Department of Biotechnology
The main task of the department is the application of biotechnological methods in basic and applied pest management research. Research activities are focused on the following three issues: biotechnology-driven control of plant diseases caused by phytoplasmas and bacteria, role of reactive oxygen species and programmed cell death in plant disease resistance, and phytoremediation studies.
    The first research field refers to studies on cross-protection effects of pre-infection of host plants with an antagonist strain of Candidatus Phytoplasma mali to induce immunity against closely related, virulent phytoplasmas. Another area is the control of Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight of rosaceous plants, using bacteriophage treatments.
    As a part of the study of reactive oxygen species and programmed cell death in plant disease resistance, the early accumulation of superoxide is used as a biochemical marker for non-host resistance and also for other effective plant resistance forms. In addition, an unexpected, pleiotropic effect of the tobacco resistance gene N that controls Tobaco mosaic virus (TMV) infection was recently discovered: the gene enhanced the susceptibility and programmed cell death during infection by Tobacco necrosis virus (TNV).
    Phytoremediation research activities include studies on rehabilitation of polluted soils with plants and also on biochemical and molecular mechanisms of plant stress resistance to soil pollutants.
 
 
 
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