Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dr Munir A. Anwar;

Dy. Chief Scientist

Work Phone: +92 41 9201403
Fax Phone: +92 41 9201322
Dr Munir A. Anwar




  • Ph. D Biotechnology/Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology

           Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

  • MSc Chemistry, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.


Research Interests:


        Biosynthesis of Prebiotics and Characterization of the Relevant Enzymes

Acquisition and characterization of bacterial and archaeal species capable of producing diverse range of oligo/polysaccharides is a major focus of our research. We have established a collection of more than 20 prebiotic exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing bacteria isolated from diverse local environments of Pakistan. These include novel bacteria capable of simultaneously producing prebiotics and antimicrobials and those yielding high titers (>50g/L) of EPS. These are excellent candidates for applications in poultry-feed industry for alleviating the use of antibiotics. Isolation and characterization of enzymes involved in EPS synthesis by novel bacteria and archaea is also a prominent focus of our research. We have recently resolved the 3D structure of an archaeal inulosucrase, which is the first ever crystal structure of a fructosyltransferase enzyme from this domain of life.


Applications of Microbial Exoploysaccharides

Exploring various industrial applications of the diverse types of EPSs produced by our isolates is another focus of our research. Of particular interest is their application in poultry feed as additives to improve the quality of meat by alleviating the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and reducing the load of Salmonella and E. coli in the birds. Besides, we are using mice models to determine the health benefits of these EPSs. We are particularly interested in exploring their role in blood glucose and cholesterol lowering, obesity control, modulation of gut microbiota and enhanced production of beneficial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which play pivotal role in maintaining the colon health by anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects.


