Ac gene, with Helicoverpa armigera (American bollworm) showing leaves from a non-transformed control plant and transgenic cotton plant (C); non-transgenic potato showing symptoms of virus infection (D); Transgenic virus resistant potato (E); in-vitro regeneration of a local wheat variety (F-G) and transgenic drought tolerant wheat (H)



Salient Facilities:



  • Tissue culture and transformation of cotton, rice, wheat, potato, tomato, sugarcane and chilies.
  • Plant growth chambers, growth rooms and containment glass-house
  • Biolistic gun
  • Electroporation system
  • Real time PCR
  • Fluorescent microscope




  • Ministry for Food and Agriculture (MinFA)
  • Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB)
  • Higher
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