Research Team 11 - Physiology and Cryobiology of Plants

Team Leader:  Ing. Miloš Faltus, Ph.D.

Position and specialization: Research Scientist - cryopreservation of in vitro cultures of potato, hops, and vines; physiological and thermal characteristics of meristems under dehydration and low temperature

Framework and objectives of this research team:
The aim of the team is to study the effects of low and ultra-low temperatures on plants for the development of cryopreservation methods; the use of these methods while preserving selected genotypes with desired properties at ultra-low temperatures, and for the elimination of selected plant pathogens. Cryobiology issues are studied through biotechnological methods using in vitro and ex vitro techniques. The tolerance of plants to low, through ultra-low, temperatures and lack of water, evaluated by physiological and biophysical parameters in plant organs or in whole plants. Non-research activities are connected to a cryobank for vegetatively propagated plants as part of the National Programme for the Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources and Agrobiodiversity, with an independent component on the cryo-conservation of genetic resources of vegetatively propagated crops. The Cryobank is governed by quality management control according to EN ISO 9001: 2009. The laboratory is the reference laboratory for plant cryopreservation for Europe, and a reference laboratory of plant calorimetry for Central and Eastern Europe for TA instruments.

Research activities:

  • Physiological and biophysical basis for preservation of plant biodiversity at low and ultralow temperatures.
  • Study of the physiological patterns of resistance to low temperatures of vegetatively propagated crops.
  • Phenotypic characterization of plants under lack of water and low temperatures.
  • Sanitation from bacteria and fungi of vegetatively propagated in vitro plants.
  • Elimination of viroids by use of new cryotherapy methods.
  • Development of biotechnologies for in vitro cultures of vegetatively propagated crops in cryopreservation procedures, and their further use in plant propagation.
  • Study of frost resistance of vegetatively propagated crops during their ontogenetic development.
  • Addressing the possibilities for the introduction and utilization of new promising fruit crops under the conditions of the Czech Republic, primarily due to their resistance to low temperatures.
  • Innovation of thermal methods used for the study of changes in plant cells at low and ultra-low temperatures.

Other team members:
Ing. Jiří Zámečník, CSc.: Lead Senior Research Scientist
RNDr. Alois Bilavčík, Ph.D.: Researcher - cryopreservation of in vitro cultures and dormant buds of fruit trees. Development of breeding technologies for alternative and new fruit trees, as well as estimations of their thermal resistance under the conditions of the Czech Republic.
Zdenka Hybnerová: Independent Technician - preparation of plants under in vitro conditions.