Selected Publications


  1. Jawad, I., Bin Tawseen, H., Irfan, M., Ahmad, W., Hassan, M., Sattar, F., Awan, F.R., Khaliq, S., Akhtar, N., Akhtar, K., Anwar, M. A. and Munawar, N. 2023. Dietary supplementation of microbial dextran and inulin exerts hypocholesterolemic effects and modulates gut microbiota in BALB/c Mice Models. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Accepted Paper. (IF: 6.208).
  2. Ahsan, K., Anwar, M. A. and Munawar N. 2022. Modulation of gut microbiota as a potential therapy to manipulate drug-induced hepatic damage in COVID-19 patients. World Journal of Gastroenterology. In Press. (IF: 5.742)
  3. Jawad, I., Khaliq, S., Akhtar, N., Saleem, M., Akhtar, K., Ghauri, K. and Anwar, M. A. 2022. Genome analysis of novel Apilactobacillus sp. isolate from butterfly (Pieris canidia) gut reveals occurrence of unique glucanogenic traits and probiotic potential. Letters in Applied Microbiology. Accepted Paper. (IF: 2.858).
  4. Anam Nasir, Waqar Ahmad, Fazal Sattar, Iram Ashfaq, Stephen R. Lindemann, Ming-Hsu Chen, Wim Van den Ende, Ebru Toksoy ?ner, Onur Kirtel, Shazia Khaliq, Muhammad A. Ghauri and Munir A. Anwar. 2022. Production of a high molecular weight levan by Bacillus paralicheniformis, an industrially and agriculturally important isolate from the buffalo grass rhizosphere. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. 115(9):1101-1112 (IF: 2.158).
  5. Ahmad, W., Boyajian, J.L., Abosalha, A., Nasir, A., Ashfaq, I., Islam, P., Schaly, S., Thareja, R., Hayat, A., Rehman, M.U. Anwar, M.A. and Prakash, S. 2022. High-molecular-weight dextran-type exopolysaccharide produced by the novel Apilactobacillus waqarii improves metabolic syndrome: in vitro and in vivo Analyses. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(20), 12692. (IF: 6.208).
  6. Ahmad, W., Khaliq, S., Akhtar, N., El Arab, J., Akhtar, K., Prakash, S., Anwar, M.A. and Munawar, N. 2022. Whole genome sequence analysis of a novel Apilactobacillus species from giant honeybee (Apis dorsata) gut reveals occurrence of genetic elements coding prebiotic and probiotic traits. Microorganisms, 10(5): 904. (IF: 4.926)
  7. Ashraf, N., Zafar, S., Makitrynskyy, R., Bechthold, A., Spiteller, D., Song, L., Anwar, M.A., Luzhetskyy, A., Khan, A.N., Akhtar, K. and Khaliq, S. 2022. Revealing genome-based biosynthetic potential of Streptomyces sp. BR123 isolated from sunflower rhizosphere with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Antibiotics, 11(8), p.1057. (IF: 5.222).
  8. Ashraf, N., Anwar, M.A., Akhtar, K., Yasmin, S. and Khaliq, S. 2022. Draft Genome Sequence of Streptomyces sp. strain R1, isolated from water canal sediments, possessing antimicrobial and plant growth promoting capabilities. Microbiology Resource Announcements, 11(9), pp.e00725-22.
  9. Munawar, N., Ahmad, A., Anwar, M.A. and Muhammad, K., 2022. Modulation of gut microbial diversity through non-pharmaceutical approaches to treat schizophrenia. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(5): 2625. (IF: 6.208).
  10. Ahmad, W., Nasir, A., Sattar, F., Ashfaq, I., Chen, M.H., Hayat, A., Zhao, S., Khaliq, S., Ghauri, M.A. and Anwar, M.A. 2021. Production of bimodal molecular weight levan by a Lactobacillus reuteri isolate from fish gut. Folia Microbiologica, 67: 21-31. (IF: 2.629).
  11. Ghauri, K., Pijning, T., Munawar, N., Ali, H., Ghauri, M.A., Anwar, M.A. and Wallis, R. 2021. Crystal structure of an inulosucrase from Halalkalicoccus jeotgali B3T-a halophilic archaeal strain. The FEBS Journal, 288(19): 5723-5736. (IF: 5.622).
  12. Munawar, N., Ahsan, K., Muhammad, K., Ahmad, A., Anwar, M.A., Shah, I., Al Ameri, A.K. and Al Mughairbi, F. 2021. Hidden role of gut microbiome dysbiosis in schizophrenia: Antipsychotics or Psychobiotics as Therapeutics? International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(14): 7671. (IF: 6.208).
  13. Majeed, M.I., Nawaz, H., Rashid, N., Abubakar, M., Ahmad, S., Ali, S., Hyat, H., Bashir, S., Batool, F., Akbar, S. and Anwar, M.A. 2021. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for identification of food processing bacteria. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 261: 119989. (IF: 4.831).
  14. Neelma Ashraf, Andreas Bechthold, Munir Ahmad Anwar, Muhammad Afzal Ghauri, Muhammad Sultan Anjum, Ali Nisar Khan, Kalsoom Akhtar, Shazia Khaliq. 2021. Production of broad spectrum streptothricin like antibiotic from a halotolerant Streptomyces fimbriatus isolate G1 associated with marine sediments. Folia Microbiologica, 66(4): 639-649. (IF: 2.629).
  15. Komal Ghauri, Hazrat Ali, Nayla Munawar, Muhammad Afzal Ghauri and Munir Ahmad Anwar. 2021. Glycoside hydrolase family 68 gene of halophilic archaeon Halalkalicoccus jeotgali B3T codes for an inulosucrase enzyme. Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, 39(3): 206-213. (IF: 2.325).
  16. Neelma Ashraf, Andreas Bechthold, Munir Ahmad Anwar and Shazia Khaliq. 2020. Draft genome sequence of Streptomyces sp. strain BR123 endowed with broad-spectrum antimicrobial potential. Microbiology Resource Announcement, 9(41): e00972-20. DOI: 10.1128/MRA.00972-20
  17. Ashfaq, I., Amjad, H., Ahmad, W., Nasir, A., Ali, A., Ali, W. R., Khaliq, S., Hayat, A., Ali, H., Sattar, F., Ghauri, M. A. and Anwar, M. A. 2020. Growth inhibition of common enteric pathogens in the intestine of broilers by microbially produced dextran and levan exopolysaccharides. Current Microbiology, 77(9): 2128-2136. (IF: 2.343).
  18. Nayla Munawar, Munir A Anwar, Asma Yaqoob and Komal Ghauri. 2020. A Note on Prebiotics Strategy to Cope with Current Health Challenges in Human Beings. American Journal of Biomedical Science and Research, 8(4): 326-330. DOI:  10.34297/AJBSR.2020.08.001296
  19. Tahir, M., Majeed, M.I., Nawaz, H., Ali, S., Rashid, N., Kashif, M., Ashfaq, I., Ahmad, W., Ghauri, K., Sattar, F. and Jawad, I., Ghauri, M. A. and Anwar, M. A. 2020. Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of different exo-polysaccharides produced by bacteria. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 237: 118408. (IF: 4.831).
  20. Nasir, A., Sattar, F., Ashfaq, I., Lindemann, S. R. Chen, M. H., Van den Ende, W., ?ner, E.T., Kirtel, O., Khaliq, S., Ghauri, M. A. and Anwar, M. A. 2020. Production and characterization of a high molecular weight levan and fructooligosaccharides from a rhizospheric isolate of Bacillus aryabhattai. LWT, 123: 109093. (IF: 6.056).
  21. Munir A. Anwar, Hans Leemhuis, Tjaard Pijning, Slavko Kralj, Bauke W. Dijkstra and Lubbert Dijkhuizen. 2012. The role of conserved inulosucrase residues in the reaction and product specificity of Lactobacillus reuteri inulosucrase. FEBS J. 279 (19): 3612-3621. (IF: 5.622).
  22. Tjaard Pijning, Munir A. Anwar, Markus Böger, Justyna M. Dobruchowska, Hans Leemhuis, Slavko Kralj, Lubbert Dijkhuizen and Bauke W. Dijkstra. 2011. Crystal structure of inulosucrase from Lactobacillus: insights into the substrate specificity and product specificity of GH68 fructansucrases. J. Mol. Biol. 412: 80-93. (IF: 6.151).
  23. Anwar, M. A., Kralj, S., Pique, A. V., Leemhuis, H., Van der Maarel, M. J. and Dijkhuizen, L. 2010. Inulin and levan synthesis by probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri strains: characterization of three novel fructansucrase enzymes and their fructan products. Microbiology 156:1264-1274. (IF: 2.956).
  24. Ghauri, M. A., Anwar, M. A., Akhtar, N., Haider, R. and Tawab, A. 2009. Status of coal biotechnology in Pakistan. Advanced Materials Research 71-73: 513-516.
  25. Anwar, M. A., Kralj, S., Van der Maarel, M. J. and Dijkhuizen, L. 2008. The probiotic Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC 533 produces high-molecular-mass inulin from sucrose by using an inulosucrase enzyme. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74:3426-3433. (IF: 5.005).

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