Department of Integrative Plant Biology


Assoc. prof. Robert Malinowski


Assoc. Prof. Gregory Franklin
Karolina Stefanowicz, PhD
William Truman, PhD
Selvakesavan Rajendran Kamalabai, PhD
Dariusz Kruszka, MSc (PhD student)
Juan Camilo Ochoa, MSc (PhD student)
Matam Pradeep, MSc (PhD student)
Sara Blicharz, PhD
Soham Mukhopadhyay, MSc (PhD student)


The main topic of the team is the growth and development of organs in higher plants. Alongside basic research including understanding the mechanisms regulating its final form plant organs, our work also has practical aspect associated with the recognition of the relationship between the development of the individual functional domains of plants and their ability to respond effectively to biotic and abiotic stresses. In our research we often focus on understanding the physiological aspects that may change the dynamics of growth, allocation of assimilates, mechanical plant resistance to stress.

Research profile

  • Signaling pathways responsible for regulating the size and shape of leaves.
  • Reprogramming of plant development in response to adverse environmental conditions.
  • Dynamics of the cell wall in herbaceous and woody plants.
  •  Changes in cell cycle progression after  Plasmodiophora brassicae infection.
  • The use of plants for the synthesis of pharmacologically active substances.


  • gene expression profiling (Hi-SEQ, Q-RT-PCR),
  • chemically inducible gene expression systems,
  • comparative anatomy,
  • detection of proteins and their activity,
  • plant transgenesis.

Current research activities

  • We are currently conducting experiments designed to accurately describe the cascade of events leading to the formation of tumors after infection. The works are focused on changes in cell cycle progression and decisions concerning the differentiation of cells.
  • At the same time, we also work on the transformation of the cell wall during the formation of tumors.

Selected papers

  • Hou W., Shakya P., Franklin G. (2016). A Perspective on Hypericum perforatum genetic transformation. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00879
  • Marslin G., Sarmento B.F.C.C., Franklin G., Martins J.A.R., Silva C.J.R., Gomes A.F.C., Sárria M.P., Coutinho O.M.F.P., Dias A.C.P. (2016). Curcumin Encapsulated into Methoxy Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Nanoparticles Increases Cellular Uptake and Neuroprotective Effect in Glioma Cells. Planta Medica 82: 1-11. DOI:
  • Siram K., Raghavan C.V., Marslin G., Rahman H., Divakar S., Balakumar K. Franklin G. (2016). Quillaja saponin: A prospective emulsifier for the preparation of solid lipid nanoparticles. Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2016.07.065
  • Siram K., Marslin G., Raghavan Ch. V., Balakumar K., Rahman H., Franklin G. (2016). A brief perspective on the diverging theories of lymphatic targeting with colloids. International Journal of Nanomedicine 11: 1-6.
  • Malinowski R., Novak O., Borhan MH, Spichal L., Strnas M., Rolfe SA. (2016). The role of cytokinins in clubroot disease. European Journal of Plant Pathology DOI: 10.1007/s10658-015-0845-y
  • Rolfe S.A., Strelkov S., Links M., Clarke W.E., Robinson S., Djavaheri M., Malinowski R., Haddadi P., Kagale S., Parkin I., Taheri A., Borhan M.H. (2016). The compact genome of the plant pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae is adapted to intracellular interactions with host Brassica spp. BMC Genomics 17 (1): DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2597-2
  • Ribeiro T.M., Barrela R.M., Berges H., Marques C., Loureiro J., Morais-Cecilio L., Paiva J.A.P. (2016). Advancing Eucalyptus Genomics: Cytogenomics Reveals Conservation of Eucalyptus Genomes. Frontiers in Plant Science. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00510
  • Singh RK, Hou W., Franklin G. (2016). Construction of Hypericin Gland-Specific cDNA Library via Suppression Subtractive Hybridization in Methods Molecular Biology, Vol. 1391, S.Mohan Jain (Eds): Protocols for In Vitro Cultures and Secondary Metabolite Analysis of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Second Edition, 978-1-4939-3330-3, 326657_2_En, (22)



  • Project no: 2015/19/B/NZ3/01489
    Project title: Understanding the role of chitin related defence responses during Plasmodiophora brassicae infection
    Principal investigator: William Truman
    Duration: 20 June 2016-  19 June 2019

    Project no:2015/17/D/NZ9/01977

    Project title: The importance of cell wall changes occuring within host plant for the Plasmodiophora brassicae infection progression

    Prinicipal investigator: Karolina Stefanowicz

    Duration: 3 June 2016 - 2 June 2019

    Project no: 2015/18/E/NZ2/00694

    Project title: PurpleWalls - Unraveling genome regulation to modulate wood formation in Salix purpurea: an integrative approac

    Principal investigator: Jorge Paiva

             Duration: 12 May 2016 - 11 May 2019

  • Project no: 2012/07/E/NZ3/00510

    Project title: Comprehensive analysis of the mechanisms leading to an imbalance between proliferation and differentiation of cells during infection by Plasmodiophora brassicae

    Principal investigator: Robert Malinowski

    Duration: 16 September 2013 - 15 September 2017