Projects

International

DiSSCo Prepare – Distribuovaný systém vedeckých zbierok – prípravná fáza
Distributed System of Scientific Collections – Preparatory Phase Project
Program: Horizont 2020
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: prof. RNDr. Marhold Karol, DrSc.
Annotation: The premise of the project of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures ESFRI – DiSSCo is the fact the European natural history collections comprise approx. 1.5 billion biological and geological objects, which represents approx. 55 % of the world collections and documents approx. 80 % of known current and past biological and geological diversity on the Earth. The aim of the project is to prepare pan European distributed system of interconnected natural history collections. The current state of affairs, when collections are fragmented and information about them are mostly not digitized should be changed into integrated data pan European infrastructure. As part of the Slovak participation in this infrastructure, we expect in long term, depending on the extent of national funding provided to this ESFRI project, digitalisation of all botanical, mycological and zoological collections in our country. We expect also digitalisation of existing literature records on the distribution of plants, fungi and animals in Slovakia that are currently mostly available in analogue form only.
Project web page: https://www.dissco.eu/prepare/
Duration: 1.2.2020 – 31.1.2023
EPI-CATCH – EPIgenetické mechanizmy adaptácie plodín na klimatickú zmenu
EPIgenetic mechanisms of Crop Adaptation To Climate cHange
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Lancíková Veronika, PhD.
Annotation: The ultimate objective of this proposed COST action is to define, develop, generate and share new breaking knowledge and methodologies for the investigation of epigenetic mechanisms modulating plant adaptation to environmental stresses driven by climate change. So far, no international network has been created with the aim of standardizing methodology in plant epigenetics/epigenomics and better integrate these data with other “omic” approaches. EPI-CATCH will create a pan-European framework for networking in this under-investigated research field. This COST Action will use a unique cross-disciplinary approach that brings together industrial developers, molecular geneticists, molecular biologists, crop breeders, agronomists, plant pathologists, and bioinformaticians. EPI-CATCH will explore new frontiers on both innovative and translational research targeting the new challenges in plant epigenetics. Four main specific objectives will be addressed by four working groups : 1) update of the most recent findings in crop epigenomics related to climate change, 2) development of new concepts and approaches in crop epigenetics and epigenomics that can be transferable in other living organisms, 3) establishment of common standardized pipelines, methods and workflows for generation, analysis and interpretation of epigenetic/epigenomic data, 4) an intense output dissemination and training for early-career scientists. The methodologies, concepts and ideas developed by EPI-CATCH will assist stakeholders to develop future innovative technologies to enhance environmental sustainability of agriculture in a rapid climate change scenario.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA19125/#tabs|Name:overview
Duration: 17.9.2020 – 16.9.2024
COST ETN – Európska sieť na sledovanie akvatických živočíchov
The European Aquatic Animal Tracking Network
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Pekárik Ladislav, PhD.
Annotation: Telemetry is a commonly applied method to investigate the ecology and movement behaviour of aquatic species in relation to their environment. It provides a scientific basis for management and conservation and has significantly improved our understanding of ecosystem functioning and dynamics. More specifically, telemetry provides valuable data that can be used in many policies and directives. As a result, large scale nationally and regionally managed initiatives were implemented around the globe in recent years. Although there is a large and growing number of researchers in Europe using biotelemetry to study aquatic animals and answer management-related questions, there is a stringent lack of in-field telemetry collaborations in Europe. This situation represents a substantial loss of opportunities for: scientific excellence, funding opportunities and competitivity of European SME on the international biotelemetry market. With this COST Action, we want to close this gap and the overarching objective is to ensure a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing regional telemetry initiatives to a sustainable, efficient, and integrated pan-European biotelemetry network embedded in the international context of already existing initiatives. This will be achieved through working group meetings, workshops, training courses and scientific missions focused on: 1) Implementing a centralised European database, requirements and policy mapped to the data standards of existing international biotelemetry data systems, 2) improve the usefulness and inter-applicability of currently available technology and foster technological advancements, 3) promoting the establishment of key telemetry infrastructure and research on key species, and 4) provide continuous training opportunities and disseminate knowledge to the stakeholders\’ community.
Project web page: http://www.lifewatch.be/etn/
Duration: 1.4.2019 – 31.3.2023
Ex situ konzervácia druhov ihličnatých drevín použitím in vitro kultúr a kryokonzervačných techník – v rámci projektu Integrovaný prístup konzervácie ohrozených rastlín pre 21. storočie
Ex situ conservation of conifer tree species using in vitro cultures and cryopreservation techniques – in the frame of An integrated approach to conservation of threatened plants for the 21st Century
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Salaj Terézia, DrSc.
Annotation: The overarching aim of this Action is to improve plant conservation in Europe through the establishment of a network of scientists and other stakeholders who deal with different aspects of plant conservation, from plant taxonomy, ecology, conservation genetics, conservation physiology and reproductive biology to protected area\’s managers.The aim of research group at IPGB PSBC SAS is the study of somatic embryogenesis, including initiation of the process, maturation as well as plantlet regeneration in Pinus nigra, Abies alba and Abies hybrids. The study will be focused on physiological, biochemical as well as structural aspects, important for understanding of the mechanism underlying somatic embryogenesis. For cryopreservation of embryogenic tissue the slow-freezing method, suitable for unorganised cell and tissue cultures, will be used.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18201
Duration: 15.10.2019 – 14.10.2023
Genome editing in plants – a technology with transformative potential
Editovanie genómu rastlín – technológia s transformatívnym potenciálom
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Jopčík Martin , PhD.
