Slovak Research and Development Agency and VEGA


Slovak Research and Development Agency

 

The application of myrosinase for sulforaphane activation in development of a novel product exhibiting cancer prevention effects
(APVV-16-0439, 2017-2020)

Effects of sulphoraphane on cencer prevention was already proven. Sulforaphane is often presents in food at the non-effective level for fulfillment the prevention effects. In addition, the natural glucosinolate form of sulforaphane, glucorafanine, is much less effective, therefore its activation to sulforaphane is needed. This conversion is catalysed by enzyme, myrosinase (EC 3.2.1.147). Aim of the current project is to design the new product based on sulforaphane-glucosinolate and stabilized myrosinase as combine product.
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Ján Salaj, DrSc.


Studying the effect of different nutritional conditions on the accumulation of toxic elements in wheat

(APVV-15-0051, 2016-2020)
The proposed project addresses the impact of two important environmental contaminants on plants at present, namely the presence of toxic metals, excessive amounts / concentrations of nitrogen and their combinations. Both factors are the result of the development of industry, agriculture and chemical production that are associated with a large number of pollutants, primarily sulfur oxides, nitrogen, carbon emissions and heavy metals. Knowledge about plant defense mechanisms against these factors is limited. Especially the effects of excessive fertilization on accumulation of metals as well as on the plants themselves are at deeper levels little studied. The project will address this issue comprehensively through the study of antioxidant enzymes and quantitative/qualitative changes in profiles of typical plant defense proteins. In parallel line of project we will characterize a set of varieties of wheat grown in Slovakia for genetic potential to accumulate cadmium using available molecular markers. The project will generate new knowledge about the molecular background of plant responses to relatively little studied types of stress. These will be evaluated for potential use as markers for tolerance /sensitivity to metal toxicity or excessive application of fertilizers. Knowledge on the effect of increasing concentrations of nitrogen to plants and their defense capacity will be useful for the management of fertilizer application in agriculture. The project will also contribute to the characterization of wheat germplasm from Slovakia in terms of potential health risk when grown on contaminated territories.
Project leader: Ing. Jana Moravčíková, PhD.

Understanding of plant adaptation in the radioactive Chernobyl area
(APVV-0740-11; 2012-2015)
Project leader: Mgr. Martin Hajduch, PhD.


Biological diversity of wheat, improvement for adaptability under global change and use of organic agriculture
(APVV-0197-10, 2011-2014)

Project leader: Mgr. Ildikó Matušíková, PhD.


Study of essential oil content in tissue culture of some Mentha species
(LPP 0026-09, 2009-2011)
Project leader: RNDr. Anna Preťová, DrSc.


Study of cellular events during embryo formation in situ and in vitro conditions in maize and arabidopsis
(APVV-0115, 2008-2010)

Project leader: RNDr. Anna Preťová, DrSc.


Genetic diversity of the hybrid swarm populations o
f
Pinus mugo x Pinus sylvestris in Slovakia as revealed by the isozyme molecular markers and chloroplast DNA
(APVT, 2005-2007)
Project leader:
RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Innovative biotechnological approaches towards improving the quality of flax breeding
(APVT, 2004-2006)
Project leader: Ing. Andrea Hricová, PhD.


VEGA (Scientific Grant Agency of Ministery of Education, Science, Research and Sport of Slovak Republic and Slovak Academy of Sciences)


Hybrid swarms of Scots pine and mountain dwarf pine in Slovakia

(VEGA 2/0063/17, 2017-2019)
The project is oriented towards experimental verification of hybridological relationship between Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and mountain dwarf pine (Pinus mugo Turra). Within putative hybrid swarms of these species in northern Slovakia, the extent of introgressive hybridization with the parental species mentiontd above will be determined. Except for the classical approaches of artificial hybridization, the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) is expected to be used in verification of both the interspecific and intraspecific hybrids of these pines. The degree of genetic divergence between hybrid swarms and natural populations of both parental species will be determined using cpDNA and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. The project aims in validation of the hybrid nature of the putative hybrid swarms on the localities in Zuberec - Medzi Bormi, Suchá Hora and Terchová - Sokolie all of which are taken for rare endemites on our territory.
Project leader:  RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Carnivorous plants - prospective source of genes for hydrolytic enzymes with antifungal potential

