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Dr. Nasar-um-Minallah
Assistant Professor
Plant Biotechnology

ASAB
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12 Campus, Islamabad
Tel : +92 9085 6151

Specialization
Plant Cell Signalling

Education
PhD (China)

Dr. Nasar completed his PhD under the Supervision of Prof Fengming Song from the Institute of Biotechnology of Zhejiang University Hangzhou, China in the year 2011. After completion of his PhD, he joined ASAB, NUST. He is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Plant Biotechnology at ASAB.

  • His research work is mainly related to Plant immunity against different​ stress factors such as Plant-fungal, Plant-Bacterial and Plant Abiotic stress interactions including salt, drought and oxidative stress. The genes under study were Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MAPK), which are well known for their cross-kingdom conserved role in cell signaling against different stimuli. So, after a preliminary screening, they came up with two MAPKs in tomato and Arabidopsis, SlMPK4 and SlMPK6. Their functional analysis revealed different roles in plant defense mechanisms (Virk et al, 2013).
  • His research work on a Raf-like triple Kinase in Arabidopsis against oxidative stress is awaited to be published. He was able to discover novel functions of Arabidopsis raf43 by adopting various functional genomics techniques.
  • His research group at ASAB is mainly interested in Plant interaction with other stress factors especially Nanoparticle induced oxidative stress. One of their research projects has discovered Glutathione S Transferase (GST) and Superoxide dismutase (SOD) transcript induction against Titania and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles. Currently a detailed analysis of GST and SOD family in Lettuce against different commercially available Nanoparticles is being cionducted by them.His research group is also identifying novel Calcium ATPases in Wheat and their future plans are to study their role extensively against stress responses. This is a joint collaborative research project between Prof. Lorraine E. Williams’ lab in Southampton University and our lab in ASAB.

  1. Nasar Virk, Bo Liu, Huizhuan Zhang, Xiaohui Li, Yafen Zhang, Dayong Li and Fengming Song (2013) Tomato SlMPK4 is required for resistance against Botrytis cinerea and tolerance to drought stress. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 35: 1211-1221
  2. Cheng X, Virk N, Chen W, Ji S, Ji S, et al. (2013) CpG Usage in RNA Viruses: Data and Hypotheses. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74109. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.007410 
  3. B.M. Vindhya S. Basnayake , Dayong Li, Huijuan Zhang, Guojun Li, Nasar Virk, Fengming Song (2011) Arabidopsis DAL1 and DAL2, two RING finger proteins homologous to Drosophila DIAP1, are involved in regulation of programmed cell death. Plant Cell Reports 30: 37-48 
  4. Guojun Li, Virk Nasar, Yuxia Yang, Keke Mao, Bo Liu, Lijun Sun, Dayong Li, Fengming Song (2010) Arabidopsis poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase 1 is required for drought, osmotic and oxidative stress responses. Plant Science, 180: 283-291 
  5. Xiao'e Wang, B. M. Vindhya S. Basnayake, Huijuan Zhang, Guojun Li, Wei Li, Nasar Virk, Tesfaye Mengiste, Fengming Song (2009) The Arabidopsis ATAF1, a NAC Transcription Factor, Is a Negative Regulator of Defense Responses Against Necrotrophic Fungal and Bacterial Pathogens. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 22: 1227-1238 
  6. Xiaofei Cheng, Nasar Virk, Xiaoxia Wu, Wei Chen and Xiaoyun Wu (2013). More Intelligent Than We Thought: Both Initiative and Passive Adaptations in Bunyaviruses to Their Hosts. Manuscript under preparation 
  7. Nasar Virk and Fengming Song (2013) Functional analysis of an Arabidopsis Raf-like Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinase raf43 in plant defense. Manuscript under preparation 
  8. Saba Safdar, Nasar Virk* (2013) Analysis of Reference Genes for Quantitative PCR against Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Nanotoxicity in Wheat. Manuscript under preparation. *corresponding author
 

Conferences/Posters Published

  1. 2013 International Workshop on Food Safety Assesment Technology and Food Safety Quility Control. June,23-July,12 2013. Guangzhou,P.R.China 
  2. Functional characterization of different Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase genes in biotic and abiotic stress responses in tomato and Arabidopsis
  3. Nasar Virk, Fengming Song. Poster presented in “From Plant Biology to Crop Biotechnology” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Asia Conferences, Oct. 24-29. 2010, Suzhou, China. 
  4. Tomato MAPK gene SlMPK6 positively regulates defense responses against Botrytis cinerea
  5. Nasar Virk, Fengming Song. 7th Hangzhou International Symposium on Plant Pathology and Biotechnology, Oct. 22-25, 2009, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. 
  6. An Arabidopsis Group C Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinase MEKK Plays a Distinct Role Against Biotic and Abiotic Stresses
  7. Nasar Virk, Fengming Song. Abstract published in Kyiv International Life Sciences Students' Conference, Ukraine, 2009. 
  8. Participant in Frontiers of Plant Pathology, Aug, 14-19. 2010, Xiamen, China and Conference on Advances in Plant Pathology in China, Oct 26-29. 2009, Zhengzhou, China.
  Dr. Nasar-um-Minallah  is teaching following courses at ASAB:
  1. Plant Physiology: Fall Semester
  2. Plant Functional Genomics: Fall Semester
  3. Plant Immunology: Spring Semester
  4. Seminar: Spring Semester

Dr. Nasar-um-Minallah has worked for 2 years with Allied Floriculture (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of Allied Engineering and Services Limited for the development of a large scale flower production facility. During his stay at Allied, he along with his team has introduced production of various exotic cut flowers including LiliumGladiolous, Iris, Tulip and marketed them successfully in Islamabad and Lahore Flower markets.