Annotation: A great challenge of this century is to provide adequate nutrition for an increasing global population while developing a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture that counters climate change, biodiversity loss and degradation of arable land. Plant research and breeding are very important in meeting this challenge. Building on scientific progress, a number of genome editing techniques have been developed over the past two decades allowing an unprecedented level of precision in our control over genetic material and its corresponding traits.This COST Action will bring together expertise from a range of disciplines to evaluate plant genome editing techniques and their resulting products from various perspectives. The findings will serve to design a roadmap for directing and facilitating applications of genome editing in plant research and breeding, which in turn will help setting R&D priorities and stimulating further cross-national and cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18111/#tabs|Name:overview
Duration: 25.4.2019 – 24.4.2023
Konverzia poznatkov na zlepšenie riadenia európskych pobrežných ekosystémov a služieb – COST
Knowledge conversion for enhancing management of European riparian ecosystems and services
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Šibíková Mária, PhD.
Duration: 9.11.2017 – 8.11.2021
PLANTMETALS – Metabolizmus kovov v rastlinách
Trace metal metabolism in plants
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: doc. RNDr. Vaculík Marek, PhD.
Annotation: Many trace metals (TMs) (e.g. Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Zn) are essential for organisms as active centres of enzymes, as about one third of all proteins are metalloproteins. Therefore, TM homeostasis in plants is at the core of many challenges currently facing agriculture and human societies. Low TM bioavailability in many soil types of large world areas causes a reduction in crop production and diminishes nutritional value of food. Some essential TMs (e.g. Cu) have narrow beneficial concentration ranges, while others (e.g. Cd, Hg) are usually only toxic, and in many areas of the world metal toxicity is a severe agricultural and environmental problem. For environmental risk assessment and remediation, as well as improved agriculture (targeted fertilisation and breeding), the mechanisms of TM uptake, distribution, speciation, physiological use, deficiency, toxicity and detoxification need to be better understood. This Action aims at elucidating them by the combined expertise of researchers (physiologists, (bio)physicists, (bio)(geo)chemists, molecular geneticists, ecologists, agronomists and soil scientists). It furthermore aims at making this knowledge applicable to the needs of farmers and consumers, with input from companies for translating laboratory results into applied products. This shall be done by integrated scientific, communication and dissemination activities, pooling together our research efforts. Regular meetings within and between the workgroups of this COST Action, training workshops for young scientists, as well as by technology transfer meetings will be organised in cooperation with the partner companies within the Action, as well as producers and merchants of micronutrient fertilisers.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA19116/
Duration: 8.10.2020 – 7.10.2024
MOBILISE – Mobilizácia dát, pravidiel a expertov vo vedeckých zbierkach
Mobilising Data, Policies and Experts in Scientific Collections
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: prof. RNDr. Marhold Karol, DrSc.
Annotation: European Natural Science Collections host approximately 1.5 billion biological and geological collection objects, which represent about 80% of the known current and past biological and geological diversity on earth. The scope of this MOBILISE is to foster a cooperative network in Europe to support excellent research activities, and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer around natural science collections. This will prepare the ground for a future pan-European Distributed System of Scientific Collections.The COST Action MOBILISE will: (1) Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology between researchers, domain specialists, data aggregators and industry by networking activities, events, workshops and trainings (“Open to the world”)(2) Promote the development of innovative techniques and coordinated prioritisation to increase efficiency of large scale collection digitisation and mobilisation (“Open innovation”)(3) Raise awareness about the need in science and society that, apart from physical access, sustainable data access infrastructures are an integral component of biodiversity research (“Open access”)
Duration: 1.10.2018 – 1.10.2022
NaturaSat – softvér na výskum biotopov Natura 2000 pomocou satelitných dát
NaturaSat – software for exploring Natura 2000 habitats by satellite data
Program: European Space Agency (ESA)
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Šibíková Mária, PhD.
Annotation: The presented proposal represents convergence research solving complex questions requiring a multidisciplinary approach. It integrates knowledge of fieldwork scientists, mathematicians, and stakeholders focusing on habitat use and nature conservancy – especially the Natura 2000 network.The project objective is to build up the NaturaSat software allowing botanists, environmentalists, and nature conservationists across Europe to explore Natura 2000 habitats by using Sentinel-2 optical data. Achieving the project goals will guarantee the accurate area identification and classification of European protected habitats and continuous monitoring of their Spatio-temporal distribution and quality by the NaturaSat software.The project builds on the successful solution of the first phase, supported by ESA. We created a software prototype – NATURASAT, which should now be completed and tested in practice for its subsequent use by interested organizations or the private sector.
