Prof. Sunil Khanna

Faculty, Sunil Khanna - NIIT University


Professor & Area Director, Biotechnology




Ph.D (Biochemistry) in 1983 from the Waite Agricultural Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia.M.Sc. (Microbiology) in 1978 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India.B.Sc. (Botany [Hons]) in 1976 from Delhi University, New Delhi, India.

Teaching Field:

Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Sciences, Recombinant DNA Technology


36 years

Research Areas:

Environmental Biotechnology, Metagenomic

Research Focus:

Bioremediation, Biofuels & Biomass

Consulting Area:

Bioremediation, Biofuels & Biomass

Other Interests:

Reading fiction and contemporary books, pottery, Playing Golf & Badminton



Information of Research Publications

Research Publication Details (From 2011 to 2016):

  1. Biodegradation of cellulosic and lignocellulosic waste byPseudoxanthomonas sp R-28. Mohit Kumar, K. Revathi, and Sunil Khanna (2015) Carbohydrate Polymers, 134: 761–766. Impact factor 4.07
  2. Shift in Microbial Population in Response to Crystalline Cellulose Degradation during Enrichment from a Semi-Desert Soil. Mohit Kumar and Sunil Khanna (2013) International  Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 88: 131-134 - Impact factor 2.44
  3. Biosurfactant Production and Potential Correlation with Esterase Activity. Kamaljeet Kaur Sekhon, Sunil Khanna and Swaranjit Singh Cameotra(2012).J Pet Environ Biotechnol,3:133 – 136. Impact factor 3.20.
  4. Characterization of pyrene utilizing Bacillus spp. from crude oil contaminated soil, Purnima Khanna, Dinesh Goyal, Sunil Khanna(2012). Brazilian Journal of Microbiology43(2): 606-617 – Impact factor 0.53
  5. Xylanase Production by Promicromonospora sp MARS in Non Sterile Solid State Fermentation with rice straw. Mohit Kumar, Anshul Joshi, Radhika Kashyap and Sunil Khanna (2011). Process Biochemistry (Elsevier). 46:1614-1618. (IF:2.6)
  6. Enhanced biosurfactant production through cloning of three genes and role of esterase in biosurfactant release Kamaljeet Kaur Sekhon, Sunil Khanna and Swaranjit Singh Cameotra(2011). Microbial Cell Factories 10:49 - 58– Impact factor 4.53
  7. Pyrene Degradation by Bacillus pumilus Isolated from Crude Oil Contaminated Soil. Purnima Khanna, Dinesh Goyal and Sunil Khanna. (2011). Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds. 31(1):1-15 – Impact factor 2.1

Research Publication Details (Before 2011):

