Dr. Mohammad Maroof Shah, a biotechnologist, doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, followed by post doctoral trainings from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, USA. Has an outstanding academic career with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals with membership in several scientific societies including Genetic Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, The American Society of Agronomy, Gamma Sigma Delta (ΓΣΔ), and Sigma Xi (ΣΞ). Professional honors and awards include editorship of several international elite journals including Euphytica, Genetics and Molecular Research.
Currently he has been working as Professor in Biotechnology at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Abbottabad, where he successfully completed several developmental tasks. He has supervised a total of 46 graduate students of which 02 PhD and 40 MS/Mphil have been graduated. He has completed 14 funded research projects while 03 are underway. As an active researcher, Dr. Shah successfully published over 100 research articles in elite international journals, conference proceedings, magazines, and research newsletters. His research findings were well received, widely used and cited by various researchers, scientists and organizations as evidenced by a high citation index and impact factor (http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=1oxt_oEAAAAJ).
Dr. Shah developed products, processes and methodologies which have been well received internationally. He has developed early maturing wheat with higher yield, optimum nutrition and tolerant to environmental stresses (in evaluation process), explored the genetic potential of indigenous medicinal plant species for medicinal and industrial utility.
The major aim of current research was to identify, isolate, and characterize the potent and safer insecticidal compounds from locally grown (wild) plant sources that can be effective at lower concentration in short period of time without harmful effects that are associated with the use of synthetic pesticides. To achieve this aim, seven plants were selected for extracts, and screened for their toxic effects against six economically important agricultural insect pests. Aphids were the most susceptible insects with 100% mortality observed after 24 h for all the plant extracts tested. Further bioassays with lower concentrations of the plant extracts against aphids revealed that the extracts from Isodon rugosus (Lamiaceae) and Daphne mucronata (Thymelaeaceae) to be the most toxic to aphids, A. pisum. These most active plant extracts were further fractionated into different solvent fractions on polarity basis and their insecticidal activity was evaluated. While all the fractions showed considerable mortality in aphids, the most active was the butanol fraction from Isodon rugosus with an LC50 of 18 ppm and LC90 of 48.2 ppm. Further bioactivity guided fractionation of the butanol fraction results in isolation of bioactive principle compound that was identified through various spectroscopic techniques as rosmarinic acid with LC50 0.2 ppm and LC90 5.4 ppm. == Further, a key gene, hydroxyphenylpyruvate reductase was successfully cloned which confirmed the biosynthesis of rosmarinic acid in this plant and this step will open the way to explore all other genes responsible for biosynthesis of rosmarinic acid in Isodon rugosus. Considering the high mortality rate in aphids within 24 h exposure to a significantly low concentration of the rosmarinic acid from Isodon rugosus, could be exploited and further developed as a potential eco-friendly plant-based insecticide against sucking insect pests, such as aphids.