Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Plant Biology

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   

Code Science Field
B270  Biomedical sciences  Plant ecology 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28204  Dragan Abram    Technician  2013 - 2016  17 
2.  17078  PhD Sabina Anžlovar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  62 
3.  21778  PhD Martina Bačič  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  585 
4.  08277  PhD Jože Bavcon  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  1,235 
5.  15456  PhD Jasna Dolenc Koce  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  207 
6.  28500  PhD Nataša Dolinar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2013  34 
7.  05222  PhD Alenka Gaberščik  Natural sciences and mathematics  Principal Researcher  2013 - 2016  820 
8.  15122  PhD Mateja Germ  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  573 
9.  34326  PhD Aleksandra Golob  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2013 - 2016  104 
10.  39096  PhD Mateja Grašič  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2016  45 
11.  12583  PhD Jernej Jogan  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  523 
12.  38121  PhD Anja Kavčič  Engineering sciences and technologies  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  35 
13.  20070  PhD Aleš Kladnik  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  169 
14.  33135  PhD Katja Klančnik  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  74 
15.  31970  PhD Špela Koren Bačovnik  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2013  62 
16.  35370  PhD Eva Kovačec  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  44 
17.  23964  Milena Kubelj    Technician  2013 - 2016 
18.  20428  PhD Matevž Likar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  265 
19.  32059  PhD Špela Mechora  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2013  73 
20.  19137  Tjaša Pogačnik Lipovec  Biotechnical sciences  Technician  2013 - 2016  11 
21.  35156  PhD Mateja Potisek  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  29 
22.  12013  PhD Marjana Regvar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  530 
23.  21410  PhD Simona Strgulc Krajšek  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  296 
24.  33146  PhD Petra Štrekelj  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2014 - 2015  14 
25.  19589  PhD Tadeja Trošt Sedej  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  90 
26.  21623  PhD Katarina Vogel Mikuš  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  596 
27.  21452  PhD Igor Zelnik  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  222 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,938 
Programme group consists of researchers covering different aspects of plant biology: botany, taxonomy, ecology and physiology. Top priority of the group is biodiversity conservation, which includes the conservation of species and processes, and present a basis for sustainability and maintanence of ecosystem services. Main goals of the programme are: (1) to investigate mechanisms and develop methods that would enable the use of natural resources in sustainable way, (2) to indicate and mitigate the harmful effect of human activity on ecosystems and (3) to improve the quality of our resources. The research plan consists of 5 work packages: biodiversity, stress and extreme habitats, plant development, interactions between organisms and ionomics and biofortification. We will establish high-quality and up-to-date database of ferns and seedplants in Slovenia, which will serve for scientific and professional purposes. We will focus on mapping of alien invasive species in order to establish a quality prediction model for the spread and priorisation of action for eradication of these species. The latter will be supported by investigation of biochemical characteristics of invasive plant species and their interactions with soil microorganisms. For the purpose of improvement of food of plant origin we will perform detailed studies of selected processes in plant development and plant interactions. The findings of the study of abscission of tomato leaves and flowers will contribute to basic knowledge and will be applicable in agriculture and biotechnology for controlled abscission of fruits and manipulation of abscission time. We will develop different methods of biofortification that can become an alternative method to supplement human diet with minerals. We will pay special attention to Se location and speciation, because the effects of selenium depend on its speciation. We will perform broad screening of different plant secondary substances to determine their potential antimicrobial activity that can be used as drug or as preservative in food technology. To indicate and mitigate the harmful effect on ecosystems we aim to investigate the effects of different biotic and abiotic environmental conditions on plants and plant communities, including those caused by pollution and UV-B radiation. We will examine the interaction between organisms and nanoparticles with specific physical and chemical characteristics. We will evaluate the effects of soil fungi and bacteria on the uptake of metals by the plants and estimate their potential usefulness for phytoremediation. We will continue with the investigations of structure and function of the unique Lake Cerknica including the research of optical properties of leaves in species thriving on the hydrological gradient of the ecosystem.