  1. Pyrene Biodegradation by Bacillus sp. Isolated from Coal-tar Contaminated Soil. Purnima Khanna, Dinesh Goyal and Sunil Khanna. (2010). Bioremediation Journal – 12(1): 12-25 - Impact factor: 0.78
  2. Purification and characterization of thermostable monomeric chloroplastic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase from Chenopodium murale . Sabarinath Sundaram, Sunil Khanna and Renu Khanna-Chopra( 2009)  Physiology and  Molecular Biology of Plants.15(3) : 199-209
  3. Diversity of 16S rRNA and dioxygenase genes detected in coal-tar-contaminated site undergoing active bioremediation. Mohit Kumar and Sunil Khanna (2009) Journal of Applied Microbiology. 108(4): 1252 - 1262 – Impact Factor:2.21
  4. Decolorization of Direct Red 28 by mixed bacterial culture in an Up Flow Immobilized Bioreactor. Bella Devassy Tony, Dinesh Goyal, Sunil Khanna. 2009. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 36(7) : 955-960-– Impact Factor:2.09
  5. Decolorization of textile azo dyes by aerobic bacterial consortium . Bella Devassy Tony,
  6. Dinesh Goyal, Khanna  Sunil. 2009. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation – 63: 462-469. -– Impact Factor:1.37
  7. Microbial degradation and In situ bioremediation of Chlorpyrifos contaminated soil. C. Vidya Lakshmi, Mohit Kumar, and Khanna S, 2009. New Horizons in Biotechnology. Eds. Ashok Pandey, Christian Larroche, Carlos Ricardo Soccon and Claude-Gilles Dussap.Asia Tech Publishers Inc.New Delhi. Pp 310-319.
  8. Influence of Diversified cropping pattern on microbial activity and population dynamics in agricultural soils. Machiavell, N. Tejoprakash and Sunil Khanna, 2008. Research on Crop  - 3 :593-598. -– Impact Factor:0.37
  9. Biodegradation Of Chlorpyrifos In Soil By Enriched. Vidya C Lakshmi, Mohit Kumar and Khanna, Sunil. 2009. Current Microbiology - 58: 35-38. -– Impact Factor:1.33
  10. Biotransformation of Chlorpyrifos and bioremediation of contaminated soils. C. Vidya Lakshmi, Mohit Kumar, and Khanna Sunil, 2008. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation –62, 204-209. -– Impact Factor:1.37
  11. Microbial Biodiversity and In situ Bioremediation of Endosulfan contaminated soil. Mohit Kumar, C. Vidya Lakshmi and Khanna Sunil, 2008, Indian Journal of Microbiology – 48, 128-133.
  12. In situ Bioremediation of Chloropyrifos contaminated soil  in  In situ and On site Bioremediation. C. Vidya Lakshmi, Mohit Kumar, and Khanna Sunil, 2007 Eds A R Gavaskar and C F Silver. Beattle Press, Columbus pp 161-169
  13. Biodegradation and bioremediation of endosulfan contaminated soil, Mohit Kumar, C. Vidya Lakshmi and Khanna Sunil, 2007, Bioresource Technology – 99(8) :3116-3122.(Elsiver). -– Impact Factor:4.46
  14. A computer model for Municipal Solid Waste treatment in developing countries. Jain A., Kaur, Harsasngeet and Khanna, Sunil , 2005, Environmental Science & Technology, 39 (10): 3732-3735. -– Impact Factor:4.45
  15. Impact of fly ash addition in soil on heavy metal accumulation by Eucalyptus tereticornis, Suryan, S., Jala, S., Goyal, D., Singh, J., Vijayan, V., Nioding, A and Khanna, Sunil. 2004,Biotechnological approaches for sustainable development, Eds. M.S. Reddy and S. Khanna, Allied Publishers pp. 305-310.
  16. Industrial Fly ash  as a soil amendment agent for raising forestry planatations. Goyal D, Kaur K, Garg R, Vijayan, V, Nanda, S K, Noiding A, Khanna S and Ramamurthy V. Fundamentals of Advanced Materials for Energy Conservation. D Chandra and R G Bautista 2003 (eds)  Academic Press.       Pp 251 – 265.
  17. Cloning, Regulation, and Purification of cellulose-free xylanase from Bacillus circulans TERI-42. Asbah F. Qureshy, L A Khan; and Khanna Sunil. 2002. Indian J Microbiology 42: 35-41.
  18. Production of thermostable alkalitolerant xylanase from Bacillus circulans AB 16 grown on wheat straw. Dhillon, ,A; and Khanna, Sunil. 2001. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.16(4): 325-327. -– Impact Factor:0.935
  19. Expression of Bacillus circulans Teri-42 xylanase gene in Bacillus subtilis. Asbah F Qureshy; L A Khan; and Khanna, S. 2000. Enzyme Microbial Technology 27: 227-233. -– Impact Factor:2.37
  20. Enhanced production, purification and characterization of a novel cellulase-poor thermostable, alkalitolerant xylanase from Bacillus circulans AB16. Dhillon, ,A; Gupta, J.K; and Khanna, S. 2000b. Process Biochemistry,35: 849-856. -– Impact Factor:2.41
  21. Environmental decadence in India. Khanna. Sunil. 1999. In " National Report 1994-1999.Asha Mathur (ed) Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, India. pp.181-226.
  22. A cellulase- poor thermostable alkalotolerant xylanase from Bacillus circulans AB 16 using rice straw and its application in biobleaching of eucalyptus pulp. Dhillon, ,A; Gupta, J.K; Jauhari, B.M., and Khanna, S. 2000a.  Bioresource Technology,73: 273-277. -– Impact Factor:4.46
  23. Mineralization of [14C] octadecane by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus S19. Bajpai U; Kuhad R and Khanna Sunil. 1998. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 44(7): 681-686. -– Impact Factor:1.16
  24. Enzymes and Bioremediation .  Khanna  S; lal B; Chandra R; Rajan and Bajpai U. 1998. In “Enzyme Chemistry: Impact and Applications” 3rd Edition , Suckling Colin  J, Pitt A and Gibson C(eds.)Chapman & Hall Ltd, Hampshire, England pp: 249-285.
  25. Methane recovery from Industrial Wheat bran residue. Bardiya N, and Khanna, Sunil. 1998.. Bioenergy News. 2: 16-18.
  26. Degradation of crude oil sludge and mineralization of PAHs by Alcaligenes odorans.  Rajan, S; Lal, B; and Khanna, Sunil.  1997. Emerging Technologies in Hazardous Waste Management,  ISEB special Symposium of the American Chemical Society, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. September 15-17, 1997. p15-20.
