Projects / Programmes source: ARIS


Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.04  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology  Plant physiology 

Code Science Field
B310  Biomedical sciences  Physiology of vascular plants 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
Ionome, mineral nutrients, metals, mycorrhiza, food, phytoremediation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  08277  PhD Jože Bavcon  Biology  Researcher  2012 - 2013  1,324 
2.  05222  PhD Alenka Gaberščik  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2013  823 
3.  15122  PhD Mateja Germ  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2013  598 
4.  15648  PhD Matjaž Kavčič  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2014  242 
5.  31970  PhD Špela Koren Bačovnik  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2013  68 
6.  00950  PhD Ivan Kreft  Plant production  Researcher  2011 - 2012  910 
7.  23964  Milena Kubelj    Technical associate  2011 - 2014 
8.  02587  PhD Peter Kump  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2014  240 
9.  20428  PhD Matevž Likar  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  283 
10.  10677  PhD Marijan Nečemer  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  350 
11.  12314  PhD Primož Pelicon  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2014  586 
12.  35156  PhD Mateja Potisek  Plant production  Researcher  2012 - 2014  39 
13.  12013  PhD Marjana Regvar  Biology  Head  2011 - 2014  537 
14.  35228  PhD Tinkara Rozina  Control and care of the environment  Technical associate  2012  49 
15.  21623  PhD Katarina Vogel Mikuš  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  616 
16.  16381  PhD Nada Žnidaršič  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  243 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,408 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,962 
The complete mineral nutrient and trace element composition of an organism or tissue is represented by the ionome, the inorganic component of organisms. As such it has the ability to reflect information about the functional state of an organism as a consequence of changes driven by different biotic and abiotic factors. In the present proposal, studies of the ionome will be applied to the selected commercially important mycorrhizal plant species with the common aim to elucidate and modify the underlying mechanisms of interactions between mineral nutrients and non-essential elements, plants and fungi for the benefits in the areas of production of safe and high quality food. The project is divided into three work packages related to plant food quality and safety as important fields in ionomics aiming: i) to find more efficient technological solutions for biofortification of cereal/pseudoceleal crops, with emphasis on studies of elemental uptake and distribution in selected mycorrhizal cereal/pseudocereal crops; ii) to determine the factors contributing to essential nutrient and unwanted metal contaminant uptake in wines, with stress on the role of beneficial fungal symbionts and iii) to improve our understanding of mechanisms of metal competition with essential nutrients and unwanted metal immobilization within plant tissues and cells of metal hyperaccumulating plants, with emphasis on the studies of the relations between distribution of the main structural and functional biomolecules and metals. Studies of ionomics requires the application of high-through output analysis technologies to systematically detect, define and monitor factors affecting uptake, transport, distribution and chemical state of elements within plant organs, tissues and cells. In addition to standard analytical techniques for quantitative analysis of elements as energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXRF) and total reflection X-ray spectroscopy (TXRF) of soil and plant tissues, technically advanced X-ray fluorescence and absorption based techniques, such as micro-proton induced X ray emission (micro-PIXE), synchrotron radiation micro X-ray fluorescence (SR mikro-XRF) and synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption spectroscopy (SR XAS) will be employed for element localization and determination of the metal chemical state studies, while in the studies of localization and distribution of the main structural and functional biomolecules, synchrotron radiation Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (SR FTIR) will be applied.
Significance for science
Sustainable crop production aims at improving productivity, satisfying global needs for food and minimizing environmental impact. Merging these objectives into one goal we have analysed the mecahnisms of metal accumulation in plants with outstanding metal accumulation abilities (hiperaccumulating plants) and applied the acqured knowledge to improve elemental composition of plants used for food and feed. The excelency of the project was achieved by bringing together scientists from difering disciplins, including biology, agronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, from diverse institutions all over the world, which is recognized by the authorships of the publications of research group. In order to make significant progress in the field state-of-the art technology at hand at Jožef Stefan Institute and Sinchrotron facilities Elettra and Grenoble was applied. This allowed for novel insights into plant biology with some outstanding achievements in the fields of plant biology, biotechnology, food and enviromental sciences, which were published in the course of the project. In total, more than 30 original scientific articles from all three workpackages were published in highly ranking journals. The most outstandingly cited is the article in Journal of Experimental Botany (Regvar et al. 2011) with current 36 citations (Web of Science). One of the articles is listed among the outstanding achievements (A''), 11 among highly relevant (A'), and 20 among important (A1/2, SICRIS).
Significance for the country
Food quality and safety issues in Slovenia can be improved by providing sufficient areas dedicated to agricultural use and maintainig natural fertiliy of these lands. This can only be achieved by sustainable land management practice. On two examples, cereal and pseudocereal grain production and wineyard management, that sustainable approaches are feasible in the quality food and feed production. In particular, the transformation from conventional to organic land management practice may provide benefits in terms of high quality food and food products. However, this transition is not without drawbecs, that are commonly observed in terms of lower yields and high suscebility to pests and diseases particularly severe during transition period. Particular care should be put on the remediation of soil with beneficial soil microorganisms. In addition, more efforts are needed to introduce novel trechnologies for healthier food production. The results of our work were promoted in numerous local and international journals as well as on conferences, both scientific and professional. In addtion, education of students of biology, biotechnology and education programmes on all three university levels are an important part of our achievements. Two PhD students, one MSc and numerous diploma students finished their work in the frame of the project.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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