Publications by authors named "Zahid Maqbool"

12 Publications

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Medium nitrogen optimized Boehmeria nivea L. growth in copper contaminated soil.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 13;266:128972. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Copper (Cu) pollution in agricultural soils is considered as a serious health risk due to its accumulation in plants. Thus, there is an urgent need to optimize nutrient application for higher yield with lower Cu uptake to ensure food security. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer (N) on Boehmeria nivea growth, gas exchange characteristics, antioxidant capacity and uptake of Cu in contaminated soil. Therefore, combinations of Cu levels (0, 100, 300 mg kg) and N levels (0, 140, 280, 420 kg ha) were applied. The results showed that N at 280 kg ha significantly (≤0.05) increased plant growth in terms of fresh biomass, plant height, stem diameter and number of leaves per plant up to100 mg kg Cu in soil for all harvests (H, H, H and H). However, the interactive effect of Cu and N on Cu uptake by plant varied among N levels. Furthermore, N at 280 kg ha also improved the gas exchange characteristics viz., net photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr) and stomatal conductance (gs), while decreased oxidative stress in B. nivea up to 100 mg kg Cu in soil, relative to control. Thus N at 280 kg ha can be considered as an effective dose for high fresh biomass with lower Cu uptake by B. nivea grown as fodder in Cu contaminated soils (≤100 mg kg). Overall, present research highlighted the necessity of balanced or optimum N application for sustainable B. nivea forage production in Cu contaminated agricultural lands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128972DOI Listing
March 2021

Influence of Network Size on Adversarial Decisions in a Deception Game Involving Honeypots.

Front Psychol 2020 25;11:535803. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Applied Cognitive Science Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Kamand, India.

Deception via honeypots, computers that pretend to be real, may provide effective ways of countering cyberattacks in computer networks. Although prior research has investigated the effectiveness of timing and amount of deception via deception-based games, it is unclear as to how the size of the network (i.e., the number of computer systems in the network) influences adversarial decisions. In this research, using a deception game (DG), we evaluate the influence of network size on adversary's cyberattack decisions. The DG has two sequential stages, probe and attack, and it is defined as DG (n,k, γ), where n is the number of servers, k is the number of honeypots, and γ is the number of probes that the adversary makes before attacking the network. In the probe stage, participants may probe a few web servers or may not probe the network. In the attack stage, participants may attack any one of the web servers or decide not to attack the network. In a laboratory experiment, participants were randomly assigned to a repeated DG across three different between-subject conditions: small (20 participants), medium (20 participants), and large (20 participants). The small, medium, and large conditions used DG (2, 1, 1), DG (6, 3, 3), and DG (12, 6, 6) games, respectively (thus, the proportion of honeypots was kept constant at 50% in all three conditions). Results revealed that in the small network, the proportions of honeypot and no-attack actions were 0.20 and 0.52, whereas in the medium (large) network, the proportions of honeypot and no-attack actions were 0.50 (0.50) and 0.06 (0.03), respectively. There was also an effect of probing actions on attack actions across all three network sizes. We highlight the implications of our results for networks of different sizes involving deception via honeypots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.535803DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7575868PMC
September 2020

Cyber Security: Effects of Penalizing Defenders in Cyber-Security Games via Experimentation and Computational Modeling.

Front Psychol 2020 28;11:11. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Applied Cognitive Science Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Kamand, India.

Cyber-attacks are deliberate attempts by adversaries to illegally access online information of other individuals or organizations. There are likely to be severe monetary consequences for organizations and its workers who face cyber-attacks. However, currently, little is known on how monetary consequences of cyber-attacks may influence the decision-making of defenders and adversaries. In this research, using a cyber-security game, we evaluate the influence of monetary penalties on decisions made by people performing in the roles of human defenders and adversaries via experimentation and computational modeling. In a laboratory experiment, participants were randomly assigned to the role of "hackers" (adversaries) or "analysts" (defenders) in a laboratory experiment across three between-subject conditions: Equal payoffs (EQP), penalizing defenders for false alarms (PDF) and penalizing defenders for misses (PDM). The PDF and PDM conditions were 10-times costlier for defender participants compared to the EQP condition, which served as a baseline. Results revealed an increase (decrease) and decrease (increase) in attack (defend) actions in the PDF and PDM conditions, respectively. Also, both attack-and-defend decisions deviated from Nash equilibriums. To understand the reasons for our results, we calibrated a model based on Instance-Based Learning Theory (IBLT) theory to the attack-and-defend decisions collected in the experiment. The model's parameters revealed an excessive reliance on recency, frequency, and variability mechanisms by both defenders and adversaries. We discuss the implications of our results to different cyber-attack situations where defenders are penalized for their misses and false-alarms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999552PMC
January 2020