  27. Purification,  properties and cloning of esterases from   Acenitibacter calcoaceticus S 19. Shafi R; Ali Arif and Khanna Sunil. 1997. Indian J of Microbiology. 37:59-64.
  28. Long  term field study shows increased biomass production in tree legumes inoculated with Rhizobium.. Lal, B. and Khanna, Sunil. 1996.  Plant and Soil. 184 : 111-116. -– Impact Factor:2.38
  29. Biomethanation of banana peel and pineapple processing waste. Bardiya, N., Somayaji, D. and Khanna, Sunil. 1996. Bioresource Technology. 58 : 73-76. -– Impact Factor:4.46
  30. Mineralization of (14C) octacosane by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. Lal, B. and Khanna, Sunil. 1996. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 42:  1225-1231. -– Impact Factor:1.16
  31. Degradation of crude oil by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Alcaligenes odorans. Lal, B. and Khanna, Sunil. 1996.  Journal of Applied Bacteriology. 81: 355-362. -– Impact Factor:2.02
  32. Modulation of protein profiles in Rhizobium under salt stress. Saxena, D., Amin, M.  Khanna, Sunil. 1996. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 42: 617-620. -– Impact Factor:1.16
  33. Methanogenesis. 1995. D Somayaji; MRVP Reddy; N Bardiya; K mohan and  Khanna Sunil. In  Wealth from Waste. Eds Khanna S and Mohan K.  P 95-114.
  34. Biosurfactants - A Review. Shafi, R., Khanna, Sunil. 1995. Indian J. Microbiol.  35 (3): 165-184.               
  35. Ferulic acid metabolism by Alcaligenes paradoxus. Mohan, K. and Khanna, Sunil. 1994. Ind. J. Microbiol. 34 (4): 303-306.
  36. Selection of tolerant Rhizobium isolate of Acacia nilotica. Lal, B. and Khanna, Sunil. 1994. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 10 (6): 637-639. -– Impact Factor:0.934
  37. Cloning of endoglucanase genes from Ruminococcus sp. 1994. Srivastava, S.K. and Khanna, Sunil. Indian Journal of Microbiology. 34(4): 265-271.
  38. Biomethanation of rice and wheat straw. Somayaji, D. and Khanna, Sunil. 1994. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 10 (5): 521-523. -– Impact Factor:0.934
  39. Biomass enhancement of tree legumes by Rhizobium and Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizae 1993. Tissue culture of forest tree species: Recent researches in India Ed. Dhawan, V. Ganapathy, D.M.  and Khurana, D.K. P 84-94.
  40. Regulation, purification and properties of xylanase from Cellulomonas fimi 1993. Khanna, Sunil. and Gauri.  Enzyme Microbial Technology. 15: 990-995. -– Impact Factor:2.37
  41. Glucose uptake by Cellulomonas fimi 1993.  Khanna, Sunil. World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology.  9: 559-561. -– Impact Factor:0.934
  42. Degradation of veratraldehyde by Alcaligenes paradoxus.  1993. Mohan, K., and Khanna, Sunil. FEMS Microbial letters. 108: 361-366. -– Impact Factor:2.02
  43. Renodulation and nitrogen fixing potential of Acacia nilotica  inoculated with Rhizobium isolates.  1992. Lal, B., and Khanna, Sunil. Can J. Microbiol. 39: 87-91. -– Impact Factor:1.16
  44. Purification, characterization and cloning of an endo - 1,4-B-glucanase from Ruminococcus sp. 1991. Srivastava,S.K. and Khanna, Sunil.  Biotechnology Letters. 13: 907-912. -– Impact Factor:1.6
  45. Does dual inoculation really help in increase of biomass in tree legumes.  B. Lal, Adholeya, A., Kapoor, A. and Khanna, Sunil. 1990.  Mycorrhizal symbiosis and plant growth Ed D.J. Bagyaraj and A. Manjunath, Bangalore, p.97-98.
  46. Purification and characterization of endoglucanase of Cellulomonas fimi.  Srivastava S.K., Mohan M.K., Vijayagopal A., and Khanna, Sunil. 1990.  Indian J. Microbiology. 30:  279-285.
  47. Sporulation in Glomus mosseae under in vitro conditions.  Adholeya, A. and Khanna, Sunil. 1990. Curr. Trend Mycorrhizal Research Ed. B L Jalali. p53-55 Hissar.
  48. VA mycorrhizae: an important component of tree farming.  Adholeya, A. and Khanna Sunil. 1989.  J. of Trop Forestry. 5: 17-29.
  49. Relationship of Nitrogenase activity to leghaemoglobin and Sugar content in nodules of Chickpea.  Cicer arietinum  L. Koundal, K.R., Khanna Sunil. and Sinha, S.K. 1987.  Indian J. Expt. Biology. 25: 785-788.
  50. Ammonia assimilation in Chlorobium vibrioforme f thiosulfatophilum. Khanna, Sunil. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1983a. Arch. Microbiol. 134: 98-103. -– Impact Factor:2.12
  51. Substrate phosphorylation in Chlorobium vibrioforme f thiosulfatophilum.  Khanna, Sunil., and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1983b.  J. Gen. Microbiol. 129: 1365-1370. -– Impact Factor:2.12
  52. Adenylation of glutamine synthetase in Chlorobium vibrioforme f thiosulfatophilum. Khanna, Sunil. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1982a.  FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 18: 173-175. -– Impact Factor:2.02
  53. Utilization of tetrathionate and 35S-labelled thiosulphate by washed cells of Chlorobium vibrioforme f thiosulfatophilum.  Khanna, Sunil. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1982b.  J. Gen. Microbiol. 128: 1027-1034. -– Impact Factor:3.12
  54. Oxygen inhibition of the photoassimilation of CO2 in Rhodopseudomonas capsulate. Khanna, Sunil., Kelley B.C. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1981. Arch. Microbiol. 128: 421-423. -– Impact Factor:2.12
  55. Contribution of dissolved dinitrogen in culture solutions to growth of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. Kelley B.C., Khanna Sunil. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1980.  Arch.  Microbiol. 127: 77-80.
  56. The effects of carbon dioxide on nitrogenase related activities of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. Khanna, Sunil., Kelley, B.C. and Nicholas, D.J.D. 1980. J. Gen. Microbiol. 119: 281-284. -– Impact Factor:3.12