Duration: 1.10.2020 – 30.9.2022
SOURDOmiCS – Network biotechnológie kvasných procesov smerom k novým, zdravším a udržateľným potravinám a bioprocesom
SOURDOugh biotechnology network towards novel, healthier and sustainable food and bioprocesses
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Hricová Andrea, PhD.
Annotation: Traditional sourdough bread resorts to spontaneous fermentations leading to natural selections of microorganisms, mainly yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Such microorganisms are essentially beneficial to humans and, concomitantly, inhibits propagation of undesirable microbiota. Sourdough fermentation was probably one of the first microbial processes employed by Man for food production and preservation. Sourdough bread stills widely manufactured at farm level across Europe and worldwide and is highly appreciated by consumers for its distinct flavour, texture and healthy attributes. Through a bottom-up approach, this COST Action network brings together a multidisciplinary group of scientists and SMEs/LEs dedicated for many decades to study cereals and sourdough technologies. In upstream, it aims at exploitation autochthonous (pseudo)cereals with good baking, nutritional and healthy attributes, while promoting a sustainable agriculture and preserving genetic diversity. Simultaneously, aims at contributing to develop new business opportunities to local farmers through their engagement into food processing with shared small-scale breadmaking facilities, and the integration into industrial and trade chains. Such features are in agreement with European Agenda for Food and Environment. In downstream, the biotechnological sourdough fermentation exploitation comprises several objectives: design starter cultures with a wide range of biotechnological applications; production of healthy and tasty varieties of bread, thus catalysing changes in consumers\’ diets and market orientations; production of high-added value metabolites resorting to sourdough microbiota; and valorisation of by-products from cereal production and sourdough technologies.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18101/#tabs|Name:overview
Duration: 10.4.2019 – 9.4.2023
Network voda-energia-potraviny „NEXUS“ pre nízkouhlíkovú ekonomiku v Európe a vo svete
Network on water-energy-food Nexus for a low-carbon economy in Europe and beyond
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Lancíková Veronika, PhD.
Annotation: An international network of researchers is working with policymakers and the business sector to better understand how the water-energy-food Nexus fosters policy coherence in the domains of water, energy and food, supporting the transition towards a circular and low-carbon economy in Europe. Focus is on job creation, enhancing wellbeing and care for the environment. The Nexus concept is tested at different scales (i.e. local, regional, national, European), while the international dimension is explored through the involvement of international proposers. More Nexus-compliant practices are foreseen through a knowledge sharing hub at European level and beyond. Public-private initiatives pave the path for Nexus compliant practices, building on network members’ advice. NEXUSNET will deliver examples of nexus compliant decision making, and recommendations to best achieve them, to come-up with an overview of Good Nexus Practices in Europe (policy coherence, Nexus-compliant practices and more coherent nexus evaluations). Transdisciplinary approaches are adopted to test Nexus compliant practices with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, while interaction and engagement with current and finished Nexus-related projects will be pursued. Academic Nexus knowledge will be translated into practical and applicable knowledge for the private sector or policy makers. A series of intense knowledge transfer and dissemination actions are planned to ensure that the network will have a significant impact in Europe and beyond.
Duration: 25.5.2021 – 24.5.2025
Občianska veda (Citizen Science) ako nástroj na zvýšenie povedomia o nepôvodných druhov organizmov
Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science – Alien CSI
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Pekárik Ladislav, PhD.
Duration: 1.6.2018 – 30.6.2022
Ochrana in-situ pomocou menežmentu ekosystémov – v rámci projektu Integrovaný prístup k ochrane ohrozených rastlín v 21. storočí
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Šibíková Mária, PhD.
Annotation:
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18201
Duration: 15.10.2019 – 14.10.2023
G-BIKE – Poznanie genómovej biodiverzity pre odolné ekosystémy
Genomic biodiversity knowledge for resilient ecosystems
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiampor Fedor, PhD.
Annotation: In a rapidly changing environment the resilience of ecosystems depends ultimately on species adaptability. G-BIKE will enable standard and routine tools for assessing, monitoring and managing the genetic resilience and related adaptive potential of wild and captive populations. Although genetic data can be obtained for most organisms, the standardization of protocols for detecting and monitoring species’ genetic diversity, and their potential for adaptation, is still lacking. G-BIKE will assist scientists and practitioners across the EU and particularly in COST Inclusiveness Target Countries to integrate genetic and evolutionary knowledge into conservation planning policies, and to promote cross-border management and long term monitoring programs of evolutionary potential in order to ensure persistence of populations and species, and ultimately the continued supply of nature-based ecosystem services. Considering the drastic impacts of climate change during the coming decades, G-BIKE is especially urgent. The following aims will be accomplished by involving a balanced representation of scientists and practitioners from a diversity of countries: 1) clearly articulating for managers how genetic diversity can support ecosystems; 2) developing and testing best practice protocols for monitoring genetic diversity in time and space; 3) providing an online forum on emerging tools; 4) connecting all stakeholders through networking and training opportunities; 4) building a network of conservation genetics labs; 5) building a foundation for long term impact.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18134
Duration: 1.3.2019 – 31.3.2023
Reštitúcia jesetera malého v rakúskom úseku Dunaja – LIFE
Restoration of sterlet populations in the Austrian Danube – LIFE
Program: LIFE
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Pekárik Ladislav, PhD.
