Departments of the Institute
Department of Botany
Department of Cell Biology
Department of Animal Physiology
DEPARTMENT OF GENETICS
Department of Zoology
Laboratory of Molecular-
Department of Biology Education
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DEPARTMENT OF GENETICS - RESEARCH
Regulation of hypericin biosynthesis in the genus Hypericum
Hypericin and its derivatives represent interesting photodynamic pigments which are produced from among the higher plants exclusively by some representatives of the genus Hypericum. Despite their increasing significance with perspective use in photodynamic therapy and diagnostics of some cancer, genetic and epigenetic aspects of regulation of their biosynthesis in planta remain uncovered. Genes coding for key enzymes in hypericin biosynthesis are identified and validated actually.
Biotechnology as an alternative of secondary metabolite production in the genus Hypericum
Along with secondary metabolism biosynthetic studies in the genus Hypericum and spatial-temporal regulation we focus on biotechnological approaches aimed at induction and/or increasing production of these substances in different plant cells and tissues in vitro incl. those that are genetically modified. This study is aimed at the influence of exogenous signals, biotic/abiotic elicitors on biomass and secondary metabolite production. As an essential part, the study of stressors associated with cryogenic treatment is included.
Regulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis in model plant Arabidopsis thaliana
In plants, isoprenoids function as both primary metabolites (phytosterols, chlorophylls, carotenoids, hormones, quinones) that have essential role in physiology and biochemistry of plants and as secondary metabolites that are involved in interaction of plants with their environment. In addition, many isoprenoids are of economical interest as drugs (anticancer drug taxol, antimalarial drug artemisinin, antidepressant hyperforin), nutraceuticals (vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10), flavors (limonene, menthol, steviol), fragrances (geraniol, limonene), pigments (carotenoids and xanthophills), agrochemicals or desinfectants (terpene essential oils). Isoprenoids could potentially become also a source for the development of new biofuels. Understanding the isoprenoid flux regulation in plants can thus facilitate molecular breeding and genetic engineering to improved crop yield and food quality. Moreover, genetic engineering of crops and microbial organisms can also contribute to the production of economically valuable plant terpenoids.
Knowing the essential components of the isorpenoid network and understanding regulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis is essential for pathway engineering. We currently have three major lines of research in the lab: