Saturday, December 02, 2023

Dr. Asma Imran,

Principal Scientist
HEC approved supervisor
Microbial Ecology Lab

Work Phone: +92 41 9201316-20 Ext.3268
Fax Phone: +92 41 9201472
Cell/Direct Phone: 0333-6563814
Dr. Asma Imran

Research gate profile:

Ph. D Biotechnology 2005-2011; Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad


Research Interests

  • Development of biofertilizers and nano-hybrid biofertilizers
  • Development of organic fertilizers from crop/cow waste
  • Molecular Ecology, metagenomics
  • Plant-bacteria beneficial interactions under stressed environments
  • Quorum Sensing among rhizosphere bacteria
  • Bio-fortification of crops using PGPR


Research Projects

  1. Principal Investigator HEC-TDF Project Development of an enriched composite bio-organic fertilizer “Bio-CowPostSuper” from cow waste(PI; Rs 8.164M; 2019-2021) 
  2. Principal Investigator HEC-NRPU projectDevelopment and evaluation of slow releasing nano-hybrid polymeric biofertilizer for targeted agricultural delivery”(PI; Rs. 4.964 M; 2019-2022)
  3. Co-PIHEC-NRPU projectDevelopment of next-generation biofertilizer for economically important crops of Pakistan” (Rs. 2.8 M;2019-2022)
  4. Co-PIHEC-NRPU projectDevelopment of biofertilizer/bioformulation specific for saline soils” (Rs. 3.17 M; 2018-2021)
  5. Principal Investigator HEC-NRPU Project“Integrated use of nitrogen-rich green-waste compost and biofertilizer for vegetable tunnel farming in Pakistan”(PI;Rs. 1.77 M; 2016-2019)
  6. Co-PIPakistan Academy of Sciences Project Microbial diversity and molecular signals controlling Plant-Microbe interaction in the Rhizosphere” (Rs. 2.2 M; 2009-2011)



Asma Imran, Asma Rehman, ZabishKhaliq, FouziaSardar, M. Sajjad Mirza, Waheed S Khan. Slow-releasing, composite nano-biofertilizer product; preparation and application method thereof”. Patent application number: 229/2020 filed at Pakistan-Patent office dated May 11, 2020.


Product/ process developed

  • Have optimized the process for composting plant waste and developed an enriched organic fertilizer for tunnel farming industry (HEC-NRPU 3814- project)
  • Have optimized the process for composting cow waste and developed an enriched organic fertilizer for tunnel farming industry (HEC-TDF Project-185)


Research activities:                                                          

Plant-bacteria beneficial interactions and development of biofertilizers

Plant roots are colonized by a variety of bacteria many of which exert beneficial effects on plant growth. We identify plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPR) from rhizosphere of different crops and use them for plant growth promotion. Our lab is particularly involved in elucidation of interaction at microscopic and molecular levels. We have developed polymers based nano-hybrid technology for slow-release of biofertilizers.

Fig.Electron micrograph of in vitro grown potato showing the root colonization of inoculated PGPR;Confocal laser scanning microscopic analysis of PGPR attachment to sunflower root



1.   Zia R., Nawaz MS, Siddique MJ, Hakim S., ImranA*. 2021.Plant survival under drought stress: implication, adaptive responses and integratedrhizosphere management strategy for stress mitigation. Microbiological Research242; 126626 (IF=3.970)

2.       HakimS, Imran A, Mirza,M. S. 2020.Phylogenetic diversity analysis reveals Bradyrhizobiumyuanmingense and Ensiferaridi as major symbionts of mung bean (Vignaradiata L.) in PakistanBrazilian J. Microbiology (IF=2.428; in press)

3.       Nawaz A, Shahbaz M, Imran A, Marghoob U, Imtiaz M, Mubeen F, Khan A U. 2020.Potential of salt tolerant PGPR in growth and yield augmentation of wheat (Triticumaestivum L.) under saline conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11: 02019; DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020. 02019. (IF=4.235)

4.       Nawaz MS, Ayesha, Rajput L, Fatima K, Salahuddin LR, Sami Ullah, Ahmad M,Imran A*. 2020. Growth stimulatory effects of AHLs producing multi-trait Aeromonas spp. on two wheat genotypes under salt-stress. Frontiers in Microbiology,11: 553621; DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2020.553621.(IF=4.235)cit: 1

