Overview: A workshop for the Biosafety Research in Pakistan Grants Program (BRPGP) was held on September 14, 2014, in conjunction with the South Asia Biosafety Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  BRPGP was established to support research projects designed to improve understanding of the interactions between genetically engineered crops, agricultural production and the environment in Pakistan, as it relates to environmental risk assessment and the conservation of biodiversity. The BRPGP was managed by the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s Center for Environmental Risk Assessment (CERA), as part of the biosafety component of the Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP).

Program: The workshop consisted of short presentations on the research progress of the BRPGP funded grantees from the 2012 and 2013 grants cycles. The program also gave an opportunity for grantees and the advisory committee members to meet in person.

2012 Grantees

Effect of Bt cotton on chemistry, microbial community structure and enzymatic activity in the rhizosphere soil
Dr. Fiaz Ahmad, Head Scientific Officer, Physiology/Chemistry Section, Central Cotton Research Institute Multan

Potential risk for cross resistance development in cotton growing areas of Pakistan
Dr. Shaukat Ali, Principal Scientific Officer, Natural Agriculture Research Centre, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council

Biosafety, risk assessment and management with reference to GM (Cry1Ac) cotton
Mr. Khadim Hussain, Scientific Officer, Central Cotton Research Institute, Pakistan Central Cotton Committee

Prevalence of insect pests, predator, parasitoids and their survival in GE corn fields in Pakistan
Dr. Habib Iqbal Javed, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council

Collection of baseline information about papaya crop cultivation in all growing areas of Sindh Pakistan
Dr. Saifullah Khan, Associate Professor and in charge of the Biotechnology Wing, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, HEJ Research Institute, University of Karachi

Impact assessment of the transgenic sugarcane over expressing antifungal proteins on endophytic and rhizospheric microorganisms
Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Rana, Assistant Professor, Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology (CABB), University of Agriculture Faisalabad

2013 Grantees

Assessing management practices and externalities of Bt cotton plantations in Paksitani Punjab
Dr. Khuda Bakhsh, Assistant Professor, Institute of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Agriculture Faisalabad

Ecological impact of transgenic Bt cotton hybrids on soil biological attributes of varying agricultural soils in Pakistan
Dr. Sabir Hussain, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad

Earias spp. survival to transgenic Bt cotton strains having different protein levels
Dr. Muhammad Naveed, Scientific Officer and Cotton Entomologist, Central Cotton Research Institute Multan

Linking Cry protein persistence with microbial diversity, enzymatic activity, nutrient cycling and gaseous emissions in soils under Bt cotton in Punjab
Dr. Muhammad Saleem Arif, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad

Impact of rhizodeposition and incorporation of residues from Bt cotton on soil ecosystem processes of carbon and nitrogen cycling
Dr. Tanvir Shahzad, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad

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