Shabir Hussain Wani

Shabir Hussain Wani

Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, India

Title: Genetic engineering for abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants


Shabir Hussain Wani, completed his Ph.D. in Plant breeding and Genetics on “Transgenic rice for abiotic stress tolerance” from the Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana India in 2009. After PhD he worked as Research Associate in Biotechnology Laboratory, Central Institute of temperate Horticulture, Rangreth Srinagar India for two years up to October 2011. Since November 2011 he joined the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Senapati as Programme Coordinator (i/c) of KVK-Senapati (Farm Science Centre) Senapati Manipur. Now he is appointed as Assistant professor/Scientist at Division of Genetics and Plant Breeding, SKUAST-K, Srinagar, Kashmir since May 2013. He has published more than 65 papers in journal of international repute. He has also edited several books on current topics in crop Improvement. His Ph.D research fetched the first prize in North zone at National level competition in India. He got Young scientist award from the society of Promotion of plant sciences Jaipur India in 2009. He is the fellow of Society for Plant Research.


Abiotic stresses including drought, salinity, water stress, extreme temperatures, submergence, and heavy metals are the most common causes of low crop productivity worldwide. Many efforts have been made by researchers to mitigate these stresses and to increase crop productivity under unfavourable environments. Conventional plant breeding programmes have contributed appreciably to the development of abiotic stress-tolerant plants, but the practice is relatively time-consuming, costly and hindered by the multigenic nature of this trait. With the advancement in the field of plant molecular biology it has been possible to modify plants for growth under these stressed environments. Genetic engineering is one of the tools being used to develop crop plants which are tolerant to these stresses. Numerous attempts have been made to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind the complex abiotic stress trait. Among these are the metabolic pathway engineering and development of transgenic plants over expressing compatible solutes like proline, glycine betaine, trehalose and mannitol. These compounds are generally considered as multifunctional stress adaptor molecules and a direct connection has been revealed between their enhanced intracellular levels and plant abiotic stress tolerance in many studies. Many efforts have therefore been made to increase the biosynthesis of these multipurpose compounds in plants by transferring genes associated with their metabolism for developing abiotic stress tolerant transgenics. Biotech crop area has increased in the world from 1.7 million hectares to 170 million hectares in 2012. This is only possible because farmers have found these biotech crops as beneficial and profitable.