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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Funkcionalna analiza proteinov za odpornost proti suši ali žuželkam (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.01  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Agricultural plants 

Code Science Field
4.04  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agricultural biotechnology 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  05265  PhD Jože Brzin  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2009  222 
2.  27502  PhD Meti Buh Gašparič  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  46 
3.  25974  PhD Cene Gostinčar  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009 - 2010  340 
4.  12688  PhD Kristina Gruden  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  992 
5.  05935  PhD Nina Gunde-Cimerman  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009  1,267 
6.  24288  PhD Metka Lenassi  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2009 - 2010  206 
7.  18845  Milena Marušič    Technical associate  2011 - 2012 
8.  19119  PhD Mojca Milavec  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  318 
9.  06777  PhD Ana Plemenitaš  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  379 
10.  26507  PhD Jure Pohleven  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  75 
11.  23576  PhD Jerica Sabotič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  323 
12.  23963  PhD Silva Sonjak  Biotechnology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  58 
13.  18510  PhD Martina Turk  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  195 
14.  03765  PhD Jana Žel  Biotechnology  Head  2009 - 2012  619 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,478 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,992 
3.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,762 
4.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  67,277 
Significance for science
The aim of the project was to find new approaches for crop improvement. Climate changes and insect pests are threatening plant crop production. Drought and salinity and insect’s resistance against pesticides on the other hand are reducing crop production, which results in economic losses. In our research project we focused on new approaches to cope with those problems- with fungal genes for plant protection. Fungi represent rich, but not quite examined source of genes. Halophilic fungi which live in extremely salt environments represent a gene source for resistance against salinity and drought. Certain edible mushrooms are known for being rarely attacked by insect pests. Those two groups of organisms were used as a gene source for plant protection. In halotolerant black yeast Aureobasidium pullulans and halophilic fungi Wallemia ichthyophaga region coding for 3'-phosphoadenosin-5'-fosfatases (PAP) genes were determined. PAP is a key element for salt tolerance in those organisms. Proteins lectin Cnl and clitocypin from mushroom Clitocybe nebularis and macrocypin from Macrolepiota procera, were selected. All chosen proteins were additionally biochemically characterized and regions coding for those genes were adjusted for plant expression system. Those proteins were successfully expressed in plants and their function was maintained- it was proved by physiological experiments. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants with increased salt resistance level and transgenic potato plants with increased Colorado potato beetle resistance level were acquired. In the scope of the project many scientific breakthroughs were achieved. Many fungal proteins for plant stress resistance were characterized. Firstly fungal genes were chosen; their sequences were determined and adapted for plant expression. Additionally, with functional genomics approach and with the use of molecular or biochemical techniques, mechanism of selected proteins was evaluated. Many high impact papers (including A' in A'') were published during the project.
Significance for the country
Project was dealing with a very acute problem of pest resistance and tolerance to saline soil and draught. Global warming and climate changes resulting in higher temperatures and consequently less water availability are predicted. Another problem is that the consequence of irrigation is salinization. Draught and high saline soils are reality in many agricultural areas in the world, and can be – due to climate changes – expected also in temperate climate zones, including Slovenia. First signs of this problem are rising in Prekmurje and also in other areas of Slovenia. Similarly, insects are one of the main reasons for crop yields reduction and their impact might increase in certain area with the climate change. Research on newly discovered proteins with potential pesticide activity and ones important for salt/drought tolerance will have gained important new information and knowledge which might lead to further development and commercialization of drought/saline/insect resistant plants in the future. Important fact is also that some of the fungi, which are the source of investigated proteins, were isolated from Sečoveljske soline- important natural habitat of Slovenia. National Institute of Biology was nominated as the National reference laboratory for detection of GMOs from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. Laboratory is providing analysis for official control of GMOs in food, feed and seeds for inspection services and other customers. Transgenic plants have been used in the project; therefore the researchers included in the project have obtained additional knowledge on GM plants, including new technologies and new approaches. Because this field is developing very quickly, our researchers with their expertise are members of Scientific committee for the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment and placing products on the market as well as Scientific Committee for work with GMOs in closed systems. Our expertise is important for risk assessments needed in decision making for applications of new genetically modified organisms to be put on the EU market or in research and release in Slovenia. In the project four highly qualified Slovene research organizations have joined their efforts. All of them have international reputation in their field of research and cooperate with many international institutions. Therefore joining all our knowledge and international experiences has resulted in additional value. Results of the project have been presented on different international forums and conferences promoting achievements of Slovenian science. In the project many young researchers and diploma students have been educated. Besides, the knowledge has been transferred to the students by project participants during the regular lectures at different subjects at the University, since some of the project participants have university habilitation and participate at pedagogical processes at different studies.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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