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PhD. Topics

Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre SAS

Insect DNA fingerprints on plants as a potential tool for modern polinator biomonitoring
PhD. program
Biológia, špecializácia Ekológia a evolučná biológia
Name of the supervisor
RNDr. Fedor Čiampor, PhD.
Receiving school
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University
Proposed aims:
1. Simultaneous collection of photographic documentation of insect visits to flowers and environmental
samples for eDNA analysis in the field.
2. Extraction of DNA from environmental samples (flowers, leaves), molecular identification (DNA
3. Evaluation of the success in confirming insect visits to plants through DNA fingerprints, and assessment
of the accuracy of species identification using DNA barcodes.
4. Comparison of DNA analysis outputs from individual flowers with environmental samples collected within
the APVV project from agricultural crops, and determination of the potential of plant environmental
DNA for pollinator biomonitoring.
5. Construction of a reference database of DNA barcodes for the fauna of Slovakia.

The use of DNA methods in species identification and biomonitoring is on the rise, yet more precise data on
their reliability, possibilities, and limitations are still lacking. There is a growing need for rapid and efficient
tools for monitoring biodiversity, and DNA methods (DNA barcoding, metabarcoding) may serve as a suitable
solution for effective monitoring. While the functionality of these methodologies has been confirmed
multiple times, there is still a requirement for data that would test their application and contribute to the
development of these methods.
Pollinators constitute a vital group of organisms for us, but they are under substantial pressure due to
anthropogenic interventions in the environment. The interest in pollinators has been increasing lately;
however, our knowledge about their species composition, local community characteristics, and the
influences of environmental factors remains relatively limited. More precise information about the
interactions between pollinators and plants is crucial, as it can support effective measures for the protection
and preservation of the pollinators' function, upon which we are significantly dependent.