Dr. Muhammad Imran Khan

Contact / Addess:


Phone +49 (0) 341 235 1331
Fax +49 (0) 341 235 450822

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstrasse 15
04318 Leipzig

Dr. Muhammad Imran Khan

Curriculum Vitae

Since Feb 2019 Post-Doctoral Fellow,
Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ,
Leipzig, Germany
Since Feb 2016 Assistant Professor,
Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences,
University of Agriculture Faisalabad,
Nov 2009-Feb 2016 Lecturer,
Department of Agronomy,
University of Agriculture Faisalabad,
Aug 2015 Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering,
Yonsei University,
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Sep 2011-Aug 2015 Research Assistant/Graduate Student,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Yonsei University,
Republic of Korea, September 2011~August 2015
Aug 2009-Nov 2009 Scientific Officer,
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC),
National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC),
Islamabad, Pakistan
Jun 2009
M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou, China

Sep 2006-Jun 2009 Research Assistant/Graduate Student,
Department of Environmental Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou, China
2004 B.Sc. (Hons.) Agronomy,
University of Agriculture Faisalabad,

Professional Skills

  • Analysis of persistent organic pollutants (organochlorine pesticides, PAHs, RDX & TNT)
  • High performance liquid chromatography & gas chromatography
  • Pollutants microbial biodegradation
  • Pollutants extractions, plant uptake & accumulation
  • Microbes & plant interactions
  • Comet assay (DNA damage) & microtox
  • DNA extraction, PCR & quantitative real-time PCR
  • Illumina MiSeq sequencing
  • Phylogenetic tree analysis

Main Research Interests

  • Bioavailability, eco-toxicity, bioremediation & phytoremediation of persistent organic pollutants
  • Impact of microbes on crop productivity in contaminated soil
  • Microbial biotransformation & biodegradation of organic compounds (TPHs, PAHs, RDX, TNT, & HCHs)
  • Screening & identification of pollutant-degrading microbes & functional genes through molecular biological tools
  • Exploration of unseen nature of the world in remediation of toxic substances produced by human


