Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Comparative genomics and genomic biodiversity

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.00  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production   
4.06.00  Biotechnical sciences  Biotechnology   

Code Science Field
B220  Biomedical sciences  Genetics, cytogenetics 

Code Science Field
4.02  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Animal and Dairy science 
3.04  Medical and Health Sciences  Medical biotechnology 
genomics, bioinformatics, complex traits, genetic diversity, animal models, host pathogen interactions, genetic markers
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 10, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  631  12,360  10,888  17.26 
Scopus  656  13,901  12,286  18.73 
Researchers (36)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  54734  Zala Brajnik Kovačič  Animal production  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  18 
2.  37309  PhD Jernej Bravničar  Animal production  Technical associate  2020 - 2023  34 
3.  35373  PhD Ida Djurdjevič  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  35 
4.  05098  PhD Peter Dovč  Biotechnology  Head  2020 - 2023  929 
5.  20135  PhD Alenka Erjavec Škerget  Human reproduction  Researcher  2020 - 2023  149 
6.  56464  Tamara Ferme  Animal production  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  37 
7.  24769  PhD Gregor Gorjanc  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  494 
8.  10412  PhD Simon Horvat  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  548 
9.  28971  Ana Jakopič    Technical associate  2022 - 2023  14 
10.  55951  Kaja Kajtna    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
11.  53632  Špela Knez  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  12 
12.  13343  PhD Nadja Kokalj Vokač  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  442 
13.  30811  PhD Danijela Krgović  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  77 
14.  16361  PhD Tanja Kunej  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  904 
15.  53633  Špela Mikec  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  30 
16.  05008  PhD Mojca Narat  Biotechnology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  687 
17.  28505  PhD Jernej Ogorevc  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  136 
18.  57452  Iva Opalič    Technical associate  2022 
19.  38146  PhD Tanja Pirnat  Animal production  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  15 
20.  51857  Neža Pogorevc  Animal production  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  32 
21.  34333  PhD Tine Pokorn  Plant production  Technical associate  2020 - 2021  38 
22.  27547  PhD Zala Prevoršek  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2021  42 
23.  55858  Gašper Renko  Animal production  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023 
24.  39091  Nika Rihar  Animal production  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  10 
25.  28180  PhD Mojca Simčič  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  404 
26.  38858  Katja Skulj    Technical associate  2020 - 2023  14 
27.  11906  PhD Aleš Snoj  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  218 
28.  20200  PhD Špela Stangler Herodež  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  239 
29.  56549  Barbara Stojanov    Technical associate  2022 
30.  15658  PhD Simona Sušnik Bajec  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  193 
31.  55859  Andrea Šarac  Animal production  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023 
32.  55503  Anja Tanšek  Animal production  Technical associate  2021 - 2023  20 
33.  13152  PhD Damijan Vokač  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2021  163 
34.  15747  Andreja Zagorac  Human reproduction  Technical associate  2020 - 2023  153 
35.  18205  PhD Boris Zagradišnik  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  258 
36.  32581  PhD Minja Zorc  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  175 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0334  University Medical Centre Maribor  Maribor  5054150000  23,057 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  65,921 
The research programme “Comparative genomics and genomic biodiversity” is based on five thematic pillars, which are defined by methodological approaches that enable the achievement of research goals, across thematic pillars. Each thematic pillar has methodologically defined research area, exploiting specific methodological resources. However, the research goals are defined interdisciplinary in order to overarch methodological differences among thematic pillars. The thematic pillars are: Associations between genotype and complex phenotypes, Functional genomics and animal models, Host - pathogen interactions, Bioinformatics and Population studies and genomic biodiversity. The research programme includes research on different animal species, including humans. An important goal of the programme is to integrate bioinformatics approach to all research topics, allowing correct processing and interpretation of large data sets, which originate from massive genotyping using SNP chip arrays and new generation sequencing approaches. In addition to associations between genotypes and complex phenotypic traits, functional annotation of the genomes and development of animal and cell models are important research goals of the programme. In the field of biodiversity special attention will be paid to autochthonous breeds of farm animals, where Carniolan honey bee, Lipizzan horse and Dreznica goat represent local genetic resources of global importance. The parts of the programme dealing with the genetic base of heritable diseases in man and in animals will contribute to better understanding of pathogenesis and will open the possibility to develop more efficient diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
Significance for science