Morpho-physiological traits, gaseous exchange attributes, and phytoremediation potential of jute (Corchorus capsularis L.) grown in different concentrations of copper-contaminated soil.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2020 Feb 10;189:109915. Epub 2019 Nov 10.

MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Jute (Corchorus capsularis L.) is the most commonly used natural fiber as reinforcement in green composites and, due to its huge biomass, deep rooting system, and metal tolerance in stressed environments, it is an excellent candidate for the phytoremediation of different heavy metals. Therefore, the present study was carried out to examine the growth, antioxidant capacity, gaseous exchange attributes, and phytoremediation potential of C. capsularis grown at different concentrations of Cu (0, 100, 200, 300, and 400 mg kg) in a glass house environment. The results illustrate that C. capsularis can tolerate Cu concentrations of up to 300 mg kg without significant decreases in growth or biomass, but further increases in Cu concentration (i.e., 400 mg kg) lead to significant reductions in plant growth and biomass. The photosynthetic pigments and gaseous exchange attributes in the leaves of C. capsularis decreased as the Cu concentration in the soil increased. Furthermore, high concentrations of Cu in the soil caused lipid peroxidation by increasing the malondialdehyde content in the leaves. This implies that elevated Cu levels cause oxidative damage in C. capsularis. Antioxidants, such as superoxidase dismutase and peroxidase, come into play to scavenge the reactive oxygen species which are generated as a result of oxidative stress. In the present study, the concentrations of Cu in different parts of the plant (the roots, leaves, stem core, and fibers) were also investigated at four different stages of the life cycle of C. capsularis, i.e., 30, 60, 90, and 120 days after sowing (DAS). The results of this investigation reveal that, in the earlier stages of the growth, Cu was highly accumulated in the belowground parts of the plant while little was transported to the aboveground parts. Contrastingly, at a fully mature stage of the growth (120 DAS), it was observed that the majority of Cu was transported to the aboveground parts of the plant and very little accumulated in the belowground parts. The results also show a progressive increase in Cu uptake in response to increasing Cu concentrations in the soil, suggesting that C. capsularis is a potential bio-resource for the phytoremediation of Cu in Cu-contaminated soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109915DOI Listing
February 2020

Morpho-physiological traits, antioxidant capacity and phytoextraction of copper by ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) grown as fodder in copper-contaminated soil.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Feb 6;26(6):5851-5861. Epub 2019 Jan 6.

MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, People's Republic of China.

Ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.), the oldest fiber crop in China, can also be grown as fodder crop because of its huge biomass production. Moreover, it has the potential to colonize heavy metal-contaminated soils which showed the possibilities of phytoremediation using B. nivea. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the potential of B. nivea for phytoextraction of copper (Cu)-contaminated soil. Moreover, the impact of different concentrations of Cu on growth and antioxidant enzymatic activity by B. nivea were also studied. For this purpose, a pot experiment was conducted to examine the growth, antioxidative response, and localization (distribution) of Cu in B. nivea plant under different Cu concentrations (0, 50, 100, 200, 300, and 400 mg kg soil). Results revealed that B. nivea tolerated up to 100 mg kg Cu concentration without a significant decrease in biomass, but further increase in Cu concentration from 200 to 400 mg kg exhibited a significant reduction in chlorophyll content, fresh and dry biomass, plant height, and number of leaves. It was further observed that B. nivea accumulated more Cu in roots (26 to 53 mg kg), followed by the leaves (23 to 28 mg kg) and stems (14 to 21 mg kg), while the values for both bioaccumulation factor (BAF) and translocation factor (TF) at all treatments were less than 1. Moreover, activities of antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase and peroxidase) were initially increased with the exposure of 50, 100, and 200 mg kg Cu, but decreased by further increasing the Cu concentration to 300 and 400 mg kg indicating the oxidative stress which is manifested by high malondialdehyde (MDA) and proline contents also. Thus, based on results, it can be concluded that B. nivea accumulated relatively low Cu contents in aboveground parts and could be grown as fodder crop for phytoremediation of Cu-contaminated sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-4015-6DOI Listing
February 2019