(VEGA 2/0075/17, 2017-2019)
Chitinases play a role in the development and physiology of plants and in stress responses. The model object of this project is a carnivorous plant, Drosera rotundifolia L., from which the gene for chitinase (DrChit) involved in digestive processes of prey was isolated. As chitinous cell wall of fungal pathogens is also degraded by chitinases that are expressed during the plant defense, the DrChit has a potential use in biotechnology aimed at the plant resistance reinforcement. Here we focus on the isolation and purification of DrChit protein, its biochemical characterization and antifungal potential determination. Next, we will isolate and characterize the other genes with the carnivorous expression profile. To clarify the role of chitinases in defense, the chitinase expression profiles in embryogenic cultures of conifers exposed to abiotic stress will be evaluated as well. We suppose these results may contribute to the development of strategies for plant resistance to stress by genetic engineering approach.
Project leader: Ing. Jana Libantová, CSc.


Micropropagation and cryopreservation of less known small fruit species

(VEGA 2/0052/17, 2017-2019)
Berry fruits are characterized by high nutritional value and are considered as nutraceutical food. In spite of the increasing demand for berry fruits on the market their cultivation is not spread in Slovakia because of the lack of planting material of wider cultivar assortment and its high price. Rapid and profitable clonal propagation of planting material is possible to reach using tissue cultures. The project will be focused i) on elaboration of systems for micropropagation of some introduced less known small fruit species (Vaccinium, Rubus, Lonicera, Amelanchier spp.) utilizable in large-scale propagation of planting material; ii) on development of protocol for long-term storage of small fruit genetic resources by cryopreservation; iii) on testing of genetic fidelity of in vitro derived and after cryopreservation regenerated plants using molecular markers, what enables to evaluate suitability of elaborated protocols for their application for routine propagation and long-term storage of genetic resources.
Project leader: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.

Studying of the function of dehydrin genes from Arabidopsis thaliana in the tolerance to selected types of abiotic stresses
(VEGA 2/0035/17, 2017-2019)
Due to the changes in the environment, plants are increasingly exposed to different types of abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, low temperature or the presence of heavy metals. A part of plant response is a modulation of the cellular metabolism and production of a wide range of proteins including dehydrins. Dehydrins are hydrophilic proteins that are induced mainly under of low temperature or dehydration. The mechanism of their action has not been clarified yet. The work is aimed to study the effect of constitutive expression of Arabidopsis dehydrin genes At1g54410, At2g21490 and At3g50970 on the tolerance of transgenic tobacco plants against selected types of abiotic stresses, and their combinations. Their structures contain histidine-rich regions that have potential to bind free metals; therefore, it could contribute to increased tolerance to heavy metals. At the same time we will study the extent to which the overexpression of dehydrin genes interact with other components of plant defense.
Project leader: Ing. Jana Moravčíková, PhD.

Study of selected physiological and molecular factors involved in regeneration and growth of parasitic weeds of Phelipanche spp.
(VEGA 2/0138/17, 2017-2019)
Parasitic plants of Phelipanche, Orobanche and Striga spp. belong to economically important plant pathogens with negative impact on agriculture. They are causing an annual loss of more then 7 billion US$. After germination these parasitic plants attach to the root system of host plants and acquire water and all nutrients from the host. There is no effective method to eliminate these weeds at present. Therefore the scientists focus their research on identification of genes and mechanisms involved in interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts. The main goal of this project is study of factors influencing growth and regeneration of Phelipanche spp. under in vitro conditions. This knowledge together with developed protocols for Phelipanche genetic transformation will allow to study functions of genes involved in parasite-host interactions and help in development of novel methods for the selective control of root parasitic weeds.
Project leader: RNDr. Radoslava Matúšová, PhD.


Molecular methods in breeding of naturally gluten free amaranth
(VEGA 2/0041/16, 2016-2018)
The efficient and high-throughput methods of current biology significantly reduce plant breeding process and allow to very precisely define valuable original plant material that can be obtained also by using modern biotechnology approaches. These tools are great value to support conventional breeding for sustainable food production especially under the climate change and meet demand over growing human population. By coupling these modern approaches we will contribute to knowledge on genome and proteome of amaranth (Amaranthus sp.), naturally gluten-free pseudocereal with exceptional nutrition attributes, that is becoming more recognized and appreciated in a diet. Main purpose of the project will be extensive characterization of first Slovak amaranth variety PRIBINA as well as the other mutants previously generated by mutation breeding. Based on positively changed traits we will select another mutant lines, insert them to variety evaluation process to be registered as new varieties.
Project leader: Ing. Andrea Hricová, PhD.