Prof. Sunil Khanna is currently The Vice President, Dean (Research) & Dean (Admissions) at NIIT University.

He started his career as a Graduate Research Associate in Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1983 and then moved to work as a Research Fellow with Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Division, University of Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1984. In September 1985, he joined TERI as Area convener fellow and worked at that position till March 1992 to be promoted as Dean, Biotechnology in April 1992 till January 1996. He moved to Tata Energy and Resources Institute, U.S.A as Vice President in Feb 1996 till June 1998. He came back to India in July 1998 and was associated with TERI as Principal Investigator for their research projects.

Prof. Sunil has held various positions with Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET) from October 2000 to July 2005-Dean, Resource Generation and Planning (2003 onwards), Executive Director, Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP), Coordinator, Center for Relevance and Excellence (CORE), Head and Professor, Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences. He then joined NIIT University as Dean, Planning, and Professor of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.

In terms of his educational background, Prof. Sunil is a PhD (Biochemistry), 1983 from Waite Agricultural Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia. He did his Masters in 1978 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. He completed his graduation in Botany [Hons] in 1976 from Delhi University.

Prof. Sunil is a member of a number of societies in India and abroad, and has also worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Journal of Microbiology from 1993 to1996. His publications include 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals/books, 75 papers in conference proceedings/meetings, 20 technical reports, 3 reviews in books, and 2 books. Prof Sunil is a Fellow of the Association of Microbiologists of India (FAMI). Prof Sunil has also completed 22 research projects as principal investigator funded by Bilateral (UNDP, Ford foundation, IDRC Canada, NEDO Japan) and National institutions (MNRE, DST, ONGC and DBT).

Prof. Sunil Khanna can be reached at Sunil.Khanna@niituniversity.in