  • Hussain M.I., Al-Dakheel A.J., Chaudhry U.K., Khan M.I., ALHaithloul H.A.S., Alghanem S.M., Alaklabi A. 2022. Morpho-physiological response of barley to assess genotypic differences of salinity tolerance under hyper arid climate. Agricultural Water Management. 272: 107832.
  • Khan Z.I., Hussain M.I., Zafar A., Ahmad K., Ashraf M.A., Ahmed M., ALrashidi A.A., ALHaithloul H.A.S., Alghanem S.M., Khan M.I., Hamid Y., Hussain H. 2022. Ecological risk assessment and bioaccumulation of trace element, copper, in wheat varieties irrigated with non-conventional water resources in a semi-arid tropics. Agricultural Water Management. 269: 107711.
  • Ishfaq M., Aslam S., Khan M.I., Wakeel A. 2022. Higher remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons by Enterobacter sp. MN17 is coupled with improved wheat growth in contaminated soil. Plant & Environment. 01: PE01.
  • Samreen T., Naveed M., Nazir M.Z., Asghar H.N., Khan M.I., Zahir Z.A., Kanwal S., Jeevan B., Sharma D., Meena S.K. 2021. Seed associated bacterial and fungal endophytes: Diversity, life cycle, transmission, and application potential. Applied Soil Ecology. 168: 104191.
  • Ali M.H., Khan M.I.*, Bashir S., Azam M., Naveed M., Qadri R., Mehmood F., Shoukat M.A., Yunzhou Li., Jawaher A., Solyman M., Yheni D. 2021. Biochar and Bacillus sp. MN54 assisted phytoremediation of diesel and plant growth promotion of maize in hydrocarbons contaminated soil. Agronomy. 11: 1795.
  • Haider F.U., Ejaz M., Cheema S.A., Khan M.I., Zhao B., Liqun C., Salim M.A., Naveed M., Khan N., Núñez-Delgado A., Mustafa A. 2021. Phytotoxicity of petroleum hydrocarbons: Sources, impacts and remediation strategies. Environmental Research. 197: 111031.
  • Latif R., Afzal M.A., Khan M.I.*, Khan M.S., Bashir M.A., Hussain S., Ehsan M., Arsalan M. 2021. Co-application of farmyard manure and gypsum improves yield and quality of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) under rainfed conditions. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 26: 224-230.
  • Zou L., Lu Y., Dai Y., Khan M.I., Gustave W., Nie J., Liao Y., Tang X., Shi J. Xu J. 2021. Spatial variation in microbial community in response to As and Pb contamination in paddy soils near a Pb-Zn mining site. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 9: 630668.
  • Ejaz M., Zhao B., Wang X., Bashir S., Haider F., Aslam Z., Khan M.I., Shabaan M., Naveed M., Mustafa A. 2021. Isolation and characterization of oil degrading Enterobacter sp. from naturally hydrocarbon contaminated soils and their potential against bioremediation of crude oil. Applied Sciences, 11(8): 3504.
  • Malik Z., Afzal S., Dawood M., Abbasi G.H., Khan M.I., Kamran M., Mostafa A.Z., Hayat M.T., Aslam M.N., Rafay M. 2021. Exogenous melatonin mitigates chromium toxicity in maize seedlings by modulating antioxidant system, suppresses chromium uptake and oxidative stress. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 44, 1451–1469.
  • Khan M.I.*, Afzal M.J., Bashir S., Anum S., Naveed M., Cheema S.A., Wakeel A., Sanaullah M., Ali M.H., Chen Z. 2021. Improving nutrient uptake, growth, yield and protein content in chickpea by the co-addition of phosphorus fertilizers, organic manures and Bacillus sp. MN-54. Agronomy, 11: 436.
  • Azam M., Hameed L., Qadri R., Ejaz S., Aslam A., Khan M.I., Shen J., Zhang J., Nafees M., Ahmad I., Ghani M.A., Chen J., Anjum N. 2021. Postharvest ascorbic acid application maintained physiological and antioxidant responses of Guava (Psidium guajava L.) at ambient storage. Food Science and Technology, 41: 748-754.
  • Azam M., Qadri R., Aslam A., Khan M.I., Khan A.S., Anwar R., Ghani M.A., Ejaz S., Hussain Z., Iqbal M.A., Chen J. 2021. Effects of different combinations of N, P and K at different time interval on vegetative, reproductive, yield and quality traits of mango (Mangifera indica L) cv. Dusehri. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 82: e235612.
  • Ali M.H., Sattar M.T., Khan M.I.*, Naveed M. Rafique M., Alamri S., Siddiqui M.H. 2020. Enhanced growth of mungbean and remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons by Enterobacter sp. MN17 and biochar addition in diesel contaminated soil. Applied Sciences, 10: 8548.
  • Afzal M.J., Khan M.I.*, Cheema S.A., Hussain S., Haq M.A., Ali M.H., Naveed M. 2020. Combined application of Bacillus sp. MN-54 and phosphorus improved growth and reduced lead uptake by maize in the lead contaminated soil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27: 44528-44539.
