Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Plant Physiolgy and Biotechnolgy

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.06.00  Biotechnical sciences  Biotechnology   
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.05.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biochemistry and molecular biology   
4.03.00  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production   

Code Science Field
T490  Technological sciences  Biotechnology 
Bacteria, biochemistry, biotechnology, electron microscopy, hormones, insects, molecular methods, phytoplasmas, plant-pathogen interactions, plant-pest interaction, plant physiology, secondary metabolites, tissue cultures, viruses.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19116  PhD Špela Baebler  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  313 
2.  22361  PhD Martina Bergant Marušič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  107 
3.  22614  PhD Jana Boben  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2006  82 
4.  27502  PhD Meti Buh Gašparič  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  46 
5.  22504  PhD Lorena Butinar  Biology  Researcher  2008  131 
6.  08276  PhD Marjana Camloh  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004  155 
7.  23607  PhD Katarina Cankar  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2004 - 2006  88 
8.  28333  PhD Urška Čepin  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  50 
9.  29616  PhD David Dobnik  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2008  315 
10.  23611  PhD Tanja Dreo  Biotechnology  Researcher  2008  507 
11.  12688  PhD Kristina Gruden  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  985 
12.  27827  PhD Jon Gutierrez Aguirre  Biotechnology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  363 
13.  23606  PhD Matjaž Hren  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  114 
14.  25523  PhD Polona Kogovšek  Biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  216 
15.  04333  PhD Maja Kovač  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  204 
16.  19120  PhD Hana Krečič Stres  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2006  50 
17.  18344  Lidija Matičič    Technical associate  2004 - 2008  42 
18.  20397  PhD Veronika Okršlar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004  22 
19.  29617  PhD Marko Petek  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2008  168 
20.  10263  PhD Nataša Petrovič  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2006  161 
21.  24505  PhD Manca Pirc  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  210 
22.  18467  PhD Maruša Pompe Novak  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  291 
23.  05229  PhD Maja Ravnikar  Biotechnology  Head  2004 - 2008  1,369 
24.  27503  PhD Ana Rotter  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  328 
25.  22582  PhD Nataša Toplak  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2004 - 2006  169 
26.  17107  PhD Irma Vuk  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2004 - 2006  90 
27.  03765  PhD Jana Žel  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  619 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,239 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,055 
In the frame of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology program we shall investigate the following areas: 1. Physiology of plant-pathogen and -pest interactions and the biology of microorganisms 2. Development of modern biotechnological approach in phytodiagnosis and production of secondary metabolites in tissue culture 1. Our research will be concentrated mainly on the investigation of interaction between agronomical important plants (potato, corn, vegetables, grape vine, fruit trees), pathogens (like viruses and bacteria) and pests. We shall also investigate the response of plants to phytoplasmas, which were found to be very important and commonly spread plant pathogens. Phytoplasma-plant interaction is poorly known and difficult to study because of phytoplasmas uneven distribution in plants, slow transmition from plant to plant and difficult identification. For study the mechanism of plant response to pathogens and pests the biochemical, molecular and histological approachs will be used. Expression of defence-related genes will be studied by modern molecular methods like real time PCR and cDNA microarrays, the later allows the simultaneous analyses of the expression of hundreds of genes. In order to find the genes coding for proteins specifically related to the resistance of investigated plants to viruses, we shall choose sensitive and resistant varieties including transgenic lines. In proposed investigation signal molecules, like plant hormones and reactive oxygen species known to be involved in expression of defence-related genes, will be studied. 2. For realisation of EU and Slovene legislation in the field of genetically modified organisms (GMO) the modern methods for GMO detection are needed. Some of them are already available and are used for routine detection while others are still in development. In some cases the detection of GMO is very complicated because of food processing, low level of DNA and the new GMOs on the market. In proposed research program the new diagnostic methods will be developed and the effect of different parameters on methods accuracy will be tested. The research will be mainly concentrated on the development of methods for unlicensed GMO detection and the methods for difficult substrates, using real time PCR. In cooperation with BIA Separation company, we shall continue the investigation on plant virus concentration on monolithic chromatographic media (CIM). The methods of microarrays and real time PCR for molecular diagnosis and quantitative and qualitative analysis of gene expression in different systems (plants, microorganisms, vertebrates and avertebrates) will be improved. Plant tissue cultures are important alternative source of secondary metabolites. We shall continue our investigation into production of pharmaceutical plants producing saponins, which are used as expectorants against cough, and bronchitis, and taxans, the important natural cytostatic compounds. Yew cell cultures, producing taxans, will be used for membrane permeability studies and studies of transport of active substances across the plasmalema. Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) is the most economically important source for natural insecticides pyretrines, nowadays interesting because the great demand for more environmentally friendly methods for controlling insects. Using different methods, we shall try to increase the production pyrethrins in tissue culture.
Significance for science
Although knowledge of mechanisms of plant response to biotic stress factors and that of complex interactions between plant pathogenic organisms and their hosts is key to effective production of economically important plants, it is poorly understood. In the program, we studied such interactions with modern molecular biology approaches. Based on the already published results and their citation we can conclude that the impact of our research is high. The obtained knowledge of interactions between plants and their pests is essential for the production of disease resistant agronomically important plants leading to better yields with the minimal usage of pesticides. Our study of diseases caused by plant viruses including the use of microchips was a very pioneering one. With this program we have made an important step towards the development of diagnostic methods of pathogens through the use of real-time PCR and CIM disks. By developing appropriate methods for the determination of genetically modified organisms we are equally include in the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL located in Ispra, Italy), in particular in the preparation of standard reference materials and the determination of illegal GMOs.
Significance for the country
Our research of interaction between the economically important plants and pathogenic organisms included Slovenian varieties of plants, which increases the importance of the results for Slovenia. Modern molecular biology methods for the detection of plant pathogens that have been developed or introduced by our research team, have been largely adapted to the needs of different users, e.g. food producers and traders, and inspectorates. We have provided the expertise to the needs of the public administration, particularly for the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, and Phytosanitary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. We were embedded in different EU projects, both as researchers, as well as assistance to different government bodies in the implementation of laws on entry of Slovenia into the EU and during its presidency to EU. We have participated in the preparation of laws and subordinate regulations on plant protection and genetically modified organisms. In development of the bio-safety system in Slovenia, we provided professional support to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, and other competent government bodies. Members of the program group are involved in the work of scientific committees for risk assessment of genetically modified organisms. Our knowledge of plant transformation technology has been the basis for the accreditation of our laboratory for the determination of genetically modified organisms. In cooperation with a major Slovenian pharmaceutical company and some smaller biotech companies, we have implemented our knowledge on molecular biology techniques (e.g. microchips and real-time PCR) for the analysis of industrial microorganisms. Members of the program team are also involved in training of students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels of various studies, especially biology, microbiology, agriculture and biotechnology.
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