Significance for science
High quality and up-to-date database of distribution of plant species in Slovenia is crucial for biogeographic analyses, including strategic analysis in order to predict spreading of invasive species and for establishing corridors for mitigation of global climate change. Our data, fused with data from the other two large databases of the Slovenian flora, will serve to complete Atlas of Flora of Slovenia. The research of growth and development elucidated different aspects of plant growth. So far, most of the findings on abscission come from studying the abscission of petals in genus Arabidopsis and cannot be directly transferred to crop plant species. The results of our study on tomato significantly contributed to fill in this gap and enables the development of biotechnological control of this process. The knowledge gained on invasive alien plant species and plants that grow in extreme habitats is very important from the point of view of global changes, since these plants are candidates for colonization of cleared, devastated, loaded, and disturbed areas. The research of different traits of plants from the intermittent Lake Cerknica, where frequent and extensive changes of habitats in time and space occur due to water level fluctuations, revealed great phenotypic plasticity of the studied species. Another important finding is also increased frequency of appearance of dark septate endophytes in stressful environments and the role of endophytic fungi in protection against toxic metals. The investigations of the effects of UV radiation increased the understanding of tolerance limits of examined plants and pointed on some positive effects important for survival of stress conditions. Knowledge about causes for variability in light absorbance in aquatic, wetland, and some forest plant species present a basis for interpretation and application of data on reflection spectra for indication of different aspects of plant biology. The new insights into the mechanisms of tolerance to excessive metal concentrations and interactions of plants with rhizosphere microorganisms improved our knowledge of processes in habitats with high metal concentrations. With studies of Hg ligand environment in fungal endophytes, we contributed to a better understanding of phytostabilisation of extremely contaminated sites. We also showed that isolates of dark septate endophytes reduced metal uptake and improved plant physiological response. These findings may contribute to the development of techniques for preventing the uptake of toxic metals in animal and human diet. The research on localization and speciation of selected toxic and essential elements performed in different plant tissues is important from the perspective of biofortification and healthy food production. As plants are the main source of dietary Se, plant Se metabolism is important for Se nutrition in humans and animals. The effects of extracts of alien and native plant species on the plants and microorganisms are poorly understood. Our research improved the knowledge of the importance of these extracts as an alternative to chemical herbicides. The results are necessary for the preparation of strategies to control spreading of the invasive plant species. The outcomes of the studies significantly contributed to the development of science not only in Slovenia, but also worldwide.
Significance for the country
Transfer of knowledge to other sectors and social strata has a positive impact on different aspects and levels of everyday life. From the national perspective, technical and scientific writing in Slovene language is also highly important in view of the development of Slovene terminology. This research programme was an opportunity for students to participate in research processes and also enabled participation of our research team in national and international projects. As a result of our activities, new herbarium specimens were added to the LJU herbarium collection and our field records were directly entered into the Flora of Slovenia Database. LJU herbarium collection and Flora of Slovenia Database are important from the scientific as well as cultural-historical points of view. In addition to that, studies of some unique taxa and ecosystems (intermittent Lake Cerknica) are also of national importance. Results on biodiversity research are directly applicable for nature conservation purposes, for establishment of the strategies of invasive alien species management, and also for the strategy of adaptation of protected areas with high nature conservation value to the impacts of climate change. Our research is also of social importance: it raises the level of knowledge about our flora, the interest in nature conservation values, and the awareness of the risks of invasive alien species. The investigations of stress in plants and extreme habitats are necessary for the improvement of our environment. Research of the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes (DSE) in combination with rhizosphere bacteria is an entirely new research topic for Slovenia. The results of ecological studies of phytoremediation contributed to the improvement of living conditions of the locals from the problematic areas with high metal concentrations in different parts of Slovenia (Mežiška dolina). The use of selected plant species for production of biologically active compounds has a potential in promotion of green workplaces and circular economy. Slovenia is a country with declining food self-supply and has to strengthen agricultural production by seeking products with high added value. We contributed to those aspects with research on abscission in plants and biofortfication. Our research of Se compounds and their transformations in plants is also relevant, since soils in Slovenia and in some other countries are Se deficient. Plants enriched with Se will be the basis for the development of innovative functional food products. The diverse activities of the Botanical Garden enable the preservation of Slovenian flora, education, development of horticultural activities and is important in the science popularization.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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