Duration: 1.1.2015 – 31.12.2021
KEW – Uchovanie endemickej flóry Karpát
Conserving the endemic flora of the Carpathian region
Program: Iné
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Kučera Jaromír, PhD.
Annotation: This project cover seed collecting and research activities of vascular plants in Carpathian region with special focus on Carpathian endemics, sub-endemics, and regional endangered species found at the edge of their distribution. In 2017 was developed Carpathians research network which connecting experts from five different countries. Project is managed by our Institution and finnaced by RGB Kew. The main aims of the project are: ex situ conservation of seeds – seed banking; comprehensive biosystematic investigation of selected Carpathian endemic taxa and taxa groups (we selected five different model genera which include Carpathian endemics – Carex curvula agg., D. arbuscula Čelak. and D. petraea Leyb., Soldanella L.: sect. Soldanella, Draba L.: sect. Aizopsis, sect. Chrysodraba and sect. Leucodraba, Silene zawadzkii Herbich); and developing a detailed distribution database for the entire endemic flora of the Carpathians and publishing the Flora Endemica Carpatica monograph.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 30.6.2022
Úloha Clavariaceae (huby) v travinných ekosytémoch
Role of Clavariaceae (fungi) in grassland ecosystems
Program: Bilaterálne – iné
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Adamčík Slavomír, PhD.
Duration:
ConservePlants – Zjednocujúci pohľad na udržateľný manažment druhovej diverzity lesov mierneho pásma
Biodiversity of temperate forest taxa orienting management sustainability by unifying perspectives
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Šibík Jozef, PhD.
Annotation: The main aim and objective of the Action is to The Action challenge is to substantially increase the degree of management sustainability of European forest ecosystems in order to maintain their social, environmental and economic values in the long-term. It will be addressed by establishing a knowledge platform able to standardize and apply the existing information on forest biodiversity.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18207
Duration: 13.11.2019 – 12.11.2023

National

Ako environmentálna DNA (eDNA) odráža život v alpínskych jazerách a ich povodiach: DNA metabarkóding vo výskume tatranských plies
How environmental DNA (eDNA) reflects life in alpine lakes and their catchments: DNA metabarcoding in the Tatra lakes research
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiamporová-Zaťovičová Zuzana, PhD.
Annotation: Alpine lakes are globally unique aquatic habitats contributing significantly to the regional biodiversity and preserving ecosystem services. However, many of them are at risk, in particular from human activity and climate change. Their protection is therefore crucial, but must be based on accurate and up-to-date data. The project, following previous research of Tatra lakes, will for the first time use innovative molecular methods in the assessment of the alpine lakes biodiversity: metabarcoding, analysis of environmental DNA, NGS. They have great potential to describe the current state of biodiversity of lakes and their catchments in detail, detect rare/non-native species, determine the impact of environmental factors on aquatic biota and assess the species genetic variability. The project also includes the generation of reference molecular data (DNA barcoding) of the Tatra aquatic fauna, which is essential for the correct interpretation of metabarcoding data and will enable their use in modern monitoring.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Biosystematika, fylogenetické vzťahy a distribúcia vreckatých húb z radu Leotiales v Karpatoch
Biosystematics, fylogeny and distribution of ascomycetes of the order Leotiales in the Carpathians
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Kučera Viktor, PhD.
Annotation: Most members of the order Leotiales are quite rare and are endangered almost in all countries of their occurrence. The order includes two families, Geoglossaceae (8 genera) and Leotiaceae (3 genera). They occur in some forest areas but predominantly they are associated with specific non-forest habitats, such as peat bogs, meadows, pastures and also sand dunes. Recently numerous new taxa are being described but no determination manual for their identification is available. Latest estimate includes about 25 taxa of the order in the Carpathians but delimitation of most of them is vague. We have identified serious taxonomical problems in genera Geoglossum, Microglossum and Thuemenidium that have to be solved. Taxonomical data will support consequent phylogenetic analyses and discussion on paraphyletic origin of genera. Field collections from the Carpathians, type and other material held in fungaria also published records will allow us to summarize ecology, construct distribution maps and propose threat status.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Determinácia, šírenie a vplyv inváznych rastlín na prirodzené ekosystémy: príkladové štúdie na rodoch Centaurea, Fallopia a Solidago
Determination, spreading pattern and impact of invasive plants on native ecosystems: case studies on Centaurea, Fallopia and Solidago
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Skokanová Katarína, PhD.
Annotation: The project aims to study taxonomically problematic and hardly distinguishable invasive taxa and cytotypes of Centaurea stoebe agg., Fallopia japonica agg. and Solidago canadensis agg. occurring in central Europe. By combination of biosystematic approaches (morphometrics, flow cytometry, chromosome counting) we will determine particular taxa and cytotypes. Thanks to extensive field survey and revision of herbarium specimens we will contribute to the knowledge on current and past distribution of F. japonica agg. and S. canadensis agg. in central Europe and cytotypes of C. stoebe agg. in mixed-ploidy populations. Further, we will analyse ecological demands of particular taxa and cytotypes and model their future potential spreading within the studied area. To reveal and to compare impact of invasive taxa of F. japonica agg. and S. canadensis agg. on natural biotopes we will use a combined approach including analyses of soil properties, seed bank, diversity of plants, fungi and molluscs in invaded biotopes.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
DD ChangE – Diverzita a distribúcia druhov a spoločenstiev v meniacom sa prostredí
Diversity and distribution of species and communities in changing environment
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Šibíková Mária, PhD.