  • Khan M.I., Yoo K., Kim S., Cheema S.A., Bashir S., Park J.H. 2020. A Sporolactobacillus-, Clostridium-, and Paenibacillus-dominant microbial consortium improved anaerobic RDX detoxification by starch addition. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 30: 839-847.
  • Tang X., Li L., Wu C., Khan M.I., Manzoor M., Zou L., Shi J. 2020. The response of arsenic bioavailability and microbial community in paddy soil with the application of sulfur fertilizers. Environmental Pollution, 264: 114679.
  • Zhai W., Qin T., Li L., Guo T., Yin X., Khan M.I., Hashmi M.Z., Liu X., Tang X., Xu J. 2020. Abundance and diversity of microbial arsenic biotransformation genes in the sludge of full-scale anaerobic digesters from municipal wastewater treatment plant. Environment International, 138: 105535.
  • Malik Z., Abbasi G.H., Cheema S.A., Dawood M., Javed M.B., Rafey M., Mansha M.N., Khan M.I.* 2020. Alleviation of toxic effects of untreated wastewater on selective vegetables using soil organic amendments. Tarim Bilimleri Dergisi- Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 26(1): 54-63.
  • Nisar N., Mustafa F., Tahira A., Qadri R.W.K., Yang Y., Khan M.I. Wang F. 2020. Proximate composition, functional properties and quantitative analysis of benzoyl peroxide and benzoic acid in wheat flour samples: effect on wheat flour quality. PeerJ, 8: e8788.
  • Khan M.I., Shoukat M.A., Cheema S.A., Arif H.N., Niazi N.K., Azam M., Bashir S., Ashraf I., Qadri R. 2020. Use, contamination and exposure of pesticides in Pakistan: A review. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 57: 131-149.
  • Aslam Z., Bashir S., Hassan W., Belliturk K., Ahmad N., Niazi N.K., Khan A., Khan M.I., Chen Z., Maitah M. 2019. Unveiling the efficiency of vermicompost derived from different biowastes on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plant growth and soil health. Agronomy 9: 791.
  • Yoo K., Il H., Ko K.S., Lee T.K., Yoo H., Khan M.I., Tiedje J., Park J.H. 2019. Bacillus-dominant airborne bacterial communities identified during Asian dust events. Microbial Ecology 78:677-687
  • Khan M.I.*, Shoukat M.A., Cheema S.A., Azam M., Qadri R. 2019. Foliar- and soil-applied salicylic acid and bagasse compost addition to soil reduced deleterious effects of salinity on wheat. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 12:78.
  • Malik Z., Zong Y., Lu S., Abbasi G.H., Ali S., Khan M.I., Kamran M., Jamal M., Al-Wabel M.I., Rizwan M. 2018. Effect of biochar and quicklime on growth of wheat and physico-chemical properties of Ultisols. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 11:496.
  • Il H., Yoo K., Kang B.R., No J.H., We G.N., Khan M.I., Jeong T.Y., Lee T.K. 2018. A comparison study of potential environmental risks induced in arable-land and forest soil by load of carcass-derived pollutants. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 40: 451-460.
  • Abbas G., Murtaza B., Bibi I., Shahid M., Niazi N.K., Khan M.I., Amjad M., Hussain M., Natasha N. 2018. Arsenic uptake, toxicity, detoxification and speciation in plants: Physiological, biochemical and molecular aspects. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 15 (59): 1-45
  • Zhai W., Qin T., Guo T., Khan M.I., Xu J., Tang X.J. 2017. Arsenic transformation in swine wastewater with low-arsenic contents during anaerobic digestion. Water, 9: 826.
  • Cheema S.A., Khan M.I., Tang X.J., Shen C., Farooq M., Chen Y.X. 2016 (June). Surfactant enhanced pyrene degradation in the rhizosphere of Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23: 18129-18136.
  • Khan M.I., Lee J., Yoo K., Kim S., Park J.H. 2015. Improved TNT detoxification by starch addition in a nitrogen-fixing Methylophilus-dominant aerobic microbial consortium. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 300: 873-881.
  • Khan M.I., Yang J.H., Yoo B.U., Park J.H. 2015. Improved RDX detoxification with starch addition using a novel nitrogen-fixing aerobic microbial consortium from soil contaminated with explosives. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 287: 243-251.
  • Khan M.I., Cheema S.A., Shen C.F., Hassan I., Chen Y.X. 2014. Phytotoxicity assessment of phenanthrene and pyrene in soil using two barley genotypes. Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. 96: 94-105.