Effects of Motivation: Rewarding Hackers for Undetected Attacks Cause Analysts to Perform Poorly.

Hum Factors 2017 05 19;59(3):420-431. Epub 2016 Dec 19.

Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, India.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine how monetary motivations influence decision making of humans performing as security analysts and hackers in a cybersecurity game.

Background: Cyberattacks are increasing at an alarming rate. As cyberattacks often cause damage to existing cyber infrastructures, it is important to understand how monetary rewards may influence decision making of hackers and analysts in the cyber world. Currently, only limited attention has been given to this area.

Method: In an experiment, participants were randomly assigned to three between-subjects conditions ( n = 26 for each condition): equal payoff, where the magnitude of monetary rewards for hackers and defenders was the same; rewarding hacker, where the magnitude of monetary reward for hacker's successful attack was 10 times the reward for analyst's successful defense; and rewarding analyst, where the magnitude of monetary reward for analyst's successful defense was 10 times the reward for hacker's successful attack. In all conditions, half of the participants were human hackers playing against Nash analysts and half were human analysts playing against Nash hackers.

Results: Results revealed that monetary rewards for human hackers and analysts caused a decrease in attack and defend actions compared with the baseline. Furthermore, rewarding human hackers for undetected attacks made analysts deviate significantly from their optimal behavior.

Conclusions: If hackers are rewarded for their undetected attack actions, then this causes analysts to deviate from optimal defend proportions. Thus, analysts need to be trained not become overenthusiastic in defending networks.

Application: Applications of our results are to networks where the influence of monetary rewards may cause information theft and system damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018720816681888DOI Listing
May 2017

Characterization of a salt resistant bacterial strain Proteus sp. NA6 capable of decolorizing reactive dyes in presence of multi-metal stress.

World J Microbiol Biotechnol 2016 Nov 19;32(11):181. Epub 2016 Sep 19.

Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakaria University, Multan, Pakistan.

Microbial biotechnologies for the decolorization of textile wastewaters have attracted worldwide attention because of their economic suitability and easiness in handling. However, the presence of high amounts of salts and metal ions in textile wastewaters adversely affects the decolorization efficiency of the microbial bioresources. In this regard, the present study was conducted to isolate salt tolerant bacterial strains which might have the potential to decolorize azo dyes even in the presence of multi-metal ion mixtures. Out of the tested 48 bacteria that were isolated from an effluent drain, the strain NA6 was found relatively more efficient in decolorizing the reactive yellow-2 (RY2) dye in the presence of 50 g L(-1) NaCl. Based on the similarity of its 16S rRNA gene sequence and its position in a phylogenetic tree, this strain was designated as Proteus sp. NA6. The strain NA6 showed efficient decolorization (>90 %) of RY2 at pH 7.5 in the presence of 50 g L(-1) NaCl under static incubation at 30 °C. This strain also had the potential to efficiently decolorize other structurally related azo dyes in the presence of 50 g L(-1) NaCl. Moreover, Proteus sp. NA6 was found to resist the presence of different metal ions (Co(+2), Cr(+6), Zn(+2), Pb(+2), Cu(+2), Cd(+2)) and was capable of decolorizing reactive dyes in the presence of different levels of the mixtures of these metal ions along with 50 g L(-1) NaCl. Based on the findings of this study, it can be suggested that Proteus sp. NA6 might serve as a potential bioresource for the biotechnologies involving bioremediation of textile wastewaters containing the metal ions and salts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11274-016-2141-1DOI Listing
November 2016