Annotation: Spatio-temporal changes translate to changes in diversity and distribution of populations and communities across all organizational levels, influencing many aspects of biota. Shifts in distribution of plant communities and species including invasions by alien species gained significance in past decades when this phenomenon became more evident. Now it is obvious that the main drivers and causes of changes in diversity and distribution include 1) land use and management; 2) climate change; 3) spreading of alien species and 4) natural disturbances. Combinations of these factors influence vegetation, agroecosystems and forestry either in negative or positive way. Identifying general pattern at local scales, in various habitats, and differentiation of effects caused by each driver will help us to understand the impact of observed changes and their role in ecosystems. To reach our goals we focus on habitats from the basins to the alpine belt – floodplains, montane forests, grassland and alpine communities.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Diverzita bioty miest v karpatsko-panónskej oblasti
Diversity of urban biota in the Carpathian-Pannonian region
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Májeková Jana, PhD.
Annotation: The project deals with the research of biodiversity in the urban environment in the territory of two important Central European bioregions – Pannonian and Carpathian. After multiple stratification, 30 Slovak cities were selected, representatively distributed on the basis of geographical location and demography. Within each city, the research will be carried out through two model, ecologically significantly linked groups (vascular plants and terrestrial snails) and on seven habitats typical of the urban environment. The aim of the submitted project is to find out: 1) How environmental and anthropogenic factors affect the diversity of native species in different types of urban environment and the penetration of non-native species into cities, 2) if there is a difference in the diversity structure of model groups of organisms in the Carpathian and Pannonian biogeographical regions, and 3) which of the urban habitats is the most important in terms of biodiversity and can potentially serve as an indicator habitat.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Diverzita lúčnych a pasienkových biotopov Slovenska po dvoch dekádach v Európskej únii
Diversity of grassland habitats in Slovakia after two decades in the EU
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Vantarová Katarína, PhD.
Annotation: The landuse changes dynamicaly in time and these changes reflect in the vegetation composition and structure. The changes in the agricultural landscape are significantly influenced by the agricultural subsidies received in Slovakia since 2004 when the country joined the European Union. The aim of the project is to asses the changes in the floristic composition and functional traits of the grassland habitats of European and national importance using the resampling of phytosociological relevés. Based on the results we will asses the effectiveness and impact of agricultural subsidies on recent state of the studied habitats. At the same time, we will continue testing the influence of various management techniques in the permanent plots on composition of grassland vegetation. The results of our research may be used by the State Conservancy Agency and will serve as a basis for optimisation of management measures for maintaining the favourable condition of grassland habitats of European and national importance.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Diverzita rastlín jelšových lesov hlavných bioregiónov strednej Európy
Diversity of plant understory of alder forests in the main bioregions of Central Europe
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Hrivnák Richard, PhD.
Annotation: Alder forests with dominance of Alnus glutinosa are ecologically and floristically specific vegetation type. These forests belong to the endangered vegetation and they are under strong human pressure in Central Europe. We focus on the study of plant diversity patterns (alpha, beta and gamma) in the main Central European bioregions (Alpine, Continental and Pannonian) with respect to various plant groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, native and alien species) and two types of these forests, riparian alder forests and alder carrs. In addition, we would like to detect which ecological factors (including human impact) have an impact on alpha diversity of plants and which conditions predeterminate the highest species richness.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Diverzita spoločenstiev húb a rias asociovaných v lišajníkoch s centrom rozšírenia v Mediteráne na ekologickej a priestorovej úrovni
Diversity of fungal and algal communities associated to Mediterranean centered lichens at ecological and spacial levels
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Bérešová Anna, PhD.
Annotation: Biodiversity plays important roles in the capacity of biological and ecological systems to respond to global environmental changes. Projections of climate change demonstrate increased climatic variation of the regions and biomes with long-term stabile climate in the past, such as Mediterranean ecosystems, which thus represent suitable study systems. Recent phylogenetic and ecological studies show that Solenopsora lichen species can be used as models to explore diversity and ecological adaptation of symbiotic organisms in the Mediterranean region. In this project we aim to to test the hypothesis that the diversity of fungal and algal communities associated to Solenopsora lichen thalli correlate with the evolutionary history, geographical range and the ecology of two selected species – S. candicans with broader range exceeding Mediterranean region; and S. grisea, restricted to the Mediterranean region.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Diverzita spoločenstiev húb a rias asociovaných v lišajníkoch s centrom rozšírenia v Mediteráne na ekologickej a priestorovej úrovni
Diversity of fungal and algal communities associated to Mediterranean centered lichens at ecological and spacial levels
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Bérešová Anna, PhD.
