Gene Structure and Function Team

Assoc. Prof. Michał Książkiewicz
Prof. Barbara Naganowska
Wojciech Bielski, PhD
Maciej Majka, PhD
Jolanta Belter, MSc Eng.
Anna Surma, MSc (PhD student)


Gene Structure and Function Team research includes several fields. These are: comparative analyses of lupin genomes at the level of DNA sequence and chromosomes as well as transcriptomes, aimed at reconstruction of evolutionary changes and phylogeny of the genus Lupinus; comparative bioinformatic analyses concerning genome synteny of the narrow-leafed lupin and other legumes; construction and saturation of genetic maps; analyses of genes and genome regions connected with agricultural traits in lupin crops. Furthermore, genetic background of flowering induction as well as expression of genes involved in plant resistance to pathogens in lupins are also analyzed. A part of research is mostly aimed at application in practice. Molecular markers, linked with some agricultural traits, are being generated for the use in lupin breeding programs.

Research profile

  • Molecular phylogenetics of selected representatives of Lupinus genus, comparative mapping within the genus as well as between lupins and other legume species
  • Analyses of evolutionary genome changes of Lupinus spp.: chromosome rearrangements, polyploidisation, organisation of repetitive sequences, transcriptome profiling
  • Profiling of gene expression in plant-pathogen interaction
  • Structural and functional analysis of genes participating in flowering induction in narrow-leafed, white and yellow lupin
  • Analysis of genetic variation in lupin crops and organisation of their genome regions comprising genes connected with important processes and useful traits
  • Generation of molecular markers linked with agricultural traits of lupins and evaluation of marker usability in selection of desirable genotypes in breeding works


Research methods

  • generation of sequence defined molecular markers based on sequences of narrow-leafed lupin BAC clones and sequences of related species available in data bases
  • genotyping by sequencing (GBS)
  • gene expression profiling with the use of quantitative PCR in real time
  • mapping of quantitative trait loci
  • phylogenetic concluding on the basis of coding sequence similarity
  • introducing of molecular markers on the genetic map – genetic mapping with the use of computer programs
  • genome analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridisation technique (FISH, oligo-FISH)


Current works

  • Analyses of lupin genome evolution at chromosomal level by comparative FISH mapping of chromosome specific BAC clones from the reference species (L. angustifolius) library in wild species chromosomes
  • Integrated evolutionary/phylogenetic analyses with the use of transcriptomes. Creation of gene database with a set of new and tissue specific genes as a complex source of information on variation within Lupinus genus
  • Determination of genomic position and nucleotide sequence of homologs of flowering genes, especially genes from FT group, playing key role in flowering induction process in plants. Delivering to breeders technology based on monitoring of narrow-leafed lupin genotypes with the use of molecular markers designed on the basis of sequence of the gene responsible for early flowering trait
  • Evaluation of vernalisation requirements of three lupin crop species
  • Profiling of gene expression in response to photoperiod and vernalisation in narrow-leafed, white and yellow lupin
  • Generation of molecular markers of narrow-leafed lupin agricultural traits with the use of new generation sequencing and association mapping
  • Revealing of molecular and genetic bases of narrow-leafed lupin resistance to pathogenic fungi



  1. Książkiewicz M., Nazzicari N., Yang H., Nelson M.N., Renshaw D., Rychel S., Ferrari B., Carelli M., Tomaszewska M., Stawiński S., Naganowska B., Wolko B., Annicchiarico P. (2017). A high-density consensus linkage map of white lupin highlights synteny with narrow-leafed lupin and provides markers tagging key agronomic traits. Scientific Reports. 7:15335: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15625-w
  2. Narożna D., Książkiewicz M., Przysiecka Ł., Króliczak J., Wolko B., Naganowska B., Mądrzak C.J. (2017). Legume isoflavone synthase genes have evolved by whole-genome and local duplications yielding transcriptionally active paralogs. Plant Science 264: 149–167
  3. Susek K., Braszewska-Zalewska A., Bewick A.J., Hasterok R., Schmitz R.J., Naganowska B. (2017). Epigenomic diversification within the genus Lupinus Plos ONE. 12(6):e0179821: DOI:
  4. Nelson M.N., Książkiewicz M., Rychel S., Besharat N., Taylor C., Wyrwa K., Jost R., Erskine W., Cowling W.A., Berger J.D., Batley J., Weller J.L., Naganowska B., WolkoB. (2017).The loss of vernalization requirement in narrow-leafed lupin is associated with a deletion in the promoter and de-repressed expression of a Flowering Locus T (FT) homologue. New Phytologist 213 (1): 220-232. DOI: 10.1111/nph.14094
  5. Susek K., Bielski W., Hasterok R., Naganowska B., Wolko B. (2016). A first glimpse of wild lupin karyotype variation as revealed by comparative cytogenetic mapping. Front. Plant Sci. 7:1152. DOI 10.3389/fpls.2016.01152
  6. Książkiewicz M., Rychel S., Nelson M.N., Wyrwa K., Naganowska B., Wolko B. (2016). Expansion of the phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein family in legumes: a case study of Lupinus angustifolius L. FLOWERING LOCUS T homologs, LanFTc1 and LanFTc2. BMC Genomics 17:820. DOI 10.1186/s12864-016-3150-z
  7. Wyrwa K., Książkiewicz M., Szczepaniak A., Susek K., Podkowiński J., Naganowska B. (2016). Integration of Lupinus angustifolius L. (narrow-leafed lupin) genome maps and comparative mapping within legumes. Chromosome Res. 24 (3): 355–378
  8. Przysiecka Ł., Książkiewicz M., Wolko B., Naganowska B. (2015). Structure, expression profile and phylogenetic inference of chalcone isomerase-like genes from the narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) genome. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:268


  • Project No: HOR hn-801-8/14 zad. 39
    Project title: Early flowering trait in white lupin and yellow lupin -  genetic and molecular bases
    PI: B. Wolko/ M. Książkiewicz
    Type: MRiRW Postęp biologiczny
    Duration: January 1, 2014 – December 20, 2020