5.       Naqqash T, Malik KA, Hameed S, Imran A, Shahid M, Majeed A, Iqbal MJ, Hanif MK, Ejaz S. 2020. First Report of diazotrophicBrevundimonas spp. as growth enhancer and root colonizer of potato. Scientific Report 10(1): 12893 (IF=3.998)cit: 1

6.      HanifMK, Malik KA, Hameed S,Saddique MJ,Ayesha,Fatima K,Naqqash T,Majeed A, Iqbal MJ,Imran A*. 2020. Growth stimulatory effect of AHL producing Serratia spp. from potato on homologous and non-homologous host plants. Microbiological Research 238; 126506(IF=3.970)cit: 2 

7.      BukhatS, Imran A, JavaidS, Shahid M, MajeedA, NaqqashT.2020. Communication of plants with microbial world: Exploring regulatory networks for PGPR mediated defense signaling.Microbiological Research 238; 126486(IF=3.970)

8.      Ali S, Hameed S, Shahid M, Iqbal M, Lazarovits G, Imran A*.2020. Functional characterization of potential PGPR exhibiting broad-spectrum antifungal activity. Microbiological Research, 232; 126389 (IF=3.970)cit: 7

9.      Hakim S, Mirza B.S, Imran A, Zaheer A, Yasmin S, Mubeen F, Mclean JE, Mirza MS. 2020. Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA tag shows disparity in rhizobial and non-rhizobial diversity associated with root nodules of mung bean growing in different habitats.Microbiological Research, 231;126356(IF=3.970)cit: 4 

10.  Rehman, K., Imran A, Amin I, Afzal M, 2019.Enhancement of oil field-produced wastewater remediation by bacterially-augmented floating treatment wetlands. Chemosphere 217:576-583. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.11.041(IF=5.778)cit: 29

11.  Majeed A, Abbasi M K, Hameed S, Imran A*, Naqqash T, Hanif M. K, 2018. Isolation and characterization of sunflower associated bacterial strains with broad spectrum plant growth promoting traits. International Journal of Biosciences 13(2): 110-123. (IF= 0.553)  

12.  Majeed A, Abbasi M K, Hameed S, Yasmin S, Hanif K, Naqqash T. Imran A*. 2018. Pseudomonassp. AF-54 containing multiple plant beneficial traits acts as growth enhancer of Helianthus annuus L. under reduced fertilizer input. Microbiological Research 216: 56-69 (IF=3.970)cit:

13.    Rajput, L., Imran*, A., Mubeen, F, Hafeez, F.Y. 2018. Wheat (TriticumaestivumL.) growth promotion by a halo-tolerant PGPR-consortium isolated and characterized from salt affected soil. Soil and Environment 37(2):178-189. cit: 25

14.  Rehman, K., Imran A, Amin I, Afzal M, 2018.Inoculation with bacteria in floating treatment wetlands positively modulates the phytoremediation of oil field wastewater. Journal of Hazardous Materials 349:242-251 (IF= 9.038) cit: 77 

15.  Hakim, S, Mirza, B.S., Zaheer,A., Mclean, J.E.,Imran, A., Yasmin, S., Mirza, M.S. 2018.Retrieved 16S rRNA and nifH sequences reveal co-dominance of Bradyrhizobium and Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) strains in the field-collected root nodules of promiscuous host Vignaradiata(L.)R.Wilczek. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology 102 (1): 485-497.DOI: 10.1007/s00253-017-8609-6 (IF=3.530)cit: 8 

16.  Sharafat I, Saeed DK, Yasmin S, Imran A, Zafar Z, Hameed A & Ali N. 2018. Interactive effect of trivalent iron on activated sludge digestion and biofilm structure in attached growth reactor of waste tyre rubber. Environmental Technology 39(2): 130-143. DOI: 10.1080/ 09593330. (IF=2.213)cit: 8

17.  Fatima K., Imram A., Amin, I., Khan, Q. M., and Afzal, M. 2018. Successful phytoremediation of crude-oil contaminated soil at an oil exploration and production company by plants-bacterial synergism. Int. Journal of Phytoremediation20(7):675-681(IF=2.528)cit: 29

18.  Fatima K., Imram A., Naveed M and Afzal, M. 2017. Plant-bacteria synergism: An innovative approach for the remediation of crude oil contaminated soils. Soil Environ. 36(2) 93-113cit: 10

