Legume Genomics Team

Magdalena Kroc, PhD
Prof. Wojciech K. Święcicki, Ordinary Member PAS
Assoc. Prof. Karolina Susek
Magdalena Gawłowska, PhD
Pankaj Kumar, MSc (PhD student)
Humaira Jamil, MSc (PhD student)
Magdalena Tomaszewska, MSc Eng.

The research profile of the team is focused on the genomics of lupins and pea, with special interest in agronomic traits, as well as lupin genome evolution. The research concerns four research areas: 1) characterization and management of genetic resources (genotyping and phenotyping of the lupins (Lupinus L.) and pea (Pisum L.) genetic resources, 2) investigation of the molecular background underlying lupin agronomic traits (mechanism of lupin alkaloids biosynthesis and accumulation, evolutionary mechanisms of lupins phenotypic variation, 3) evolution of lupin genomes/ chromosomes (across Old World and New World species), 4) understaning of molecular background of agronomic traits and ascochyta blight resistance in pea (potential of cultivars improvement with regard to resistance to pathogens infestation in diversified environmental conditions).

Research profile
  • Characterization and conservation as well as assessment of phenotypic and molecular variation across Lupinus i Pisum.
  • Understanding the evolution of the species from the Lupinus genenus at the karyotype level (chromosomal rearrangements), transcriptomic and genomic level (phylogeny, polyploidisation), phenotype (variation in seed size).
  • Mapping of new genes and construction of genetic maps in Pisum.
  • Identification of genes involved in the development of agronomic traits in lupins, based on transcriptomic data.
  • Expression profiling of genes involved in the resistance to ascochyta blightin pea and alkaloid biosynthesis in lupins.
  • Validation of the involvement of major genes from the oligosaccharides pathway in pea, through CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technique, and in the longer term obtaining better pea cultivars in terms of human nutrition.
  • genetic mapping with molecular markers,
  • quantitative traits mapping,
  • gene expression analysis (qPCR),
  • implementation of portable equipment to assess the efficiency of the plant physiological processes involved in resistance to diseases,
  • plant phenotyping,
  • fluorescence in situ hybridization,
  • transcriptomes characterization with aid of next generation sequencing techniques (PacBio, Illumina),
  • comparative sequencing of transcriptomes and genomes,
  • induced mutation for the purpose of seeking of the forms with high alkaloid content in green organs while preserving low seed alkaloid content,
  • CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technique, pea transformation via Agrobacterium, transformants regeneration.
Current works
  • Development of lupin Inteligent Collection: characterization of genetic resources of L. albus and L. mutabilis.
  • Genetic maps construction in Pisum.
  • Transcriptomic characterization of narrow-leafed lupin accessions with different mechanism regulating low seed alkaloid content.
  • Identification of genes involved in the alkaloid biosynthesis pathway in lupins based on the transcriptomic data as well as expression profiling of selected candidate genes.
  • Expression profiling of genes activated during plant response to Peyronella pinodes infection in pea.
  • Valorization of genetic resources in the Lupinus and Pisum collections.
  • Analysis of genome evolution across lupins (Old World and New World species).
  • Validation of the role of galactinol synthase GolS and raffinose synthase RS, as major genes of the oligosaccharides synthesis pathway in pea, through the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing as well as gene silencing techniques.
Selected papers
  • Bellucci, E., Mario Aguilar, O., Alseekh, S., Bett, K., Brezeanu, C., Cook, D., De la Rosa, L., Delledonne, M., Dostatny, D.F., Ferreira, J.J., Geffroy, V., Ghitarrini, S., Kroc, M., Kumar Agrawal, S., Logozzo, G., Marino, M., Mary-Huard, T., McClean, P., Meglič, V., Messer, T., Muel, F., Nanni, L., Neumann, K., Servalli, F., Străjeru, S., Varshney, R.K., Vasconcelos, M.W., Zaccardelli, M., Zavarzin, A., Bitocchi, E., Frontoni, E., Fernie, A.R., Gioia, T., Graner, A., Guasch, L., Prochnow, L., Oppermann, M., Susek, K., Tenaillon, M. and Papa, R. (2021). The INCREASE project: Intelligent Collections of food-legume genetic resources for European agrofood systems. Plant Journal doi.org/10.1111/tpj.15472
  • Kroc M.,Tomaszewska M.,Czepiel K.,Bitocchi E.,Oppermann M.,Neumann K., Guasch L., Bellucci E.,Alseekh S., Graner A., R Fernie A., Papa R., Susek K(2021). Towards Development, Maintenance, and Standardized Phenotypic Characterization of Single-Seed-Descent Genetic Resources for Lupins. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1(7): e191. DOI: 10.1002/cpz1.191
  • Czepiel K., Krajewski P., Wilczura P., Bielecka P., Święcicki W., Kroc M. (2021) Expression Profiles of Alkaloid-Related Genes across the Organs of Narrow-Leafed Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) and in Response to Anthracnose Infection. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22(5): 2676. DOI: 10.3390/ijms22052676
  • Gawłowska, M., Knopkiewicz, M., Święcicki, W., Boros, L., & Wawer, A. (2021). Quantitative trait loci for stem strength properties and lodging in two pea bi-parental mapping populations (Pisum sativum L.). Crop Science,61, 1682–1697.
  • Hufnagel B., Soriano A., Taylor J., Divol F., Kroc, M., Sanders H., Yeheyis L., Nelson M. and Péret B. (2021) Pangenome of white lupin provides insights into the diversity of the species. Plant Biotechnology Journal. DOI: 10.1111/pbi.13678
  • Skalska A., Stritt Ch., Wyler M., Williams H.W., Vickers M., Han J., Tuna M., Tuna G.S., Susek K.,Swain M., Wóycicki R.K., Chaudhary S., Corke F., Doonan J.H., Roulin A.C., Hasterok R., MurL.A.J. (2020) Genetic and methylome variation in Turkish Brachypodium distachyon accessions differentiate two geographically distinct subpopulations. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21 (18): 6700. DOI: 10.3390/ijms21186700
  • Kroc M., Koczyk G., Kamel K.A., Czepiel K., Fedorowicz-Strońska O., Krajewski P., Kosińska J., Podkowiński J., Wilczura P., Święcicki W. (2019) Transcriptome-derived investigation of biosynthesis of quinolizidine alkaloids in narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) highlights candidate genes linked to iucundus locus. Scientific Reports 9(1):2231.
  • Kroc M., Czepiel K., Wilczura P., Mokrzycka M. and Święcicki W. (2019) Development and Validation of a Gene-Targeted dCAPS Marker for Marker-Assisted Selection of Low-Alkaloid Content in Seeds of Narrow-Leafed Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.). Genes 10(6): 428.
  • Święcicki W., Czepiel K., Wilczura P., Barzyk P., Kaczmarek Z., Kroc M. (2019) Chromatographic Fingerprinting of the Old World Lupins Seed Alkaloids: A Supplemental Tool in Species Discrimination. Plants 8: 548.
  • Święcicki W. (2019). The Catalogue of Pisum Genes. Agencja Kreatiff, ISBN 978-83-953357-0-9.
  • Kroc M.Rybiński W.Wilczura P.Kamel K., Kaczmarek Z., Barzyk P., Święcicki W. (2017). Quantitative and qualitative analysis of alkaloids composition in the seeds of a white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) collection. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution , 64(8): 1853-1860


