Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

Prof. Dr. Abdul Qayyum Rao

Prof. Dr. Abdul Qayyum Rao
Abdul Qayyum Rao has completed MSc in Botany from Bahauddin University Multan, M.Phil (Molecular Biology) from CEMB University of the Punjab Lahore, and PhD (Molecular Biology) from  CEMB University of the Punjab Lahore. From 2005-2006, he worked as visiting Scientist at DSMZ Braunschweig Germany. Also from 2016-2018, he worked as Humboldt Fellow at the Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften (JKIP) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany. He is working Head Plant Biotechnology section from 2009 onward and Professor from 2021 at CEMB University of the Punjab ( He is successful in establishing state of art technology CRISPR Cas system at CEMB and pioneer of starting Edible vaccine section against poultry diseases.
Prof. Rao published more than a hundred research articles in international peer reviewed journals visualized through (
highlighting the development of insect, weedicide and pathogen resistant cotton with improved fiber quality and overall yield. Some of research he focused determined the efficacy of edible vaccine developed against NDV and pother notorious diseases. He also filed patents in Pakistan Patent # 142243 Entitled: Novel Transgenic approach to decrease cost of cotton production in Pakistan.  Granted 2016 (IPO Pakistan) some which are in evaluation including Patent Application # 328/18 Entitled: Novel Plant based Biotechnological approach to produce edible vaccine against NDV of Poultry. (In Revision) (IPO Pakistan) Patent Application # 54/2021 Receipt No 16327 Entitled: Development of Chewing and Sucking Insect Resistant Cotton through Modified Combination of Bt and Plant Lectin Genes, Patent Application # 222/2022 CRISPR based genome Editing Approach to Combat Insects Pests and Viruses, 5.    Patent Application # 221/2022 CRISPR based genome Editing Approach to reduce Vacuolar Invertase during Cold Storage of Potato, Patent Application # 223/2022 Plant Based Edible Vaccine against Avian Influenza Virus (H9N2) Virus. He is the key member of insect and weedicide resistant cotton varieties developed and commercialized by CEMB including four double gene Bt cotton varieties namely CEMB 33, CA12, CEMB 66 and CEMB 100 along with four triple gene insect and weedicide resistant cotton varieties namely CKC1, CKC33, CKC5 and CKC6. The last two are in process of getting License of commercialization from NBC.
To strengthen research in the field of transgenic and genome edited cotton varieties, he has won four international and 13 national competitive research grants, amounting to > 100 million PKR and > 0.261 million USD from diverse funding agencies such as IDB (Saudi Arabia), USDA (USA), Dupont Pioneer (USA), Humboldt Foundation (Germany), HEC (Pakistan), PSF (Pakistan), PARB (Pakistan), PHEC (Pakistan). To train the human resource in the field of Molecular Biology, he has organized/co-organized four conferences, eight seminars, four symposia and sixteen training workshops. Prof. Rao is serving as member Board of studies of BZU, University of Gujrat, Kinnard College, Minhaj University and University of Central Punjab.
During his career, Prof Rao has won several research fellowships and awards InWent fellowship award 2005-2006, Humboldt Fellowship Award 2016-2018. International Cotton Research Association (ICRA) award of young researcher 2017, Pakistan Academy of Sciences (Biotechnology) ZKS-Gold Medal award (2022). Satha award 2018 and many Inventions to Innovation awards. Moreover, He is member of Committee constituted by VC PU working on improvement of important crops. Further, Dr, Rao is serving as Editor and reviewer of many international journals.
Research Interests:
The research work of Prof. Rao is focused on:
Transgenic Cotton resistant to biotic stresses and improvement of cotton fiber quality and yield
Physiological improvement of crop Plants through overexpression of different genes/transcription factors
Genome editing of crop plants through CRISPR Cas system to alter traits for improvement of crop productivity and addressing different stresses
Development of plant-based pharmaceuticals as cures to treat different diseases.
Edible vaccine development against different poultry diseases.