Annotation: Biodiversity plays important roles in the capacity of biological and ecological systems to respond to global environmental changes. Projections of climate change demonstrate increased climatic variation of the regions and biomes with long-term stabile climate in the past, such as Mediterranean ecosystems. To understand the impact of climatic changes on biodiversity we need to know it on all the levels. Recent phylogenetic and ecological studies show that Solenopsora lichen species can be used as models to explore diversity and ecological adaptation of symbiotic organisms in the Mediterranean region. In this project we aim to to test the hypothesis that the diversity of fungal and algal communities associated to Solenopsora lichen thalli correlate with the evolutionary history, geographical range and the ecology of two selected species – S. candicans with broader range exceeding Mediterranean region; and S. grisea, restricted to the Mediterranean region.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Drive4SIFood – Dopytovo orientovaný výskum pre udržateľné a inovatívne potraviny
Demand-driven research for the sustainable and innovative food
Program: Štrukturálne fondy EÚ Výskum a inovácie
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Gajdošová Alena, CSc.
Annotation:
Duration: 1.9.2020 – 30.6.2023
Flóra Slovenska – čeľaď Asteraceae (2. časť): biosystematické štúdium kritických taxónov
Flora of Slovakia – Asteraceae family (Part 2): biosystematic study of critical taxa
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Hodálová Iva, CSc.
Annotation: The project is focused on taxonomic and chorological revision of selected representatives of Asteraceae family (tribes Cardueae, Eupatoriae, Heliantheae, Inuleae) in Slovakia or Central Europe, respectively. The main result will be publishing of the next volume of book series Flora of Slovakia, namely Volume VI/2 (Part 2). Each taxon (cca 140 species, 55 genera) will be treated in terms of nomenclature, morphology, karyology, ecology, and chorology. Identification keys (in Slovak and English), original drawings of plants and distribution maps will be also included. Results of the study of taxonomically complex groups from genera Centaurea, Colymbada, Cyanus and Helianthus will be published in separate papers. As part of the project we will published also a book with revised Slovak vascular plant names (Slovak Nomenclature of Vascular Plants; cca 25,000 headings) and anextended and supplemented electronic edition of the biographical dictionary Botanical Personalities of Slovakia (cca 630 personalities).
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Flóra Slovenska – čeľaď Asteraceae (2. časť): biosystematické štúdium kritických taxónov
Flora of Slovakia – Asteraceae family (Part 2): biosystematic study of critical taxa
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Hodálová Iva, CSc.
Annotation: The project is focused on taxonomic and chorological revision of selected representatives of Asteraceae family (tribes Cardueae, Eupatoriae, Heliantheae, Inuleae) in Slovakia or Central Europe, respectively. The main result will be publishing of the next volume of book series Flora of Slovakia, namely Volume VI/2, Part 2. Each taxon (cca 140 species, 55 genera) will be treated in terms of nomenclature, morphology, karyology, ecology, and chorology. Identification keys (in Slovak and English), original drawings of plants and distribution maps will be also included. Results of the study of taxonomically complex groups from genera Centaurea, Colymbada, Cyanus and Helianthus will be published in separate papers. As part of the project we will published also a book with revised Slovak vascular plant names (Slovak Nomenclature of Vascular Plants; cca 25,000 headings) and an extended and supplemented electronic edition of the biographical dictionary Botanical Personalities of Slovakia (cca 630 personalities).
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Genetická štruktúra a diverzita predpokladaných hybridných rojov borovice lesnej (Pinus sylvestris L.) a borovice horskej – kosodreviny (P. mugo Turra) na severnom Slovensku
Genetic structure and diversity of putative hybrid swarms of Scots pine and mountain dwarf pine in northern Slovakia
Program: DoktoGranty
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Klobučník Miroslav
Annotation: The aim of the present study is to analyze genetic structure and diversity of putative hybrid swarms of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and mountain dwarf pine (P. mugo Turra) in northern Slovakia. The localities of their occurence include peat-bogs in Horná Orava region, namely Medzi Bormi near Zuberec, Tisovnica near Oravská Polhora, and Rudné near Suchá Hora. Hybrid status is also suggested for several individuals on the rocky locality Obšívanka – Sokolie near Terchová (Malá Fatra). To study these populations, the nuclear simple sequence repeats (SSR) will be used. Within-population genetic variation will be evaluated by the concept of genetic structure and diversity, and results will then be used to determine among-population variation (genetic differentiation). Ultimately, this should contribute to specifying the phylogenetic relationships of the respective hybrid swarms with their putative parent taxa.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2021
Genetická štruktúra hybridných rojov borovice lesnej a borovice horskej na Slovensku
Genetic structure of hybrid swarms of Scots pine and dwarf mountain pine in Slovakia
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Kormuťák Andrej, DrSc.
