Department of Genetics and Reproduction Biology

Head of department: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.


Scientific Staff:

RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.

RNDr. Terézia Salaj, DrSc.

doc. RNDr. Ján Salaj, DrSc.

Ing. Andrea Hricová, PhD.

Mgr. Júlia Hunková, PhD.

Ing. Veronika Lancíková, PhD.

Ing. Monika Szabóová, PhD.

Mgr. Veronika Mistríková, PhD.

RNDr. Martin Galgóci, PhD.


PhD. students:

Mgr. Miroslav Klobučník


Technical Staff:

Helena Ďuricová

Ivana Galbičková

Margita Pavčírová


Department of Genetics and Reproduction Biology (DGRB) is focused on the following tasks:

1. The study of population biodiversity and hybridological relationships using biochemical and DNA markers and study of the woody species adaptation to rapidly changing environmental conditions

The population studies are primarily oriented on the genetic structure of the fir populations in Slovakia as well as on the hybrid swarms of Scots pine and Mountain pine in the north of country. Estimation of the extent of introgressive hybridization between above mentioned parental species is matter of interest. The approaches used for study are conventional method of interspecific pollination and analysis of population genetic structure using cpDNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear microsatellite DNA along with some morphometric characteristics of the needles. Considerable attention is also paid to the hybrid swarm fertility of the above mentioned pine species. In the case of interspecific hybrids of firs (Abies sp.), their morphology and metabolic potential under conditions of environmental stress is assessed.

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2. Clonal propagation of promising interspecific fir hybrids and other conifers through somatic embryogenesis and economically significant species of small fruits under in vitro conditions

In the issue of forest trees, a research is oriented on the induction of somatic embryogenesis from immature and mature zygotic embryos of the species Pinus nigra and interspecific hybrids of firs (Abies sp.) as in vitro method suitable for mass propagation of plants, especially conifers. The investigation of molecular processes occurring during somatic embryogenesis, mainly on proteomic level, is part of the research activities. Somatic embryogenesis is also a useful system to study the transfer of genes by the use of biolistic and Agrobacterium tumefaciens approaches.

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Research of small fruits is concentrated on the development of efficient protocols for in vitro regeneration and micropropagation in selected cultivars of non-traditional small fruit species. The objects of the research are varieties of valuable less known species having importance in the human diet, such as species of the genus Vaccinium, Rubus, Amelanchier, Actinidia and Lonicera. Multiplication of axillary shoots from dormant buds and adventitious regeneration are among the most used techniques for the rapid and effective micropropagation of plants for practical use and create also a system for the application of genetic engineering. Some varieties of these species introduced to Slovakia are suitable for the cultivation as alternative unconventional species of small fruits.

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3. Development of techniques for long-term conservation of genetic resources of forest and fruit trees, including the embryogenic tissue of studied species, by cryopreservation

Research is oriented to the development of protocols for the successful cryopreservation of the embryogenic tissue of conifers and in vitro material of small fruits using slow freezing or vitrification method followed by study of physiological, structural parameters and genetic stability of the cryopreserved tissue. The aim is long-term conservation of rare genetic resources (e.g. obtained hybrid firs and in vitro propagules of selected fruit varieties) for further use in the breeding and propagation.

4.  Multidisciplinary research of new genetic resources of amaranth with emphasis  on  their food and environmental utilization

In the past, the multidisciplinary research focused on the improvement of quality and quantity production of amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) as an important pseudocereal has been establish in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. As a result of this research using radiation mutagenesis is collection of valuable mutant lines and two varieties "Pribina" a "Zobor" registered in 2013 and 2015. These new genetic resources are analyzed on the genetic, biochemical, and molecular level using modern -omics technologies. Such a comprehensive characterization can help to implement new genetic resources into praxis. Considerable attention is paid to the study of amaranth adaptability to environmental stresses – from molecular to ecophysiological aspects.

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