Prof. Dr. Fauzia Yusuf Hafeez (T.I.) is involved in Plant sciences research for the last 40 years. She has served various prestigious organizations of Pakistan and joined COMSATS Institute of Information Technology as Professor (TTS) in the beginning of Year 2008. She served at various administrative positions such as Chairperson/ Head of Department. She persistently pursued her research in search of beneficial microbes which contribute positively towards plant growth and biocontrol of diseases thus, lowering dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A pioneer work has been done on nitrogen fixation in actinorhizal plants used in early reforestation. Isolated, for the first time, typical and atypical Frankia strains from Alnus nitida and Datisca cannabina and studied its physiology and ultra-structure to understand the Frankia-non legume symbiosis.
The work of Prof. Fauzia Yusuf has been recognized both at national and international levels. She has vast research experience in biological nitrogen fixation, phyto-hormone production, nutrient mobilization (P, Zn, Fe) and biocontrol of phytopathogens. R&D work has also been carried out in the field of Rhizobium-legume symbioses. Isolation and selection of temperature and salt tolerant highly efficient Rhizobium/ Bradyrhizobium strains for different grain and fodder legumes has been done. These strains were screened for their effectiveness for different crop genotypes grown under various agro-climatic zones, using N-15 Isotopic Techniques where they are being used as inoculum for commercial scale. An inexpensive carrier material for commercial production of biofertilizers has also been selected. Isolation and characterization of PGPRs i.e. Azospirillum, Pseudomonas, Azotobacter, Azoarcus etc. from rice, maize, wheat, sugarcane, oat and cotton for nitrogen fixation, phosphorus solubilization, zinc mobilization, phytohormone production and biocontrol potential. The PGPR isolates are characterized on molecular level by RAPD and 16S rRNA sequencing, FISH, DGGE and serological techniques (ELISA, FAs, western blotting). Their ultrastructure localization with host roots is studied using TEM, SEM and confocal microscope. The PGPR strains have further been studied for their effect on biomass and yield of the host plants, to establish their economic importance by using N-15 Isotopic Techniques. For the development of Biopesticide, rhizospheric microorganisms have been checked for their biocontrol potential against major disease causing agents of cereals, cotton and potato. Work has been done in the areas of hydrolytic enzymes, siderophore, surfactin, bacteriocin production and rhizobacteria mediated induction of systemic resistance in crop plants against major fungal and bacterial diseases.
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