¨  Experimental Plant Biology Ph.D. Program

Including sub-programs:

Cellular- and developmental biology

Plant metabolism and plant molecular biology

Plant-microbe interactions

ˇ  Prior studies and degrees needed

For a succesful participation in the program MSc (in biology) MD, DV, MAgr, DD degrees are accepted on the condition that the curriculum of the undergraduate and graduate programs of the applicant included one of these subjects: cell biology, plant anatomy, plant physiology and plant molecular biology, microbiology as major.

ˇ  Features of the program

§  Objectives  This program offers training in the field of plant biology aimed at understanding the structural and physiological processes in plants at molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels.. Due to the complexity of the program, it is divided into subprograms:

The objective of the subprogram Cellular- and developmental biology is to introduce into the plant embriogenesis, differentiation and development at cellular and tissue levels and into the mechanisms of in vitro plant regeneration. It mainly involves molecular-structural analyses.

Subprogram Plant metabolism and plant molecular biology offers training in the field of plant biochemistry and its regulation, and the metabolic response reactions to stress factors. The program also gives an overview on the current problems of plant molecular biology, the growth and developmental pathways of plants and the control at different levels of developmental processes.

Subprogram Plant-microbe interactions deals with interrelations of plants and microorganisms at molecular, biochemical and physiological levels. This program offers training in the fields of exploration and exploitation of plant-microbe systems, investigations on phototrophic eu- and prokaryotes and micorrhyza.

§  Curriculum  The curriculum is assembled so that students can gain a detailed practical experience in state of art molecular techniques used in protein structure/function studies, expression profile study using Real-Time PCR technique, cereal transformation, site directed mutagenesis and heterologous protein expression, microbiology with emphasis of fingerprint techniques. At the same time they can get a firm knowledge through seminar series, regular, and one-time courses on the methods that are relevant for research fields involved in the program.  These include structure investigation with UV and fluorescence spectroscopy, light microscopy, laser scanning microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence imaging, tissue culturing, plant nutrition techniques, porometry for transpiration measurements, PCR techniques and other molecular biology methods

§  Currently available projects  Depending on the scientific subject students are recommended to participate in the research work of one of the following departments of the University: Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Plant Biology, Department of Plant Anatomy and Department of Microbiology.

The molecular-biological problems in the focus of our projects:

Physiological stress and tolerance under condition of phytoremediation,

Iron uptake mechanisms of plants,

Using transgenic barley as biofermentor,

Structure-function relationships of wheat prolamins expressed in bacteria,

Structure and function of epiphytic microbial systems,

Functional analysis of rhizosphere/rhizoplane communities,

Environmental microbial biotechnologies,

Nano- and picoplancton studies,

Plastid differentiation: from proplastids through ethioplasts to chloroplasts and gerontoplasts,

The occurrence of etioplasts and chlorophyll precursors under natural conditions and the greening process,

Artificial plant-microbe interactions (symbiosis) aimed at nitrogen fixation

Molecular and cellular aspects of plant macro-sporo- and macro-gametogenesis

The molecular background of elicitation

Micorrhyza: from studies on molecular level to environmental importance

Pharmaco-botany: medicinal and poisonous plants

Stress resistance and response reactions.



ˇ          Program head:

Zoltán Szigeti, D.Sc. professor

ˇ          Program coordinator to be contacted:

Ilona Rácz, Ph.D. associate professor