Abrar Mustafa Khan obtained his PhD degree (1950) from the University of Minnesota, USA. His areas of specialization were plant pathology, plant nematology and medicinal plants. He was Professor and Head, Department of Botany and Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Science and Life Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sphaerotheca fuligenea and Erysiphe cichoracearum are a bane in cucurbit production all over the world. They seldom produce perfect stage in tropics and therefore pose difficulties in their identification. The former infects Coccinia cordifolia and not Lagenaria leucantha and the latter infects L. leucantha and not Coccinia. Khan worked out conditions conductive for the development of perfect stage. He pioneered, in India, research on applied aspects of phytonematology. He disproved the claim made by European scientists that cyst nemotodes are restricted to temperate regions, by providing, in 1965, the evidence for existence of Heterodera mothi in India. He made extensive studies on applied aspects of phytonematology, with a view to evolving the most promising control techniques, which are stable and safe from the standpoint of pesticide use and are also economical.
Other Contributions: Khan initiated the formation of Nematological Society of Indian and its journal. He was Chairman, Plant Pathology Panel, ICAR; Member, Executive Committee, International Association of Medicinal and Forest Plants; EC and RAC, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. He was President, Nematological Society of India (1972) and Society for Advancement of Botany (1977). He co-authored Medical Plants and Folklores and served on the Editorial Boards of several journals.
Awards and Honours: Dr Khan received Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize (1968-69, 1970-71). He was conferred with the Mundukar Memorial Lectureship (1981) and Purnima Raychaudhri Memorial Lectureship (1989). He was a Fellow of Indian Phytopathological Society, Indian Botanical Society, Honorary Fellow of Afro-Asian Society of Nematologists, Bioved Research Society, and Muslim Association for Advancement of Science. He was President, Agricultural Section of Indian Science Congress (1984).