PhD. Topics

Plant Science and Biodiversity Center

How chronic ionizing radiation modifies the tolerance of water plants to pests and pathogens?
PhD. program
plant physiology
Name of the supervisor
Mgr. Maksym Danchenko, PhD. ()
Receiving school
Prírodovedecká fakulta UK
Recent studies clearly demonstrated that chronic ionizing radiation affects the phenotypes of agricultural crops, forest trees, and water plants. Researchers reported multiple effects on cytogenetic, gene expression, protein abundance, and physiological process levels. The proposed topic will capitalize on available front-end analytical infrastructure and intriguing preliminary data. Specifically, the potential supervisor and his collaborator noticed enhanced damage by pests in water plants inhabiting ponds contaminated by radionuclides. The primary goal of this study is confirmation of a causal effect, using robust experimental design, and elucidation of underlying biochemical/physiological mechanisms of enhanced susceptibility. Firstly, phenotypes will be confirmed by laboratory bioassays. Secondly, upon completing the discovery proteomics phase, hypothetical mechanisms will be validated by targeted enzyme activity assays and microscopic localization of immunolabeled proteins. During the study, the graduate student will master not only relevant experimental skills but also transferable competences, such as public speaking and scientific writing. This project will contribute to the clarification if environmental contamination is damaging to the freshwater communities, which include potential bioenergy plants.

Proposed methods: Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography coupled mass spectrometry, bioinformatics for protein identification and quantification, biochemical enzymatic assays, phytopathological bioassays, and advanced microscopy.