Testing of genes for specific hydrolytic enzymes in plant transgenesis in order to use them to strengthen defense against pathogens
(VEGA 2/0090/14, 2014-2016)
Project leader: Ing. Jana Libantová, CSc.


Regeneration and clonal propagation of Rubus and Prunus spp. under in vitro conditions

(VEGA 2/0140/14, 2014-2016)
Project leader: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.


Proteomics mapping of clinically relevant proteins in wheat grain

(VEGA 2/0016/14, 2014-2016)
Project leader: Mgr. Martin Hajduch, PhD.


Optimization of somatic embryogenesis in conifer trees

(VEGA 2/0136/14, 2014-2016)
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Ján Salaj, DrSc.


Exploitation of modern biotechnologies in amaranth breeding programme

(VEGA 2/0066/13, 2013-2015)
Project leader: Ing. Andrea Hricová, PhD.


Hybrid swarm populations of Scots pine and dwarf pine in Slovakia, genetic status and fertility

(VEGA 2/0057/13, 2013-2015)
Project leader: RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Volatile oil production in in vitro cultures of peppermint and the proteomics analyses of cultures

(VEGA 2/0075/12, 2012-2014)
Project leader: prof. doc. RNDr. Anna Preťová, DrSc.


Interspecific hybrids of pines and firs in Slovakia, their status and description
(VEGA 2/0076/09, 2011-2013)
Project leader: RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Development of efficient protocol for genetic manipulation of Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel
(VEGA 2/0139/11, 2011-2013)
Project leader: RNDr. Radoslava Matúšová, PhD.


The elucidation of plant adaptation in contaminated Chernobyl area
(VEGA 2/0126/11, 2011-2013)
Project leader: Mgr. Martin Hajduch, PhD.


Propagation in vitro and genetic transformation of less spread species of small fruits
(VEGA 2/0040/11, 2011-013)
Project leader: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.


Study of the defense responses of soybean (Glycine max L.) against ions of selected heavy metals
(VEGA 2/0062/11, 2011-2013)
Project leader: Mgr. Ildikó Matušíková, PhD.

Exploitation of genomics and proteomics approaches in chracaterization of amaranth mutant lines
(VEGA 2/0109/09, 2009-2011)

Project leader:
Ing. Andrea Hricová, PhD.


Long-term maintenance of embryogenic tissues by the method of cryopreservation
(VEGA, 2008-2010)
Project leader: RNDr. Terézia Salaj, CSc.


The study of efficiency of selectable marker gene removal via Cre/lox technology in transgenic plants
(VEGA, 2008-2010)
Project leader: Ing. Jana Moravčíková, PhD.


Development of efficient regeneration and transformation protocols in selected cultivars of small fruits (
Rubus sp. and Vaccinium spp.)
(VEGA, 2008-2010)
Project leader: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.


Genetic structure and reproduction potential of the primeval forests of silver fir in Slovakia
(VEGA, 2006-2008)
Project leader: RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Genetic improvement of selected cultivars of grain amaranth important for sustainable agriculture and production of high quality food
(VEGA, 2005-2007)
Project leader: RNDr. Alena Gajdošová, CSc.


Optimization of somatic embryogenesis of model plants and the role of extracellular proteins in this process
(VEGA, 2002-2004)
Project leader: doc. RNDr. J. Salaj, DrSc.


Identification and isolation of genes encoding proteins with potential antifungal activity from sundew
(VEGA, 2005-2007)
Project leader: Ing. Jana Libantová, CSc.


Genetic diversity and reproduction of some species of forest trees (Abies and Pinus sp.)
(VEGA, 2003-2005)
Project leader: RNDr. Andrej Kormuťák, DrSc.


Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation of embryogenic tissues of selected conifer species
(VEGA, 2005-2007)
Project leader: RNDr. Terézia Salaj, CSc.