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Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

WWW

www.zfibr.wbbib.uj.edu.pl/

Head

Professor Jerzy Kruk, PhD, DSc
room: B221 (3.1.25), phone: +48 12 664 63 61

Staff

professor Leszek Fiedor, PhD, DSc, room: B224 (3.1.31), phone: +48 12 664 63 58, e-mail:leszek.fiedor@uj.edu.pl

Dariusz Latowski, PhD, DSc,  room: A225 (4.1.27), phone: +48 12 664 65 36, e-mail: dariusz.latowski@uj.edu.pl

Przemysław Malec, PhD, DSc,  room: A221 (4.1.23), phone: +48 12 664 65 20, e-mail:przemyslaw.malec@uj.edu.pl

Beata Myśliwa-Kurdziel, PhD, DSc,  room: B227 (3.1.31), phone: +48 12 664 65 64, e-mail: b.mysliwa-kurdziel@uj.edu.pl

Monika Bojko, PhD, room: B225 (3.1.29), phone: +48 12 664 63 68, e-mail: m.bojko@uj.edu.pl

Małgorzata Jemioła–Rzemińska, PhD,  room: A224 (4.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 65 37, malgorzata.jemiola-rzeminska@uj.edu.pl

Michał Gabruk, PhD, room: B222 (3.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 63 72, michal.gabruk@uj.edu.pl

Paweł Jedynak, PhD, room: A220  (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45, pawel.jedynak@uj.edu.pl

Magdalena Kędra, PhD, room: A223 (4.1.25), phone: +48 12 664 65 19, e-mail: magdalena.kedra@uj.edu.pl

Kinga Kłodawska, PhD, room: A226 (4.1.28), phone: +48 12 664 65 34, kinga.klodawska@uj.edu.pl

Beatrycze Nowicka, PhD, room: B222 (3.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 63 66, e-mail: beatrycze.nowicka@uj.edu.pl

Joanna Stefan, PhD, room B222 (3.1.26), phone: + 48 12 664 65 72, e-mail: joanna.stefan@uj.edu.pl

Anna Kowalczyk, MSc. Eng., room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 45, e-mail: kowalczyk.kowalczyk@uj.edu.pl

Dorota Kutrzeba, MSc., room: A223 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 19, e-mail: dorota.kutrzeba@uj.edu.pl

Bartosz Pluciński, MSc., room: A220 (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45, bartosz.plucinski@uj.edu.pl

PhD students

Kamil Trzebuniak, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Mateusz Zbyradowski, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Emilia Capała, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Stanisław Listwan, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Wiktor Tokarek, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Research topics

  • The xanthophyll cycle of higher plants, green algae and diatoms; analysis of de-epoxidation in thylakoid membranes and in artificial membrane systems
  • Protective role of carotenoids – molecular mechanism of epoxy xanthophylls de-epoxidation
  • The effect of heavy metals on the germination of seeds, physiology biochemistry and genetics of plants  from post-mining areas – in in vitro culture
  • Adaptations of plants to anthropogenic heavy metal stress: mechanisms and propagation
  • The role of antioxidants in the response to heavy metal stress 
  • Plants and microorganisms in bioremediation
  • Molecular mechanisms of response in autotrophic organisms to abiotic environmental factors (light, temperature, transition metals), including: environmental regulation of chlorophyll and carotenoid biosynthesis pathways, physiological function of oligomerization of photosystem I in cyanobacteria; plant metabolic adaptations to elevated concentrations of metal ions
  • Application of autotrophs to phytoremediation and biotransformation of hazardous wastes
  • Development of photosynthetic membranes in higher plants; chlorophyll biosynthesis
  • Physicochemical properties of biological membranes
  • Thermotropic phase transitions of lipids
  • Cyanobacterial cell wall metabolism

Methods

  • Liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD, FPLC-DAD, HPTLC)
  • Gas chromatography (GC-FID)
  • PCR
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Absorption spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy (steady-state and time-resolved methods at room temperature and at 77K, fluorescence anizotropy)
  • Electrophoresis
  • Isolation of plastid membranes
  • Pigment extraction from plant tissue
  • Electronic absorption and emission spectroscopy
  • Circular dichroism
  • Quantum-chemical computation
  • Plant and cell culture
  • Protein expression and purification using E.coli expression system
  • Stable transformation of A. thaliana with Agrobacterium

Current projects

  1. Jerzy Kruk: Modification of plastoquinone :side-chain length as a method of increasing plant photosynthesis efficiency (2016-2019 ) 2015/19/B/NZ9/00422, OPUS10, National Science Centre (NCN)
  2. Beata Myśliwa-Kurdziel: The role of light-dependent chlorophyll biosynthesis in the regulation of biosynthesis and the assembly of photosynthetic dye-protein-lipid complexes in flowering plants. (2014-2018).2013/10/E/NZ3/00748 SONATA BIS, National Science Centre (NCN). 

