Institute of Plant Genetics
Polish Academy of Sciences

Plant Phenomics

Cereal Phenomics Team


dr hab. Anetta Kuczyńska, prof. IGR PAN


dr hab. inż. Krzysztof Mikołajczak

dr hab. Piotr Ogrodowicz

dr Michał Kempa

mgr Martyna Bodzak (PhD student)

mgr Renata Trzeciak

Alina Anioła

Renata Holewińska


From left to right:

Research profile

The aim of research is the comprehensive elucidation of spring barley at the phenome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome level, as well as the regulation of the interaction of phytohormones via miRNA and the explanation of the role of epidermal structures in the aspect of phenological changes - all in response to different abiotic and biotic stresses occurring individually or simultaneously.

We use methods:

•       high-throughput SNP genotyping,

•       conventional phenotyping (manual measurements) and non-destructive automatic phenotyping (new generation), as well as high-resolution, digital root phenotyping in field conditions,

•       next generation sequencing (NGS),

•       high-performance liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS).

Our main achievements are:

1.     characterization of phenotypic changes related to the yield potential occurring in the above-ground and underground parts of spring barley plants under the influence of environmental stresses and understanding the genetic basis determining these changes;

2.     identification of genes, proteins and metabolites involved in regulatory processes determining the response to drought in barley leaves and roots;

3.     understanding the molecular reaction occurring in barley under the effect of abiotic stresses by determining, for the first time in a flag leaf, comprehensive profiles of gene expression and protein accumulation under drought and heat stress conditions; selecting genes and proteins that may determine plant resistance to abiotic stress;

4.     evaluation of the profiles of lipid accumulation, including sterols, in barley leaves under various conditions of abiotic stress affecting the plant together and separately; demonstrating that increased synthesis of sterols in leaves, mainly β-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol, may determine increased resistance of barley to various environmental conditions;

5.     describing, for the first time, comprehensive gene expression profiles in the crown of barley genotypes with the sdw1 gene polymorphism in response to heat stress; understanding changes in the expression of genes involved in the gibberellin biosynthesis and signal transduction pathways, as well as those related to the response to abiotic stress;

6.     determination of gene expression profiles, proteins and phytohormones accumulation, i.e. gibberellins, brassinosteroids and strigolactones, in the crown of barley under drought; demonstrating the existence of a positive feedback between the process of gibberellin synthesis and perception, as well as the occurrence of interactions between these three types of phytohormones;

7.     demonstrating the impact of disorders in the synthesis and signaling of brassinosteroids on the functionality of other phytohormones in barley roots and indicating the relationship of melatonin and brassinosteroid pathways in the plant response to drought;

8.     explanation of the role of the earliness in tolerance of barley to environmental stresses;

9.     identification of barley genome regions that are a source of favorable alleles associated with FHB- and yield-related traits, which may be useful in barley breeding for FHB resistance.


Key words

abiotic stress, barley, biotic stress, brassinosteroids, crop, crown, drought, flag leaf, functional annotation, Fusarium head blight, gene expression, genome-wide association studies, gibberellins, Hordeum vulgare, light deprivation, lipidomics, metabolomics, mRNA sequencing, phenotyping, phytohormones, pollen development, proteomics, roots architecture, stress-induced proteins, strigolactones


Selected recent publications (see all in Scopus)

Mikołajczak K., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P., Kempa M., Witaszak N. (2023) Global proteome profiling revealed the adaptive reprogramming of barley flag leaf to drought and elevated temperature. Cells 12(13): 1685. DOI: 10.3390/cells12131685

Ogrodowicz P., Wojciechowicz M.K., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P., Kempa M. (2023) The effects of growth modification on pollen development in spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes with contrasting drought tolerance. Cells 12(12): 1656. DOI: 10.3390/cells12121656

