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Plant and Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
+30 2410 565232
Research Categories
Agricultural Chemistry
Soil Biology
Φυσιολογία Φυτών
Plant Biology (Botany)
Plant Genetics
Genetic Engineering
Molecular Biology
Environmental Chemistry
Natural Products

The group carries out research into plant metabolism, interactions between plants and microorganisms and the environment and the biotechnological applications of plants and microorganisms in (a) sustainable production processes, (b) production of bioactive molecules and (c) environmental protection. Research within the group spans microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, computational biology, and genetics, working with microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) as well as model and crop plants.

Research Activities

Plant Biotechnology: Study of the biosynthetic pathways and functional role of secondary metabolites in plants, especially triterpenes and glucosinolates; effect of nutrient availability on gene expression and metabolite profiles;  production of novel bioactive molecules through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches; bioassays of bioactive molecules in cancer cell lines.

Plant Microbe – Interactions: Ecology and function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF); Plant – Fungal (pathogenic and antagonistic soil-borne fungi) interactions; Plant-Bacterial (Rhizospheric bacteria/ Legume-Rhizobia symbiosis); Tri-partite interactions.

Environmental Microbiology:  Study of the microbial metabolism of pesticides; isolation of pesticide-degrading microbes and their hydrolytic genes/enzymes; bioremediation of agro-industrial effluents; biobeds and biofilter systems.

Microbial Ecology:  Investigation of the effects of crop protection and agronomic practices on the structure and function of the microbial community using molecular and biochemical tools (DGGE, TRFLP, qPCR, RT-qPCR, next generation sequencing, metagenomics).

Environmental Pollution: Study of the basic processes controlling the fate of pesticides in the environment, simulation of pesticide environmental fate using mathematical modelling and environmental risk assessment of pesticides.

Research Projects

BIOBEDS: Minimizing the point source contamination of natural water resources of Thessaly by wastewaters from the fruit packaging industry (Research Committee University of Thessaly).

TRIFORC– Triterpenoid For Commercialization, A pipeline for the discovery, sustainable production and commercial utilization of known and novel high–value triterpenes with new or superior biological activities (European Commission, FP7, KBBE).

Isolation of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and development of mycorrhizal inocula used for rhizosphere inoculations and the production of soil improvers (General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greece, Support of New SMEs).

LOVE–TO–HATE – Pesticides: Felicity of curse for the soil microbes? (European Commission, MARIE CURIE ACTION, FP7).

ECOFUN–MICROBIODIV– Development and implementation of innovative tools to estimate the ecotoxicological impact of low dose pesticide application in agriculture on soil functional microbial diversity (European Commission, SEE.ERA.NETplus) Website: <a href="">…;.

A survey of the degradation of the soil insecticide fipronil, fosthiazate, chlorpryifos and ethroprophos in potato cultivation areas in Greece (B.A.S.F. Hellas).

SNAC – Synthetic and Natural Agrochemical compounds: ecological impacts on the soil ecosystem and effects on plant production (CARIPLO Foundation, Italy).

SALTYMYC – Contribution of Mycorrhizae to the sustainability of marginal Mediterranean ecosystems – development of mycorrhizal inocula ("THALIS PROJECT", Ministry of Education).

HORTOZONE–Ozone application for improving post harvest handling of edible horticultural products. ("THALIS PROJECT", Ministry of Education).

Evaluation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as a biotechnological tool for the optimization of P uptake by plants (General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greece, Innovative Research Vouchers for SMEs).

BIOTYPOS– Ταυτοποίηση ποιοτικών χαρακτηριστικών προστιθέμενης αξίας γεωργικών προϊόντων με τη χρήση μοριακής ανάλυσης, εδαφικών δεκτών και γεωπληροφορικής (COOPERATION, General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greece).

FRUIT–OMICS– Physiological, biochemical and molecular characterization of nitric oxide and ozone application in the postharvest physiology of kiwifruits (Support of Postdoctoral Research, General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greece).

Organization and funcational analysis of genes involved in the biosynthesis and metabolic variation of triterpenoids in legumes. (Ministry of Education, HRAKLEITOS ΙΙ).

BIOBEDS – Evaluation of biobeds for the decontamination of wastewater of agroindustrial origin (Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus) Website: <a href=""></a&gt;.

ECOMYCORRHIZA – The effects of agronomic practices conducive to organic agriculture on the diversity and function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (European Commission, MARIE CURIE ACTION FP7) Website <a href=""></a&gt;.

BIOFUME – Study of the glucosinolate content of Brassicas and their use for soil biofumigation (Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus).

Laboratory Infrastructure

PCR Blocks, Horizontal and vertical electrophoresis systems for nucleic acids and proteins, DGGE system, Gel photographing system, real time PCR, spectrophotometer UV-VIS, fluorometer, Qubit 2v for nucleic acid quantification, fluorescence microscope, stereoscope with photographic system.

Cooling incubators (2), Shaking incubators with cooling systems (3),  Microbiological incubator, Laminar flow system (2), Ultrapure Water System, Autoclave, lab bench centrifuges, high precision balances (4 digits) (2), remote balances (2) bench-top shaker, Freezers (-20°C) (3), Fridge (1), Ultrafreezer -80°C.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography with UV detection system, Rotary evaporator, speed-vac, scintillation counter.

Vortex (3), Waterbath, Ultrasonic Waterbath.

Research Results / Products

Greek patent (Code 1006119) "The fungus Fusarium solani strain FsΚ and its use in the biological control of plant pathogens and in plant growth promoting".

The development of biobed systems for the depuration of wastewaters from the fruit packaging industries in Greece  (Under evaluation for authorization by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food).

Mycorrhizal fungal inocula for the promotion of growth and yield in low-input vegetable crop systems.

Surname Name Profession-Position Email Phone Number
+30 2410 565290
+30 2410 565294
Assistant Professor
+30 2410 565260
+30 2410 565232