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Cytogenetics and Molecular Physiology of Plants Team
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Cytogenetics and Molecular Physiology of Plants Team


Assoc. Prof. Arkadiusz Kosmala


Prof. Zbigniew Zwierzykowski
Danuta Babula-Skowrońska, PhD
Tomasz Książczyk, PhD
Izabela Pawłowicz, PhD
Dawid Perlikowski, PhD
Adam Augustyniak, MSc (PhD student)
Joanna Filder, MSc (PhD student)
Joanna Majka (Chojnicka), MSc (PhD student)
Katarzyna Masajada, MSc (PhD student)
Joanna Różańska, MSc Eng. (PhD student)
Włodzimierz Zwierzykowski, Msc. Eng.

The research is focused on the forage grasses from the Lolium-Festuca complex. Lolium and Festuca species encompasses numerous complementary traits. L. multiflorum (Italian ryegrass) and L. perenne (perennial ryegrass) are the species with high forage quality but rather low tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Otherwise, F. pratensis (meadow fescue) and F. arundinacea (tall fescue) are characterized by high level of resistance to pathogens and tolerance to frost, drought and salinity but they cannot compete with Lolium species with reference to productivity and quality. Both Festuca species are regarded as models among forage grasses for the research associated with drought tolerance (F. arundinacea) and tolerance to low temperature (F. pratensis).

Research profile

  • Molecular basis of plant tolerance to abiotic stresses (low temperature, drought, salinity).
  • Organization and evolution of plant chromosome- and genome-specific sequences.
  • Transfer of genes for environmental stress tolerance from Festuca species into Lolium species.
  • Genomic structure, number and distribution of rDNA loci in intergeneric hybrids within the Festuca-Lolium complex.
  • Chromosome identification of species within the Festuca-Lolium complex.
  • Physical mapping of DNA sequences.


  • analysis of gene expression at transcript (real time RT-PCR ) and protein level (2-D electrophoresis, mass spectrometry),
  • physiological analyses (WC, RWC, electrolyte leakage, gas exchange parameters, chlorophyll fluorescence),
  • tests for plant tolerance to low temperature and drought in natural and simulated conditions,
  • fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with rDNA probes,
  • FISH with F. pratensis originated BAC-based probes,
  • genomic in situ hybridization (GISH).

Current research activities

Our Team investigates molecular basis of abiotic stress tolerance in Lolium-Festuca species. The research is conducted in the frame of Institute's statutory research task and two scientific projects. The main aspects of the work involve: (i) expression analysis of the selected aquaporin genes at the level of transcript and protein in L. multiflorum (during drought stress) and in model species ? F. pratensis (during low temperature treatment) and F. arundinacea (during drought and salinity stress); (ii) analysis of changes in the level of protein accumulation during water deficit in relation with the analysis of selected physiological parameters crucial for the regulation of tolerance to drought in F. arundinacea and L. multiflorum/F. arundinacea introgression forms.
The second research specialization of the Team is concentrated on molecular cytogenetics and involves: (i) identification of substitution and/or addition F. pratensis chromosomes in backcross generations of tetraploid L. perenne introgression forms; (ii) study of cytogenetic stability and fertility of plants in three successive generations, derived from intergeneric, tetraploid hybrids between F. pratensis (4x) and L. perenne (4x), and (iii) identification and monitoring of chromosome rearrangements in allotetraploid hybrids of F. pratensis (4x) × L. perenne (4x).

Selected papers


Project no:  2014/13/N/N29/00914
Project title:  Analiza wybranych komponentów architektury systemu korzeniowego i metabolizmu korzenia w odniesieniu do tolerancji deficytu wodnego u traw kompleksu Lolium-Festuca
Principal Investigator: D. Perlikowski
Duration: 28 January 2015 - 27 January 2017