Ogrodowicz P., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P., Kempa M. (2023) The effects of heading time on yield performance and HvGAMYB expression in spring barley subjected to drought. Journal of Applied Genetics 64(2): 289-302. DOI: 10.1007/s13353-023-00755-x

Mikołajczak K., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P., Kempa M., Nuc M. (2023) Transcriptome profiling disclosed the effect of single and combined drought and heat stress on reprogramming of genes expression in barley flag leaf. Frontiers in Plant Science 13:1096685. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.1096685

Ogrodowicz P., Mikołajczak K., Kempa M., Mokrzycka M., Krajewski P., Kuczyńska A. (2023) Genome-wide association study of agronomical and root-related traits in spring barley collection grown under field conditions. Frontiers in Plant Science 14:1077631. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1077631

Mikołajczak K., Kuczyńska A., Ogrodowicz P., Kiełbowicz-Matuk A., Ćwiek-Kupczyńska H., Daszkowska-Golec A., Szarejko I., Surma M., Krajewski P. (2022) High-throughput sequencing data revealed genotype-specific changes evoked by heat stress in crown tissue of barley sdw1 near-isogenic lines. BMC Genomics 23:177. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-022-08410-1

Mikołajczak K., Ogrodowicz P., Ćwiek-Kupczyńska H., Weigelt-Fischer K., Mothukuri S.R., Junker A., Altmann T., Krystkowiak K., Adamski T., Surma M., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P. (2020) Image phenotyping of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) RIL population under drought: selection of traits and biological interpretation. Frontiers in Plant Science 11:743. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00743

Ogrodowicz P., Kuczyńska A., Mikołajczak K., Adamski T., Surma M., Krajewski P., Ćwiek-Kupczyńska H., Kempa M., Rokicki M., Jasińska D. (2020) Mapping of quantitative trait loci for traits linked to fusarium head blight in barley. PLOS ONE 15(2): e0222375. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222375

Piasecka A., Sawikowska A., Kuczyńska A., Ogrodowicz P., Mikołajczak K., Krajewski P., Kachlicki P. (2020) Phenolic metabolites from barley in contribution to phenome in soil moisture deficit. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21: 6032. DOI: 10.3390/ijms21176032

Janiak A., Kwasniewski M., Sowa M., Kuczyńska A., Mikołajczak K., Ogrodowicz P., Szarejko I. (2019) Insights into Barley Root Transcriptome under Mild Drought Stress with an Emphasis on Gene Expression Regulatory Mechanisms. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20(24): 6139. DOI: 10.3390/ijms20246139

Kuczyńska A., Cardenia V., Ogrodowicz P., Kempa M., Rodriguez-Estrada M.T., Mikołajczak K. (2019) Effects of multiple abiotic stresses on lipids and sterols profile in barley leaves (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 141: 215-224. DOI:

Surma M., Kuczyńska A., Mikołajczak K., Ogrodowicz P., Adamski T., Ćwiek-Kupczyńska H., Sawikowska A., Pecio A., Wach D., Józefaciuk G., Łukowska M., Zych J., Krajewski P. (2019) Barley varieties in semi-controlled and natural conditions - response to water shortage and changing environmental parameters. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Sciences 205(3): 295-308. DOI: 10.1111/jac.12324

Rodziewicz P., Chmielewska K., Sawikowska A., Marczak Ł., Łuczak M., Bednarek P., Mikołajczak K., Ogrodowicz P., Kuczyńska A., Krajewski P., Stobiecki M. (2019) Identification of drought responsive proteins and related proteomic QTLs in barley. Journal of Experimental Botany 70(10): 2823-2837. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erz075

Wyka T., Bagniewska-Zadworna A., Kuczyńska A., Mikołajczak K., Ogrodowicz P., Żytkowiak M., Surma M., Adamski T. (2019) Drought-induced anatomical modifications of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) leaves: An allometric perspective. Environmental and Experimental Botany 166: 103798. DOI: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2019.103798


Projects (finished recently or current)