The program "Comparative genomics and genomic biodiversity" consists of five research pillars: Associations between genotypes and complex genotypes, Functional genomics and animal models, Host-pathogen interactions, Bioinformatics and Population studies and genomic biodiversity. These pillars represent various methodological approaches with which the program aims to the field of genomic research with the development of animal models, studying the interactions between host and pathogens, and perceiving and conserving biodiversity. The program builds on a comparative approach that enables a quick and efficient transfer of knowledge about the structure and function of the genome between different species and provides effective detection of associations between the genotype and the expression of complex traits. Thus, genomic research in species with poorly studied genomes can stimulate research ideas and offer information from cases where the links between genotype and phenotypic traits are better understood. This approach is important for both, human and veterinary medicine, where changes in the genome can lead to the emergence of hereditary diseases, as well as to applications in biotechnology and animal husbandry, where these links provide the basis for the selection in order to improve complex production traits. This part of the programme enables the detection of genetic background of complex traits and collection of information on the biological function of genes and genomic regions. In this way, the programme contributes to better interpretation of genomic data and enables constant progress in the genome anatomy. The unit, which is dedicated to the research of functional genomics and development of animal models, enables experimental verification of hypotheses about the physiological function of genes and genomic sections, thus continually complementing the ontology of genes. By using modern methods for introducing changes in the animal genome, the development of numerous, animal research models is became possible, which are an exceptional research tool for basic and applied research. Advances in functional genomics largely depend on the availability of suitable animal and cell models which allow the verification of biological functions of individual genes under controlled conditions. Animal models are also designed to develop and test new therapeutic strategies for complex diseases. In the past, this part of the programme allowed validation of the function of candidate genes that were identified in other parts of the programme. Important new knowledge of host-pathogen interactions is provided by research approach that, on the basis of differences between transcriptional profiles between healthy and infected individuals, identifies candidate genetes responsible for immune response and for protection against infections. Only a complex insight into the expression of the entire genome allows us to establish a realistic picture of the complexity of the immune system's function and genetic architecture of phenotypic changes during infection. The bioinformatics pillar is linked to all elements of the research programme and enables a correct and complex interpretation of the large amount of genomic and phenotypic data generated by various experimental approaches. In addition to the complex analysis of our own data, the bioinformatics part of the programme also enables the use of data from publicly accessible databases, thus significantly improving the quality of analyzes. Due to the large amount of publicly available data, some research approaches are mostly based on the analysis of these data for the detection of new candidate genes and genome elements necessary for for the interpretation of phenotypic changes. The pillar, which is designed to study biodiversity and its conservation, provides together with other pillars of the programme an opportunity to discover the genetic specificities of individual populations and the genetic
Significance for the country
The programme "Comparative genomics and genomic biodiversity" represents an important integration of knowledge in the fields of genomics, bioinformatics and conservation of biodiversity. Due to the involvement of researchers participating in the implementation of the research programme in the teaching process at all three levels of Bologna education, the research quality and research topics can be directly transferred to the teaching process, thus affecting the quality of academic education and the curriculum development. In this way, students can learn the contents that are important from the national point of view and will in future have a significant influence on the success of the conservation of ancional genetic resources. The mastering of new knowledge and technologies in the national space opens up possibilities for further technological development and possible successful applications of scientific knowledge. Especially in the fields of biotechnology and environmental monitoring there are many opportunities for the establishment of small, high technology companies, which can represent an important opportunity for employment of young people. The immediate benefit at national level is the concern for the conservation and development of local genetic resources and the conservation of biodiversity. A part of the program, which deals with the study of the health consequences of genomic modifications directly contributes to the quality of the diagnostic work in human and veterinary medicine, and opens the possibility for the development of new active substances and strategies for the treatment of diseases with the genetic component. In the field of preservation of cultural heritage, it should be emphasized that autochthonous breeds of domestic animals are an inseparable part of the cultural heritage, because they have enabled the survival of our ancestors in specific environmental conditions, and often domestic animals have also contributed significantly to the design of a specific cultural landscape. In this context, the study and conservation of breeds of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, horses, dogs and as a special case preserving the population of the Carniolan bee belongs to this area of research. If the importance of preserving certain species is of predominantly local importance, the population of Carniolan bees and Lipizzan horse is certainly an example of our national responsibility for conserving genetic resources of global importance. In the field of beekeeping, the Carniolan bee in a global context is an important genetic resource, which has to be preserved also for the selection options in the future. Last but not least, the high level of beekeeping in Slovenia has always been an important part of the global knowledge based on extraordinary individuals, to mention only Anton Janša as the first beekeeper in the Habsburg Monarchy and Francis Jager as the first professor of beekeeping at American universities in the early 20s. century. Lipizzans are an indispensable genetic source because they have preserved the genetic material of some already extinct breeds and represent, on a global scale, one of the rare examples of the preserved Baroque type of horse. In the modern world, it is very important to promote different genetic resources, and it depends on how well we can document them fron the scientific perspective. It is therefore important that we have local genetic resources embedded in quality research work, because in this way we significantly improve their international visibility. If there were no such research, many of the breeds of domestic animals would not have been recorded. For example, Dreznica goat is known for its special composition of milk and its excellent resistance to disease. For these reasons, the work of the programme group is important and firmly attached to the support of national interests in terms of ensuring the socio-economic and cultural development of Slovenia.
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