Saturday, December 02, 2023

Dr.Nasrin Akhtar &

Principal Scientist
HEC Approved Supervisor

Work Phone: +92 41 9201316
Fax Phone: +92 41 9201472
Cell/Direct Phone: +92 306 7108009
Dr.Nasrin Akhtar


  • Ph. D. (Biotechnology), NIBGE, Faisalabad with Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in 2014 with partial research work at University of Leicester, UK.
  • M. Phil. (Biotechnology), NIBGE, Faisalabad with Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in 2004.
  • M. Sc. (Biochemistry), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in 2001.
  • B. Sc. (Zoology, Botany, Chemistry), University of the Punjab, Lahore in 1999.


Research Interests

My research focuses on applying biotechnology to solve various problems in the energy industry. Research topics include:

  • Biodiversity and systematics of industrially important microbial cultures with unique metabolic activities (C-S bond cleaving, acidophilic and halophilic bacteria etc.).
  • Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels (coal and oil).
  • Whole genome sequence analysis of microbial genomes
  • Molecular/genetic analysis of the genes involved in biodesulfurization.
  • Metabolic pathways studies of organic sulfur metabolizing bacteria.


a.  Bioremoval of organic sulfur

We isolated hundreds of bacterial isolates and tested them for their ability to remove organic sulfur from model organic sulfur containing compound like dibenzothiophene (DBT), a major thiophenic compound present in fossil fuels.  Some of the DBT desulfurizing isolates, identified on the basis of 16S rRNA gene analysis,showed homology to the different species of the genra Rhodococcus, Gordonia, Mycobacterium and Microbacterium. We have reported (Akhtar et al., 2009) an extended DBT desulfurization pathway in Rhodococcus spp. (Eu-32) using chromatographic techniques like HPLC and GC-MS. Besides, we investigate the heterocyclic sulfur-containing compounds desulfurization ability of Gordonia sp. HS126-4N like DBT; 4-methyl DBT (4MDBT); 2,8-dimethyl DBT (2,8DMDBT); BT; and 3-methyl BT (3MBT) (Akhtar et al., 2017). The genes involved in biodesulfurization of DBT were PCR amplified, cloned, sequenced and identified.


Selected Publications

  • Akhtar, N., Akhtar, K. and Ghauri, M. A. (2018). Biodesulfurization of thiophenic compounds by 2-hydroxybiphenyl resistant Gordonia sp. HS126-4N carrying dszABC genes. Current Microbiology.75: 597-603
  • Akhtar, N., Ghauri, M. A. and Akhtar, K. (2016). Dibenzothiophene desulfurization capability and evolutionary divergence of newly isolated bacteria. Archives of Microbiology. 198: 509-519
  • Akhtar, N.,Ghauri, M. A. and Akhtar, K. (2016). Exploring coal biodesulphurization potential of a novel organic sulphur metabolizing Rhodococcus spp. (Eu-32) – a case study. Geomicrobiology Journal. 33(6): 468-472 
  • Akhtar, N., Ghauri, M. A., Anwar, M. A. and Heaphy, S. (2015). Phylogenetic characterization and novelty of organic sulphur metabolizing genes of Rhodococcus sp. (Eu-32). Biotechnology Letters. 37: 837-847 
  • Haider, R., Ghauri, M. A., SanFilipo, J. R., Jones, E., Orem, W. H., Tatu, C. A., Akhtar, K. and Akhtar, N. (2013). Fungal degradation of coal as a pretreatment for methane production. Fuel. 104: 717-725 
  • Ashraf, S., Akhtar, N., Ghauri, M. A., Rajoka, M. I. and Hussain, I. (2012). Polyhexamethylene biguanide functionalized cationic silver nanoparticles for enhanced antimicrobial activity. Nanoscale Research Letters. 7:267 
  • Akhtar, N., Ghauri, M. A., Anwar, M. A. and Akhtar, K. (2009). Analysis of the dibenzothiophene metabolic pathway in a newly isolated Rhodococcus spp. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 301 (1): 95-102 
  • Ghauri, M. A., Anwar, M. A., Akhtar, N., Haider, R. and Tawab, A. (2009). Status of coal biotechnology in Pakistan. Advanced Materials Research. Vols. 71-73. pp 513-516
  • Akhtar, N., Ghauri, M. A., Iqbal, A., Anwar, M. A. and Akhtar, K. (2008). Biodiversity and phylogenetic analysis of culturable bacteria indigenous to Khewra salt mine of Pakistan and their industrial importance. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology. 39: 143-150
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