National Science Center

Type Project number (link to NCN) Project title in Polish Project title in English Project leader / partners Financing (PLN) Start date End date
Opus 21 2021/41/B/NZ9/02576 MikroRNA - ważne czynniki koordynujące reakcję na suszę w liściu jęczmienia poprzez regulację współdziałania fitohormonów. MicroRNA – important coordinators of barley leaf response to drought via modulation of phytohormones crosstalk Krzysztof Mikołajczak 2 141 254 01-03-2022 28-02-2026
Opus 21 2021/41/B/NZ9/02373 Dynamiczne zmiany fenologiczne w strukturach epidermy jęczmienia jarego (Hordeum vulgare L.) w odpowiedzi na kombinację stresów biotycznego i abiotycznego. Dynamic phenological changes in epidermal structures of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in response to combination of biotic and abiotic stresses Piotr Ogrodowicz 1 897 107 21-01-2022 20-01-2026
OPUS 18 2019/35/B/NZ9/00208 Melatonina jako nadrzędny czynnik w kształtowaniu architektury korzenia i adaptacji do suszy przez regulację współdziałania fitohormonów u jęczmienia (Hordeum vulgare L.) Melatonin as a pivotal mediator for shaping root architecture and drought
adaptation via modulation of phytohormones crosstalk in barley (Hordeum
vulgare L.)
Anetta Kuczyńska 1 848 480 27-07-2020 26-07-2024
OPUS 12 2016/23/B/NZ9/03548 Wyjaśnianie współdziałania hormonów i jego roli w kształtowaniu architektury roślin jęczmienia (Hordeum vulgare L.) Explanation of the hormone crosstalk and its role in shaping the plant architecture in barley
(Hordeum vulgare L.)
Anetta Kuczyńska 1 418 618 06-09-2017 05-09-2022
SONATA 12 2016/23/D/NZ9/00043 Zmiany ekspresji genów na poziomie całego genomu liścia flagowego jęczmienia pod wpływem stresów abiotycznych działających symultanicznie Modulation of genome-wide genes expression of barley flag leaf via combined
abiotic stresses
Krzysztof Mikołajczak 621 140 10-08-2017 09-02-2022
SONATA 12 2016/23/D/NZ9/00042 Czynnik transkrypcyjny HvGAMYB w regulacji kwitnienia i jego związek z odpowiedzią fotoperiodyczną w warunkach stresu suszy u jęczmienia jarego (Hordeum vulgare L.) HvGAMYB transcripton factor in flowering time regulation and its association
with photoperiod response under drought conditions in spring barley (Hordeum
vulgare L.)
Piotr Ogrodowicz 435 150 10-08-2017 09-02-2022
OPUS 9 2015/17/B/NZ9/01481 Wpływ stresów abiotycznych na poziom ekspresji genu LTP2 w odniesieniu do lipidomu i fenomu u jęczmienia (Hordeum vulgare L.) Effects of abiotic stresses on the LTP2 gene expression level in relation to lipidome and phenome in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Anetta Kuczyńska 773 588 20-01-2016 19-01-2020


Other projects

Projects granted within Horizon 2020 European Plant Phenotyping Network 2020:

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Biological Progress 2021-2025, task 14

Associative studies and molecular determinants of spring barley resistance to environmental stresses

leader: dr hab. Anetta Kuczyńska, prof. IGR PAN, period: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2025


Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, HOR hn-801-8/14 task 106

Effects of drought on the development and architecture of barley root system

leader: dr hab. Anetta Kuczyńska, prof. IGR PAN, period: 01.01.2018 – 31.12.2020


Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, HOR hn-501-19/15 task 88

Pleiotropic effects of Ppd-H1 and Ppd-H2 genes and the susceptibility of spring barley to Fusarium head blight and accumulation of mycotoxins

leader: dr hab. Anetta Kuczyńska, prof. IGR PAN, period: 01.01.2015 – 31.12.2017







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