In commemoration of its 16th foundation day, the Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization University of Karachi organized a program on Monday in the conference hall of the MAK-ISHU.
The program was chaired by the Vice Chancellor University of Karachi Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi while the Vice Chancellor Salim Habib University Professor Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan was the chief guest.
Addressing the researchers, Professor Dr Shakeel Khan highlighted the importance of microbes, particularly bacteria belonging to the genus bacillus which is halophilic (salt-tolerant) just like halophytes.
According to him, some of the species belonging to the genus produce a number of chemicals and other metabolites which can not only be used as a tool of bioremediation to treat industrial effluents but may also help in acquiring systemic resistance in plants.
The SHU Professor Dr Shakeel Khan emphasized the collaborative research among halophyte biologists and microbiologists for the maximum benefit of mankind especially in the field of pharmaceuticals, petroleum, and food industries.
Meanwhile, the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi urged the researchers to work as teamwork for the betterment of the MAK-ISHU and the University of Karachi. While applauding researchers in MAK-ISHU on winning competitive grants he stressed young researchers on to excel in the field research just like other institutes and centers of excellence in the country.
He acknowledged the services of late Professor Dr Ajmal Khan, the founder-director of the Institute and former vice chancellor of the University of Karachi for establishing the state-of-the-art research institute.
The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi promised his extended support to the MAK-ISHU and urged scientists to carry forward the legacy of Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan.
Earlier, the Director MAK-ISHU Dr Salman Gulzar highlighted the importance of halophyte crops as a non-conventional resource for the future especially in the face of climate change. Later, while delivering the vote of thanks Dr Irfan Aziz mentioned that halophytes possess the natural ability to remove salts and heavy metals from saline and polluted lands and they may be potentially used for soil bioremediation so that devastated lands may be reclaimed for growing crops.