Annotation: The project aims in description of genetic status of the putative hybrid swarms of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and dwarf mountain pine (Pinus mugo Turra) in northern Slovakia. The attention will be paid to comparison of genetic structure of the putative hybrid swarms Medzi Bormi in Zuberec-Habovka, Tisovnica in Oravska Polhora, Sucha Hora and Obšívanka-Sokolie near Terchova with the structure of selected reference populations of pure species P. mugo and P. sylvestris. As genetic markers, the microsatellites of the nuclear genes and tandem repeated retrotranspozons of nuclear DNA (iPBS) will be used. Obtained experimental data will serve in calculation the basic characteristics of genetic structure in individual populations and subsequent drawing the conclusions about genetic distance between them as the main indication of their resemblance or differentiation.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2022
FUNPOXHYB – Hybridné hémové peroxidázy húb z pralesa s využitím v environmentálnych biotechnológiách
Fungal hybrid heme peroxidases from primeval forest with application in environmental biotechnologies
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Adamčík Slavomír, PhD.
Annotation: Hybrid heme peroxidases (EC 1.11.1.7) are newly discovered specific oxidoreductases capable of cleaving reactive peroxide bonds in inorganic as well as organic compounds. Concomitantly to this cleavage they oxidize mainly organic compounds forming radical products that can enter polymerization reactions. Over 260 complete sequences from various regions of whole genome DNA were discovered. After their RNA splicing and translation in corresponding protein sequences they exhibit a high level of conservation. So far they were discovered solely in the kingdom of fungi. According to their typical essential sequence patterns responsible for heme binding they all belong to the large peroxidase-catalase superfamily couting currently over 41000 representatives from prokaryotes and eukaryotes. With their catalytic activity hybrid peroxidases represent efficient extracellular enzymatic antioxidants with broad application in defence against toxic effects of the oxidative stress. Recently, their expression and function was described in phytopathogenic fungi. The objective of our proposed project is the discovery of complete DNA gene clusters, corresponding mRNA transcripts and translated secreted isozymes of hybrid heme peroxidases among non-pathogenic fungi isolated from unique primeval forest biotopes of Slovakia. Our goal is to obtain a stable level of expression for selected recombinant hybrid peroxidases with highest level of catalytic efficiency typical for this subfamily. We aim to purify sufficient amounts of this unique enzymatic antioxidants to allow the resolution of 3D structure from produced protein crystals. This shall lead to the explanation of their peculiar reactivity on the base of structure-function relationships in the conserved catalytic centre. No such crystal structure for any hybrid peroxidases is known yet so its availability for unique peroxidases from primeval forest biotopes will allow great future applications in green biotechnologies.
Duration: 1.7.2021 – 30.6.2025
Hydrolytické enzýmy mäsožravých rastlín a ich potenciál pre biotechnologické využitie
Hydrolytic enzymes of carnivorous plants and their potential for application in biotechnology
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Libantová Jana, CSc.
Annotation: The genus Drosera L. represents more than 250 species of carnivorous plants with leaves adapted to capture insects, digest them, and absorb the nutrients. The genomes of individual species, including the genes involved in digestion have been poorly explored so far. Chitinases and ß-1,3-glucanases are believed to play important role in developmental processes, responses to stress as well as during the insect prey digestion. Previously we have isolated two genes encoding chitinase and ß-1,3-glucanase from Drosera binata. Here, we focus on the isolation of reference genes from this species and revealing expression profiles for chitinase and ß-1,3-glucanase genes in individual organs, upon stress and during digestion. Purified enzymes will be tested on their ability to inhibit the growth of phytopathogens and to hydrolyse different substrates. Following the enzyme hydrolysis the size of products will be determined. This way potential of these genes for application in biotechnology and pharmacy will be explored.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2023
AQUARAD – Chronické ionizujúce žiarenie narúša odolnosť vodných rastlín voči škodcom: Štúdium a validácia biochemických mechanizmov
Chronic ionizing radiation compromises resistance to pests in wild aquatic plants: Discovery and validation of biochemical mechanisms
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Danchenko Maksym, PhD.
Annotation: Most environmental pollutants, including radionuclides, are persistent; thus, they chronically influence plants. Ionizing radiation is a ubiquitous stress factor with unclear consequences of prolonged exposure to low doses. One plausible mechanism of damage to cellular biomolecules is mediated through reactive oxygen species. Inspired by encouraging preliminary data in legume crop on differentially abundant proteins involved in defense responses and non-systematic field observations of increased infestation of the wild aquatic plant by mites, we propose this original research. The central hypothesis of the project is compromised phytoimmunity through oxidative damage of regulatory proteins in aquatic plants, particularly common reed (Phragmites australis), naturally grown in contaminated lakes of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Upon initial verification of preliminary field data with laboratory bioassays, we will discover biochemical mechanisms by front-end proteomics. In parallel, we will explore the most common modifications of proteins during oxidative imbalance—carbonylations. Findings from the screening stage will be validated using targeted enzymatic, immunolocalization, and gene expression assays. Essentially, the unbiased approach of this proposal might close the intriguing knowledge gap in fundamental radiobiology and produce relevant practical knowledge for the monitoring or potential use of contaminated lakes. This project will enable the establishing of an independent research group of the Principal Investigator and starting a collaboration between sufficiently equipped academic laboratories with complementary expertise.
Duration: 1.8.2021 – 30.6.2025
PlantCalp – Mechanizmus pozičnej signalizácie v rastlinách – pochopenie DEK1 dráhy
The mechanism of positional signalling in plants – understanding of the DEK1 pathway
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: doc. RNDr. Jásik Ján, DrSc.
