faculty



Dr Fatima Batool

Assistant Professor


Plant Genomics Lab
e-mail: fatima.batool@cemb.edu.pk

Dr. Fatima Batool is working as a researcher in plant molecular biology; her work holds significant potential for making a positive impact on various aspects of agriculture, environmental conservation, and sustainable practices. Over the course of more than seventeen years, her main research focus is in plant genomics, plant tissue culture, and plant transformation.
Her research interests have been centered around two crucial areas: firstly, on gene identification, isolation and transformation against abiotic stress, secondly on genetic modification of lignin biosynthesis of Agave sisalana plants for biofuel production. These researches reflect her passion for contributing to sustainable agriculture and bioenergy solutions in the face of increasing environmental challenges.
Gene Identification and Transformation against Abiotic Stress: In this area of research, she has focused on understanding the genetic mechanisms that enable plants to respond and adapt to abiotic stressors such as drought, salinity, extreme temperatures, and nutrient deficiencies.
Through extensive genomic and transcriptomic analyses, she has identified key genes involved in stress tolerance and their regulatory networks in plants. Her work in plant transformation has involved the optimization of transformation protocols for different plant species, exploring various gene delivery methods, and ensuring stable integration and expression of transgenes in the crop plants to develop transgenic lines with improved agronomic traits, such as disease resistance, drought tolerance, and enhanced nutritional content, thereby increasing their overall productivity and ensuring food security in regions prone to climatic uncertainties. Additionally, she has studied the effects of transgene expression on plant physiology.
Biofuel Production from Lignocellulose Modification of Agave sisalana Plants: The second major focus of her research is on the genetic manipulation of lignin biosynthesis related genes in lignin pathway of Agave sisalana plants, with the ultimate goal of enhancing biofuel production from this valuable feedstock to combat the energy crises and global warming. Agave sisalana is a promising candidate for biofuel production due to its fast growth, high biomass yield, and high cellulose content. Her research aims to pave the way for the development of lignin-modified plants with significant implications for bioenergy, sustainable materials, and agriculture.
She contributed as a researcher in Giles Johnson ‘s lab group at the University of Manchester, UK in 2016 was a significant achievement. Giles Johnson is professor at Earth and Environmental Sciences and his Lab involved in various research investigations related to environmental stresses, e.g. drought or low or high temperature and their damaging effect on plants and to understand the pathways that lead to the production of reactive oxygen species, highly reactive molecules that can damage proteins, lipids and DNA.

Selected Publications:

  1. Batool F, Hassan S, Azam, S. et al. (2023). Transformation and expressional studies of GaZnF gene to improve drought tolerance in Gossypium hirsutum. Sci Rep 13, 5064. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-32383-0
  2. Nawaz S, Maqsood S, Batool F, Sandhu, ZY, Hassan S, Akram F, Rashid B (2023). Improvement of abiotic stress tolerance in plants with the application of nanoparticles. In: Abiotic Stress in Plants – Adaptations to Climate Change; publisher Intech Open; Rijeka; editor Oliveira MTT and Fernandes-Silva AAA; chapter 1; doi= 10.5772/intechopen.110201; https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.110201. Published March 10, 2023
  3. Azhar, M., Batool, F., Akram F., Hassan, S., Rashid, B. (2022). Worldwide Impact of Covid-19 on Food Security and Farming Sector. Acta Scientific Biotechnology. 3(5), 01-08.
  4. Muzaffar, A., Arif, U., Akram, F., Batool, F., Hassan, S., & Rashid, B. (2022). Abiotic Stress: Interplay Between ROS Production and Antioxidant Machinery, Signaling, and ROS Homeostasis. OBM Genetics, 6(4), 1-20.
  5. Batool, F., Anicet Agossa, B., Y. Sandhu, Z., Bilal Sarwar, M., Hassan, S., & Rashid, B. (2022). Heat Shock Proteins (HSP70) Gene: Plant Transcriptomic Oven in the Hot Desert. Advances in Plant Defense Mechanisms. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.105391. Published June 26, 2022.
  6. Hassan, S., Ahmad, A., Batool, F. et al. (2021). Genetic modification of Gossypium arboreum universal stress protein (GUSP1) improves drought tolerance in transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Physiol Mol Biol Plants 27, 1779–1794.
  7. Sher, Z., Majid, M. U., Hassan, S., Batool, F., Aftab, B., & Rashid, B. (2021). Identification, Isolation and Characterization of GaCyPI Gene in Gossypium arboreum under Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Disease Stress. Phyton, 90(6), 1613.
  8. Fozia Iqbal, Sajjad Sadique, Fatima Batool, Muhammad Bilal Sarwar, Bushra Rashid, Muhammad Naveed Shahid, Ahmad Ali Shahid & Tayyab Husnain. 2017. Zinc finger transcription factor induces the drought, salt and cold stress tolerance in transgenic cotton. Indian Journal of Biotechnology. 16: 457-464.
  9. Riaz S, Aftab B, Sarwar MB, Batool F, Iqbal F, Ahmad Z, Rashid B, Husnain T. 2016. Adaptations of plant responses in Agave sisalana under drought stress conditions. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences. 9(4): 114-123.
  10. Rao AQ, Khan MA, Shahid N, Din S, Gul A, Muzaffar A, Azam S, Samiullah TR, Batool F, Shahid AA, Nasir IA, Husnain T. 2015. An overview of phytochrome: An important light switch and photo-sensory antenna for regulation of vital functioning of plants. Biologia 70(10): 1273—1283.