Selected publications

  1. Ciura J., Kruk J. Phytohormones as targets for improving plant productivity and stress tolerance. (2018) J. Plant Physiol. 229, 32–40.
  2. Ferretti U., Ciura J., Ksas B., Rác M., Sedlářová M., Kruk J., Havaux M., Pospíšil P. (2018) Singlet oxygen scavenging by plastoquinones in Arabidopsis thaliana – the evidence for the trihydroxy-plastoquinoneas the natural product during photooxidative stress. Plant J. 95, 848–861.
  3. Fiedor L., Pilch M. (2018) Side methyl groups control the conformation  and contribute to symmetry breaking of isoprenoid chromophores. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 6501-6506.
  4. Kotkowiak M., Dudkowiak A., Fiedor L. (2017) Intrinsic photoprotective mechanisms in chlorophylls. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 56, 10457-10461.
  5. Gabruk M, Myśliwa-Kurdziel B, Kruk J. (2017) MGDG, PG and SQDG regulate the activity of light-dependent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase. Biochemical Journal 474, 1307-1320.
  6. Schaller-Laudel S., Latowski D., Jemioła-Rzemińska M., Strzałka K., Daumd S., Bacia K., Wilhelm C., Goss R. (2017) Influence of thylakoid membrane lipids on the structure of aggregated light-harvesting complexes of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and the green alga Mantoniella squamata. Physiologia Plantarum 160: 339–358. doi:10.1111/ppl.12565.
  7. Fiedor L, Heriyanto, Fiedor J.,  Pilch M. (2016) Effects of molecular symmetry on the electronic transitions in carotenoids. J Phys Chem Lett 7, 1821-1829.
  8. Kowalczyk A., Chyc M., Ryszka P., Latowski D. (2016): Achromobacterxylosoxidans as a new microorganism strain colonizing high-density polyethylene as a key step to its biodegradation. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 23 (11): 11349-11356.
  9. Tokarek W., Listwan S., Pagacz J., Leśniak P., Latowski D. (2016): Column chromatography as a useful step in purification of diatom pigments. Acta Biochimica Polonica 63 (3): 443-447.
  10. Kuczynska P., Jemiola-Rzeminska M., Strzalka K. (2015) Photosynthetic pigments in diatoms. Mar. Drugs 13, 5847–5881.
  11. Szymańska R., Nowicka B., Kruk J. (2014): Hydroxy-plastochromanol and plastoquinone-C as singlet oxygen products during photooxidative stress in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Environ 37, 1464-1473.
  12. Nowicka B., Kruk J. (2010) Occurrence, biosynthesis and function of isoprenoid quinones. BBA – Bioenergetics 1797, 1587-1605.
  13. Szymańska R., Kruk J. (2010) Plastoquinol is the main prenyllipid synthesized during acclimation to high light conditions in Arabidopsis and is converted to plastochromanol by tocopherol cyclase. Plant Cell Physiol 51, 537-545.
  14. Fiedor L., Kania A., Myśliwa-Kurdziel B., Orzeł Ł., Stochel G. (2008) Understanding chlorophylls: central magnesium and phytyl as structural determinants. Biochim Biophys Acta 1777, 1491-1500.
  15. Warkiewicz E., Strączek A., Latowski D., Bojko M. (2018) Acclimatization of Diatom Phaeodactylum Tricornutum to Long-Term Environmental Temperature and Light Intensity Changes,  Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on New Technologies (NewTech'18) Madrid, Spain – August 19 – 21, 2018 Paper No. ICEPR 146 DOI: 10.11159/icepr18.146.

Batchelor/master thesis topics

  • Photosynthesis under stress conditions – adaptations and protective mechanisms; xanthophyll cycle; formation of the photosynthetic apparatus, light-dependent photosynthetic reactions
  • Investigation of primary photosynthetic reactions and interactions between photosynthetic complexes in model systems; physical-chemical properties of thylakoid membranes; modifications of photosynthetic pigments in terms of application in photodynamic therapy; carotenoids and their role in photosynthesis process
  • Reconstitution of photosynthetic protein pigment complexes; pro-oxidant  properties of carotenoids
  • Plant metabolites and their role in medicine; artificial membranes; redox reactions in chloroplasts
  • Analysis of chlorophyllide, protochlorophyllide and protochlorophyll photophysical properties in model systems; structures of photoactive complexes protochlorophyllide: oxidoreductase, protochlorophyllide: NADPH – using fluorescence quenching technique
  • Effect of selected heavy metals on light-dependent photosynthetic reactions of higher plants on different levels of organization – individual and evolutionary aspects
  • Plants and microorganisms in bioremediation of contaminated areas – molecular aspects, practical application
  • Fluorescent properties of reduced prenyl quinones and their application in in vitro research
  • The role of prenyllipids in plant stress response 
  • Formation and quenching of ROS in photosynthesis
  • Acclimatization of diatoms to environmental changes  
  • The role of low-molecular weight antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes in the response to heavy metal-induced stress 
  • Biochemical characterization of selected enzymes involved in peptidoglycan metabolism in cyanobacteria

Requirements for candidates

Knowledge on physiology and biochemistry of plants, molecular biology, physics and chemistry. Fluent English. Laboratory skills.