The Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology PSBC SAS is the only Institute within the frame of the Section II „Life, Chemical, Medical and Environmental Sciences" with main orientation to study of genetic patterns of plant growth and development as well as plant biotechnology. The aim of our research is to increase the plant production and adaptation to changing environment conditions. Owing to the worsen environment on the Earth, the emphasis is laid on the study of negative impacts of environmental factors on plant production and nature protection. A broad scale of approaches are used in current research activity involving molecular biology, genetic engineering, in vitro techniques and different -omics technologies. The knowledge obtained so far is implemented in introduction of new genetic and biotechnological processes in agricultural plant production improvement. In case of forest trees, an increase of their tolerance towards environmental stresses and better growth performance is achieved by producing new hybrids.

The scientific policy of the Institute is preferentially oriented towards areas:
1) research and professional growth of staff
2) pedagogical activities
3) the transfer of results into practice

1) The first area is focused on the research activities, i.e., on gaining of new scientific information publishing of the obtained results in the international scientific journals and on further improving of publications quality expressed by journal IF and citation response to the published papers.
In this way, the Institute is seeking not only for professional reputation, but is also streaming to the development of active international cooperation with related scientific institutions in Slovakia and abroad. As a consequence, such cooperation leads to the acquisition of international grant funding contributing to the improvement of scientific outputs. The quality of scientific work is closely related to the personnel policy of the Institute - higher professional qualification of individual researchers means necessary new guarantees of the PhD students, or advisers and project managers for the Institute.

2) Increasing of professional qualification of scientific staff at the IPGB PSBC SAS brings another benefit for the Institute - their participation on the teaching activities at Slovak universities. These activities are carried out in the form of supervising of student training activities, bachelor and diploma theses and, in particular, as supervisors of PhD the students who are actively involved in the current projects solved at the Institute. The IPGB PSBC SAS has acquired the accreditation as an external educational institution in scientific disciplines 4.2.4 Genetics (2014-2016-2020), 5.2.25 Biotechnology (2010-2016) and 6.1.18 Agrobiotechnology (2016-2020). In the frame of the PhD study the IPGB PSBC SAS collaborates with Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra and University of Constantine The Philosopher in Nitra. The best PhD students and post-doctoral researchers at the Institute are actively supported by the management of the Institute in obtaining postdoc positions abroad to promote their further scientific and professional growth.

3) Although the principal activities of the Institute are focused on basic research and publishing the attention is also paid to the transfer of acquired knowledge into practice. At the IPGB, the transfer of scientific knowledge into practice is carried out via contractual cooperation with some enterprises of the economic sphere (e.g. Wellberry company, The Forests of the Slovak Republic - State enterprise) to which the improved plants obtained under laboratory in vitro conditions (hybrid firs, plants of small fruits,) are provided for further evaluation and cultivation under natural conditions. Recently, a major output of the Institute for the practice was registration of the first new variety of amaranth in Slovakia and granting the Breeder's Certificate on Amaranthus cruentus, cultivar ´Pribina´. Thanks to above breeder´s success the Minister of Agriculture awarded the Institute a "Golden sickle" on the International Exhibition "Agrokomplex 2015".

A considerable contribution to the transfer of theoretical knowledge into practice has been activated in cooperation with the partners Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra and University of Constantine The Philosopher in Nitra resulting in successful completion of the EU Structural Funds project (ITMS 26220220180) "Creation of the Research Centre AgroBioTech" in 2015. The project had two objectives: a) establishment of the material and technical bases for applied research in the field of plant biotechnology and b) implementation of applied research in plant biotechnology in Slovakia whose main task is supposed to be just the transfer of knowledge into practice.

The Institute is a regular organizer of international symposia and conferences in the area of its research. The Certificate awarded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic entitles the Institute to undertake retraining education under the title "Higher forms of education in plant biotechnology".

IPGB PSBC SAS, as the only academic institution in the Slovak Republic in the field of plant biotechnology, focuses primarily on these research activities:

In the field of genetics and breeding of forest trees and agricultural crops:

  • the study of population biodiversity and hybridological relationships using biochemical and DNA markers as well as the study of the adaptation of the woody plant species to rapidly changing environmental conditions
  • the development of in vitro clonal propagation techniques for the perspective  interspecific hybrids of the firs and other conifers by somatic embryogenesis and micropropagation of  economically significant species of small fruits
  • the development of techniques for a long-term conservation of genetic resources of forest and fruit trees including embryogenic tissue of studied species using cryopreservation techniques
  • the mutation breeding and selection of the amaranth mutation lines for food purposes

In the field of molecular biology and genetic transformation:

  • genetic transformation of plants in order to improve the quality and the resistance of the  agricultural crops and woody species to environmental (a/biotic) stresses with the emphasis  on environmental safety/security of GMOs as well as the study of factors affecting transgene expression
  • study of phenotypic and molecular variability of plant genetic resources

In the field of reproductive biology of plants:

  • investigation of plant reproductive system in vitro and in vivo - study of zygotic, gametic and somatic embryogenesis
  • study of plant defense responses to stress conditions evaluating morphological and cytological aspects which play a crucial role in these processes using functional genomics and proteomics
  • development of quantitative proteomic methods (both 2-D and gel-free approach) and their use for the determination of various protein components  

In the field of expertise and analytical services that IPGB PSBC SAS can provide to ministries and other public authorities:

  • progressive biotechnologies in agriculture to ensure the production of healthy food
  • determination of allergens in food using functional proteomics
  • plant responses to environmental stress factors, improving the quality and resistance of the agricultural crops and woody species using biotechnological approaches