Prof. Rao is interested in employing state of art technology CRISPR Cas system, Overexpression of transgenes, Chloroplast expression, Marker free transgenic plants development, fusion protein expression, Tissue culture of different plants, Meristem culture, immunogenic protein expression in plants, Oral edible vaccine development, Nanoparticles based transient expression, Sanger and Next Generation Sequencing, T7 assay, Fluorescent in Situ Hybridization, Karyotyping and using plant as reservoir for pharmaceutical products development.
A major thrust of the research work is also on development of climate resilient cotton varieties and addressing the notorious pathogen by implication of CRISPR Cas9, CPf1 and CRISPR Cas13 systems.
Area(s) of Research:
Plant Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Genome editing by using state of art technology CRISPR Cas9/Cas12 system, transgenic crop biotechnology for the improvement of different traits of crop plants, crop plant protection from insects, pests, weeds and viruses, emphasis of work is on crop plants cotton, which is the back bone of Pakistan economy.
Selected Publications:
Shakoor S, Rao AQ* Ajmal S, Yasmeen A, Khan MA, Sadaqat S, Ashraf NM, Wolter F, Pacher M and Husnain T (2023) Multiplex Cas9 based excision of CLCuV β-satellite and DNAA revealed reduction of viral load with asymptomatic cotton plants Accepted Planta(I.F: 4.20)
Yasmeen A, Bakhsh A, Ajmal S, Muhammad M, Sadaqat S, Awais M, Latif A, Shahid N and Rao AQ* (2023) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in diploid and tetraploid potatoes Acta Physiologiae Plantarum (I.F: 2.50)
Tanveer S, Malik HA, Shahid N, Salis I B, Imran A, Hassan S, Latif A, Yasmeen A, Rao AQ*, Shahid AA (2023) Production of Proinflammatory cytokines by expressing Newcastle disease vaccine candidate in corn Journal of King Saud University Science (I.F: 3.70)
Yasmeen A, Shakoor S, Azam S, Bakhsh A, Shahid N, Latif A, Shahid AA, Husnain T and Rao AQ* (2022) CRISPR/Cas‑mediated knockdown of vacuolar invertase gene expression lowers the cold‑induced sweetening in potatoes Planta DOI: 10.1007/s00425-022-04022-x (I.F: 4.20)
Akhtar S, Shahid A A , Shakoor S, Ahmed M, Iftikhar S, Usmaan M,  Sadaqat S, Latif A, Iqbal A, and Rao AQ* (2022) Tissue specific expression of Bacterial cellulose synthase (Bcs) genes improves Cotton fiber length and strength Plant Science (I.F: 5.10).
Latif A, Azam S, Shahid N, Javed MR, Haider Z, Yasmeen A, Sadaqat S, Shad M, Husnain T and Rao AQ* (2022) Overexpression of the AGL42 gene in cotton delayed leaf senescence through downregulation of NAC transcription factors Nature Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-25640-1(I.F: 4.40).
Din S, Azam S, Rao A. Q,* Shad S, Ahmed M, Gul A, Latif A, Ali M.A, Husnain T and Shahid A .A (2021) Development of broad spectrum and sustainable resistance in cotton against major insects through combination of Bt and plant lectin genes Plant Cell Reports (I.F: 6.10).
Shad M, Yasmeen A, Azam S, Bakhsh A, Latif A, Shahid N, Salah Ud Din, Sadaqat S, Rao AQ*, Shahid AA (2021) Enhancing the resilience of transgenic cotton for insect resistance Molecular Biology Reports doi: 10.1007/s11033-021-06972-z (I.F: 2.80).
Tahir M.S, Latif A, Bashir S, Shad M, Khan M.A, Gul A, Shahid N, Husnain T, Rao A.Q* and Shahid AA (2021) Transformation and evaluation of Broad-Spectrum insect and weedicide resistant genes in Gossypium arboreum (Desi Cotton) GM Crops and Food doi: 10.1080/21645698.2021.1885288 (I.F: 3.50).
Gul A, Hussain G, Iqbal A, RaoA.Q*, Din SU, Yasmeen A, Shahid N, Ahad A, Latif A, Azam S, Samiullah TR, Hassan S, Shahid AA, & Husnain T (2020) Constitutive expression of Asparaginase in G. hirsutum triggers insecticidal activity against B. tabaci Nature Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65249-w. (I.F: 4.40).
Designation:- Professor