Perspectives of using fungi as bioresource for bioremediation of pesticides in the environment: a critical review.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2016 Sep 8;23(17):16904-25. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Department of Microbiology, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Pesticides are used for controlling the development of various pests in agricultural crops worldwide. Despite their agricultural benefits, pesticides are often considered a serious threat to the environment because of their persistent nature and the anomalies they create. Hence removal of such pesticides from the environment is a topic of interest for the researchers nowadays. During the recent years, use of biological resources to degrade or remove pesticides has emerged as a powerful tool for their in situ degradation and remediation. Fungi are among such bioresources that have been widely characterized and applied for biodegradation and bioremediation of pesticides. This review article presents the perspectives of using fungi for biodegradation and bioremediation of pesticides in liquid and soil media. This review clearly indicates that fungal isolates are an effective bioresource to degrade different pesticides including lindane, methamidophos, endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, atrazine, cypermethrin, dieldrin, methyl parathion, heptachlor, etc. However, rate of fungal degradation of pesticides depends on soil moisture content, nutrient availability, pH, temperature, oxygen level, etc. Fungal strains were found to harbor different processes including hydroxylation, demethylation, dechlorination, dioxygenation, esterification, dehydrochlorination, oxidation, etc during the biodegradation of different pesticides having varying functional groups. Moreover, the biodegradation of different pesticides was found to be mediated by involvement of different enzymes including laccase, hydrolase, peroxidase, esterase, dehydrogenase, manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, etc. The recent advances in understanding the fungal biodegradation of pesticides focusing on the processes, pathways, genes/enzymes and factors affecting the biodegradation have also been presented in this review article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7003-8DOI Listing
September 2016

Use of RSM modeling for optimizing decolorization of simulated textile wastewater by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain ZM130 capable of simultaneous removal of reactive dyes and hexavalent chromium.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2016 Jun 27;23(11):11224-11239. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

INRA, UMR 1347 Agroécologie, 17 Rue Sully, BP 86 510, 21065, Dijon, Cedex, France.

Remediation of colored wastewater loaded with dyes and metal ions is a matter of interest nowadays. In this study, 220 bacteria isolated from textile wastewater were tested for their potential to decolorize each of the four reactive dyes (reactive red-120, reactive black-5, reactive yellow-2, and reactive orange-16) in the presence of a mixture of four different heavy metals (Cr, Zn, Pb, Cd) commonly found in textile effluents. Among the tested bacteria, the isolate ZM130 was found to be the most efficient in decolorizing reactive dyes in the presence of the mixture of heavy metals and was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain ZM130 by 16S rRNA gene analysis. The strain ZM130 was highly effective in simultaneously removing hexavalent chromium (25 mg L(-1)) and the azo dyes (100 mg L(-1)) from the simulated wastewater even in the presence of other three heavy metals (Zn, Pb, Cd). Simultaneous removal of chromium and azo dyes ranged as 76.6-98.7 % and 51.9-91.1 %, respectively, after 180 h incubation. On the basis of quadratic polynomial equation and response surfaces given by the response surface methodology (RSM), optimal salt content, pH, carbon co-substrate content, and level of multi-metal mixtures for decolorization of reactive red-120 in a simulated textile wastewater by the strain ZM130 were predicted to be 19.8, 7.8, and 6.33 g L(-1) and a multi-metal mixture (Cr 13.10 mg L(-1), Pb 26.21 mg L(-1), Cd 13.10 mg L(-1), Zn 26.21 mg L(-1)), respectively. Moreover, the strain ZM130 also exhibited laccase and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (reduced)-dichlorophenolindophenol reductase (NADH-DCIP reductase) activity during the decolorization of reactive red-120. However, the laccase activity was found to be maximum in the presence of 300 mg L(-1) of the dye as compared to other concentrations. Hence, the isolation of this strain might serve as a potential bio-resource required for developing the strategies aiming at bioremediation of the wastewater contaminated with dyes and heavy metals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-6275-3DOI Listing
June 2016

Biodecolorization of Reactive Yellow-2 by Serratia sp. RN34 Isolated from Textile Wastewater.

Water Environ Res 2015 Dec 7;87(12):2065-75. Epub 2015 Jul 7.

Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Remediation of colored textile wastewaters is a matter of interest. In this study, 49 bacteria were isolated from the textile wastewater and tested for their ability to decolorize reactive yellow-2 (RY2) dye. The most efficient isolate, RN34, was identified through amplification, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis of its 16S rDNA and was designated as Serratia sp. RN34. This bacterium was also found capable of decolorizing other related reactive azo-dyes, including reactive black-5, reactive red-120, and reactive orange-16 but at varying rates. The optimum pH for decolorization of RY2 by the strain RN34 was 7.5 using yeast extract as cosubstrate under static incubation at 30 °C. The strain RN34 also showed potential to decolorize RY2 in the presence of considerable amounts of hexavalent chromium and sodium chloride. A phytotoxicity study demonstrated relatively reduced toxicity of RY2 decolorized products on Vigna radiata plant as compared to the uninoculated RY2 solution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143015X14362865226031DOI Listing
December 2015

Isolating, screening and applying chromium reducing bacteria to promote growth and yield of okra (Hibiscus esculentus L.) in chromium contaminated soils.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2015 Apr 24;114:343-9. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

Department of Agronomy, Pir Mehar Ali Shah University of Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Hexavalent chromium [Cr (VI)], extensively used in different industries, is one of the most toxic heavy metals. The Cr (VI) reducing bacteria could be helpful in decreasing its toxic effects. The present study was conducted to evaluate the potential of Cr (VI) reducing bacteria to improve growth and yield of okra (Hibiscus esculentus L.) in Cr-contaminated soils. Most of the selected bacterial isolates significantly increased the growth and yield of okra. Maximum response was observed in the plants inoculated with the isolate K12 where plant height, root length, fruit weight and number of fruits per plant increased up to 77.5 percent, 72.6 percent, 1.4 fold and 2.9 fold, respectively. Moreover, inoculation with bacteria caused significant decrease in Cr (VI) concentration in soil and plant parts across all treatments. The maximum decrease of 69.6, 56.1 and 40.0 percent in Cr (VI) concentrations in soil, plant vegetative parts and plant reproductive parts, respectively, was observed in the treatment inoculated with the strain K12. Based on amplification, sequencing and analysis of 16S rDNA sequence, the strain K12 was found belonging to genus Brucella and was designated as Brucella sp. K12. These findings suggest that the strain K12 may serve as a potential bioresource to improve crop production in Cr-contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.07.007DOI Listing
April 2015

Biodecolorization of Reactive Black-5 by a metal and salt tolerant bacterial strain Pseudomonas sp. RA20 isolated from Paharang drain effluents in Pakistan.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2013 Dec 15;98:331-8. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University, Allama Iqbal Road, Faisalabad, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Discharge of untreated azo dyes contaminated textile wastewater into soil and water bodies causes severe contamination. The present study was conducted to isolate dye degrading bacterial strains from a textile industry wastewater carrying drain in the neighborhood of Faisalabad, Pakistan. Seventy six bacterial strains were initially isolated and was screened using liquid mineral salts medium spiked with Reactive Black-5 azo dye. The strain RA20 was found to be the most efficient azo dye degrading bacterial isolate and was identified by amplifying and sequencing its 16S rRNA. Analysis indicated that this strain belonged to genus Pseudomonas and was designated as Pseudomonas sp. RA20. It had the highest decolorization activity at pH 8 and 25 °C incubation temperature under static conditions using yeast extract as an additional C source. This strain was also effective in decolorizing structurally related other reactive dyes including Reactive Orange 16, Reactive Yellow 2 and Reactive Red 120 but with varying efficacy. RA20 decolorized Reactive Black-5 significantly in the presence of up to 30 g L⁻¹ NaCl; however, the decolorization rate was significantly (p≤0.05) reduced beyond this salt concentration. Moreover, this bacterial strain also exhibited moderate tolerance to different heavy metals including zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb) and copper (Cu). RA20 also decolorized Reactive Black-5 in the presence of a mixture of the selected heavy metals depending upon their concentrations. This study highlights the importance of Pseudomonas sp. RA20 as a prospective biological resource for bioremediation of water and soils contaminated with azo dyes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.09.018DOI Listing
December 2013