Research projects

Project No.: 862862
Project title: Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems.
Coordinator: R. Papa
Crop leader: K. Susek/ M. Kroc
Type: EU Horyzont 2020
Duration: 1 May 2020 – 30 April 2025

Project No.: 2019/35/B/NZ8/04283
Project title: Genetic architecture of plant seeds: an evolutionary approach to identify the molecular basis of phenotypic variation in legumes (white lupin and common bean).
PI: K. Susek
Type: OPUS 18
Duration: 20 July 2020 – 19 July 2024

Task No. according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Regulation: 19
Project title: Narrow-leafed lupin alkaloids: understanding the molecular background of the biosynthesis and seed accumulation process as well as searching for the forms with high alkaloid content in green organs while preserving low seed alkaloid content.
PI: M. Kroc
Type: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Basic research towards biological improvements in plant production.
Duration: 1 January 2021 - 31 December 2027

Project No.: 2015/18/M/NZ2/00422
Project title: Mechanism(s) underlying plant genome evolution, diversification and speciation.
PI: K. Susek
Duration: 13 May 2016 - 12 May 2022

Project No.: CA19125
Project title: EPI-CATCH - EPIgenetic mechanisms of Crop Adaptation To Climate cHange.
Coordinator: F. Martinelli (University of Florence, Włochy)
Management Committee, Poland: K. Susek/ M. Kroc
Type: COST Action (The European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Duration: 17 September 2020 - 16 September 2024;

Project title: Development of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing in pea (Pisum sativum L.) for characterization of oligosaccharide pathway genes.
Coordinator on the Polish site: Gawłowska M.
Type: NAWA, India-Poland Inter-Governmental Science & Technology Cooperation Programme For Joint Research Project
Duration: 1 January 2021-31 December 2022