  • Tang X.J., Hashmi M.Z., Long D.Y., Chen L., Khan M.I., Shen C.F. 2014. Influence of heavy metals and PCBs pollution on enzyme activity and microbial community of paddy soil around an e-waste recycling workshop. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11: 3118-3131.
  • Khan M.I., Lee J.J., Park J.H. 2013. A toxicological review on potential microbial degradation intermediates of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, and its implications in bioremediation. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering. 17: 1223-1231.
  • Khan M.I.,Cheema S.A.,Tang X.J., Shen C.F., Park J.H., Chen Y.X. 2013. A battery of bioassays for the evaluation of phenanthrene biotoxicity in soil. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 65: 47-55.
  • Khan M.I., Cheema S.A., Shen C.F., Tang X.J., Park J.H., Chen Y.X. 2012. Biotoxicity assessment of pyrene in soil by using a battery of biological assays. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 63:503-512.
  • Khan M.I., Lee J.J., Park J.H. 2012. Microbial degradation and toxicity of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine: A Review. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 22: 1321-1333.
  • Khan M.I., Cheema S.A., Zhang C.K., Shen C.F., Tang X.J., Chen Y.X. 2012. Assessment of phenanthrene bioavailability in aged and unaged soils by mild extraction. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 184:549-559.
  • Khan M.I., Cheema S.A., Shen C.F., Zhang C.K., Tang X.J., Zaffar M., Chen X.C., Chen Y.X. 2011. Assessment of pyrene bioavailability in soil by mild hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin extraction. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 60:107-115.
  • Shen C.F., Tang X.J., Yao J., Shi D.Z., Fang J., Khan M.I., Cheema S.A., Chen Y.X. 2010. Levels and patterns of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls in municipal waste incinerator bottom ash in Zhejiang province, China. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 179: 197-202.
  • Tang X.J., Shen C.F., Chen L., Wu J.Y., Khan M.I., Dou C.M., Chen Y.X. 2010. Inorganic and organic pollution in agricultural soil from an emerging e-waste recycling town in Taizhou area, China. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 10: 895-906.
  • Cheema S.A., Khan M.I., Tang X.J., Zhang C.K., Shen C.F., Chen X.C., Chen Y.X. 2010. Degradation of phenanthrene and pyrene in spiked soils by single and combined plants cultivation. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 177: 384-389.
  • Tang X.J., Cheema S.A., Shen C.F., Khan M.I., Zhang C.K., Chen Y.X. 2010. Heavy metal and persistent organic compound contamination in soil from Wenling: an emerging e-waste recycling city in Taizhou area, China. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 173:653-660.
  • Shen C.F.,Tang X.J., Cheema S.A., Zhang C.K., Khan M.I., Liang F., Chen X.C., Zhu Y., Lin Q., Chen Y.X. 2009. Enhanced phytoremediation potential of polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated soil from e-waste recycling area in the presence of randomly methylated-β-cyclodextrins. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 172: 1671-1676.
  • Cui X.Y., Wang H.L., Lou L.P., Chen Y.X., Yu Y.L., Shi J.Y., Xu L., Khan M.I. 2009. Sorption and genotoxicity of sediment-associated pentachlorophenol and pyrene influenced by crop residue ash. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 9: 604-612.
  • Daud M.K., Variath M.T., Ali S., Najeeb U., Hayat Y., Dawood M., Khan M.I., Zaffar M., Cheema S.A., Tong X.H., Zhu S., 2009. Cadmium-induced ultramorphological and physiological changes in leaves of two transgenic cotton cultivars and their wild relative. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 168: 614-625.
  • Cheema S.A., Khan M.I., Tang X.J., Zhang C.K., Shen C.F., Chen X.C., Chen Y.X. 2009. Enhancement of phenanthrene and pyrene degradation in rhizosphere of Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Journal of Hazardous Materials. 166: 1226-1231.


Ph.D. Thesis (Yonsei University, 2015)

Development and characterization of anaerobic microbial consortia for complete detoxification of hexachlorocyclohexanes

M.Sc. Thesis (Zhejiang University, 2009)

Evaluation of PAHs bioavailability and eco-toxicity in soil by using combination of chemical and biological assays