19.  Arsalan M, Imran A, Khan QM, Afzal M. 2017.Plant-bacteria partnerships for the remediation of persistent organic pollutants. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24:4322-4336 (DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-4935-3; IF=3.056) cit: 105

20.  Arshad M, Arshad, M., Leveaue J.H., Asad, S, Imran A., Mirza, M.S. 2016. Comparison of rhizospheric bacterial populations and growth promotion of AVP1 transgenic and non-transgenic cotton by bacterial inoculations. The Journal of Animal and Plant Science. 26(5); 1284-1290; IF= 0.529)cit: 2

21.  Yasmin S, Zaka A, Imran A, Zahid A, Yousaf S, Rasul G, Arif M, Mirza MS. 2016. Plant growth promotion and suppression of bacterial leaf blight in rice by inoculated bacteria. PloS ONE11(8): e0160688. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160688 (IF=2.740) cit: 40

22.  Ali A, Ayesha, Hameed S, Imran A, Iqbal M, Iqbal MJ, Oresnik I, 2016. Functional characterization of a soybean growth stimulator Bradyrhizobium sp. strain SR-6 showing acylhomoserine lactone production. FEMS Microbiology Ecology (92): (DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiw115; IF=3.675) cit: 7

23.  Naqqash T, Hameed S, Imran A, Hanif MK, Khan AM, Elsas JDV. 2016. Differential growth stimulation response of potato towards inoculation with taxonomically diverse plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. Frontiers in Plant Sciences. 7:144 (DOI 10.3389/fpls.2016.00144; IF=4.402)cit: 66

24.  Fatima K, Imran A, Amin A, Khan QM, Afzal M. 2016.Plant species affect colonization patterns and metabolic activity of associated endophytes during phytoremediation of crude oil-contaminated soil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23:6188–6196 (DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-5845-0;IF=3.056) cit: 53 

25.  Ijaz A, Imran A, Haq MA, Khan QM., Afzal M. 2016. Phytoremediation: Recent advances in plant-endophytic synergistic interactions. Plant and Soil 405:179–195 (DOI 10.1007/s11104-015-2606-2 IF=3.299) cit: 87

26.  Shehzadi, M., Fatima, K., Imran, A., Mirza, M.S., Khan, Q., Afzal, M. 2016.
Ecology of bacterial endophytes associated with wetland plants growing in textile effluent for pollutant-degradation and plant growth-promotion potentials. Plant Biosystems
150: 1261-1270 Doi:10.1080/11263504.2015.1022238 (IF=1.787) cit: 40

27.  Imran A*, Mirza MS, Shah TM, Malik KA, Hafeez FY. 2015. Differential response of kabuli and desi chickpea genotypes towards inoculation with PGPR in different soils. Frontiers in Microbiology 6:859 (IF=4.235) cit: 44 

28.  Hanif M. K., Hameed S, Imran A, Naqqash T, Shahid M, Elsas JDV. 2015.Isolation and characterization of a β-propeller gene containing phosphobacterium Bacillus subtilis strain KPS-11 for growth promotion of potato (Solanumtuberosum L.).Frontiers in Microbiology 6:583. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00583 (IF=4.235) cit: 48

29.  Majeed A, Abbasi M K, Hameed S, Imran A., Rahim N. 2015. Isolation and characterization of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria from wheat rhizosphere and their effect on plant growth promotion. Frontiers in Microbiology 6:198 (IF=4.235) cit: 217

30.  Fatima K, Afzal M, Imran A, Khan QM. 2015.Bacterial rhizosphere and endosphere populations associated with grasses and trees to be used for phytoremediation of crude oil contaminated soil. Bull. Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 94(3): 314-320. (IF=1.657) cit: 79

31.  Khan MU, Sessitsch A, Harris M, Fatima K, Imran A, Arslan M, Khan QM, Afzal M. 2015. Cr-resistant rhizo- and endophytic bacteria associated with Prosopisjuliflora and their potential as phytoremediation enhancing agents in metal-degraded soils. Frontiers in Plant Science 5:755 (IF= 4.402) cit: 108

Fig.Electron micrograph of in vitro grown potato showing the root colonization of inoculated PGPR;Confocal laser scanning microscopic analysis of PGPR attachment to sunflower root 

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