Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Exploring potato microbiota potential for modulating its immunity and growth

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.00  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production   

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Potato, plant protection, immune signaling, epigenetics, endophytes, metagenome, spatial transcriptomics, systems biology, Potyviridae, Colorado potato beetle
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 14, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  354  10,002  8,649  24.43 
Scopus  365  10,924  9,457  25.91 
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  34130  PhD Anna Coll Rius  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  164 
2.  12688  PhD Kristina Gruden  Biotechnology  Head  2021 - 2024  992 
3.  22492  PhD Barbara Kraigher  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  123 
4.  37409  PhD Maja Križnik  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  43 
5.  54678  Valentina Levak  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024  16 
6.  05993  PhD Ines Mandić-Mulec  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  646 
7.  29617  PhD Marko Petek  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  174 
8.  54306  Karmen Pogačar  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  22 
9.  18467  PhD Maruša Pompe Novak  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  293 
10.  26540  PhD Polonca Štefanič  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  204 
11.  50566  PhD Špela Tomaž  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  28 
12.  09864  PhD Magda Tušek Žnidarič  Biology  Technical associate  2021 - 2024  416 
13.  39320  PhD Maja Zagorščak  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2021 - 2024  62 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,454 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  67,219 
Understanding the complex interactions between plants and other organisms in the environment is crucial for the development of more efficient and sustainable crop production. Pathogens and pests can, despite the use of chemical pesticides, still cause up to 80% reduction of yields. On the other hand, a subset of plant-associated microbiota, including some endophytes, can have a beneficial impact on plant fitness by directly promoting plant growth or through priming of the immune response. Mechanisms of plant-pathogen one-on-one interactions are known in substantial detail, yet little is known of mechanisms triggered in plant as a response to interaction with its endophytes. We have chosen to study potato, as one of the most important crops, and three microbes that have been isolated and identified in our lab as potato endophytes. To better understand the potato-endophyte interaction, we will combine cell biology, synthetic biology and systems biology methodologies and study local and systemic responses. On one hand, we will study the endophyte physiology in situ, in planta and on the field. On the other hand, using a multilevel experimental design, including transcriptomics and epigenomics levels, combined with confocal imaging and tissue microdissection, we will obtain the spatially-resolved plant response to endophytes. To better understand how the endophytes are influencing potato immune system systemically, the performance of plants colonised with endophytes will be tested in interaction with potato virus Y, the most economically important viral pathogen of potato and Colorado potato beetle, the most devastating insect pest. We will thus evaluate the potential beneficial effects of endophytes on building defense potential against pathogens and pests. Data will be integrated and hypotheses on mechanisms of interaction between plant and its endophyte generated through statistical modeling and network analyses. The hypotheses will be validated in specifically designed experimental setup. In summary, the proposed project will provide a breakthrough in understanding the potato-microbiome interaction and will guide the research towards new strategies for sustainable agriculture.
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