Aftab Ahmad

Leading Speaker for plant biology conference-Aftab Ahmad

Title: Engineered disease resistance in cotton using gene silencing to knock down Cotton leaf curl Kokhran virus-Burewala and Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite

Aftab Ahmad

Government College University, Pakistan


Aftab Ahmad is a Bioinformatics (4 years) Graduate from one of the best state university of the country, Government College University Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. He have done research work of my M. Phil in Molecular from the Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of The Punjab Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In parallel to his thesis work he have published research papers in the domain of fusion protein against Lepidopteron insects, color cotton and Universal drug development against influenza strains from which he got near about 13 Impact Factor. Now a days he is a Ph.D scholar and doing her research work in Plant Molecular Biotechnology field.


Cotton leaf curl virus disease (CLCuD) is caused by a suite of whitefly-transmitted begomoviruses that infect cotton annually in Pakistan, resulting in extensive losses. RNA-interference (RNAi) is proven technology for knocking down gene expression in viral pathogens by targeting vital genes. In this study, a siRNA construct was designed, transformed into cotton plants, and plants were tested for efficacy to silence the expression of the Cotton leaf curl Khokran virus-Burewala (CLCuKoV-Bu) AC1 gene, essential for replication initiation, the Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMB) coding region, βC1, and non-coding satellite conserved region, having a role in suppression of plant host immunity.  Results of the fluorescence in situ hybridization and karyotyping assays for six T1 plants indicated the transgene was present as a single copy on chromosome number six. Transgenic cotton plants (n=13) and non-transformed, positive control (n=13) were subjected to challenge-inoculation by whitefly transmission of CLCuKoV-Bu and CLCuMB using ten adult viruliferous whiteflies per plant. The absence of characteristically severe leaf curl symptoms on transgenic plants, accompanied by greatly reduced begomoviral-betasatellite accumulation (confirmed by real-time PCR analysis) in transgenic cotton plants, provided evidence of knock down indicative of abatement of CLCuKoV-Bu/CLCuMB biological activity.