Annotation: Positional signalling plays instrumental role during plant growth and development. Positional cues control what type of cell will form (cell fate determination) and how big the cell will grow (cell expansion). Genetic studies identified membrane-anchored calpain protease DEFECTIVE KERNEL 1 (DEK1) as an essential regulator of plant growth and development. Our hypothesis is that DEK1 evolved both sensory and effector functions to control robust morphogenetic outputs such as cell expansion, asymmetric cell division and cell fate determination in response to local positional cues. The exact mechanism of DEK1 activation and signal transmission is unknown. Another crucial missing piece in our understanding of DEK1-mediated signaling is the identity of DEK1 molecular targets. In this project we aim to validate putative DEK1 substrate(s) and interacting partners, functionally characterize the role of phosphorylation in DEK1 activation and continue our efforts to solve the DEK1 3D structure. The project builds on published and recent unpublished work of the principal investigator and his collaborators. Unraveling the mechanism of DEK1 action will shed light on one of the key principles of developmental control in plants with broad implications for biotechnology and agriculture.
Duration: 1.8.2018 – 30.6.2022
Mikrobiálna diverzita a sekundárne metabolity prítomné v tradičných slovenských syroch
The microbial diversity and secondary metabolites in traditional Slovak cheeses
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Mikušová Petra, PhD.
Annotation: Dairy products play an important role in nutrition and require permanent monitoring of microbial contamination. This is due to toxic metabolites produced mainly by microscopic fungi pose a health risk to the consumer. Actual, routine monitoring of cheeses is focused only on regulated AFM1. The aim of this project is to expand and deepen knowledge about the diversity of microcenosis, as well as the detection of their metabolites present in cheeses. Should we not find out the current situation in Slovakia, also on the basis of scientific works, which informs about new metabolites as well as new species of microscopic fungi in dairy products such as cheese? From this point of view, scientific questions concerning the presence of undesirable secondary metabolites in cheeses, their quantity as well as the precise identification of their potential producers are highly important.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Morfo-fyziologická, genetická a biochemická odpoveď rastlín láskavca (Amaranthus spp.) na stres vyvolaný ťažkými kovmi
Morpho-physiological, genetic and biochemical response of amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) to heavy metal stress
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Hricová Andrea, PhD.
Annotation: Heavy metal accumulation cause in plant tissue serious biochemical, physiological, and morphologicalabnormalities and may interfere with crop productivity. The project aims at morpho-physiological, genetic, andbiochemical responses of the grain amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) to heavy metal exposure, whereby able todeliver a valuable information about their phytoextraction potential and the reference to the impact of metals onbio-organics and nutritional quality. Moreover, gene expression analyses of amaranth genes already known to beresponders to different abiotic stress types in response to heavy metal stress will contribute to understandingheavy metals-regulated gene expression and regulatory networks. The possible temporary endophytic bacterialdiversity changes subjected to heavy metals will be assessed through metagenomic approach.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2021
NGS dáta v taxonómii vodných živočíchov: nové postupy vo výskume diverzity vodných chrobákov v čaase drastického celosvetového úbytku hmyzu
NGS data in aquatic animal taxonomy: new approaches to researching the diversity of aquatic beetles in a time of massive global insect decline
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiampor Fedor, PhD.
Annotation: According to the latest information, we are possibly facing massive insect extinction, which may have catastrophic consequences for humans. Aquatic insects, inevitable for freshwater ecosystems functioning, are also critically endangered, but we do not know its real diversity and are thus not capable of effective protection. To improve this, we need better data and innovate approaches in the biodiversity research.This project is focused on the world\’s diversity of water beetles, and will be based on the already stored and newly collected (mainly in tropical regions) material. The main goal is to significantly improve knowledge of the diversity of studied taxa and contribute to their protection by combining standard (morphology, DNA barcoding), and High Throughput Sequencing.The project\’s innovation is in the use of DNA metabarcoding adjusted for taxonomy purposes. Expected outputs are new taxa, reference barcodes database and estimate of the trends in the evolution of the aquatic beetles diversity.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2023
Odpovede koreňov jačmeňa na ťažké kovy: obrana alebo toxicita. Aplikácia metód chemickej biológie
Barley root responses to heavy metals: defense or toxicity. Chemical biology approach
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Tamás Ladislav
Annotation: Adaptation of plants to the ever-changing environment requires the integration of many endogenous ontogenic and exogenous environmental signals. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and phytohormones are the central components of this integration process regulating plant development and stress responses. In addition, components of the same as well as the distinct signaling pathways intensively interact among themselves. In order to gain more insight into the role of these signaling pathways in the response of barley root to stress conditions, the aim of the present project is the analysis of function of some specific signaling components in stress responses, using chemical biology, a new and powerful approaches, to unravel mechanisms of plant adaptation processes. Using small synthetic bioactive molecules for blocking the specific components of stress responses could uncover the function of physiological and biochemical processes in the toxicity and defense responses of roots to heavy metals.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 21.12.2023
Ostrovy vnútrozemskej slanomilnej vegetácie v temperátnej zóne Európy – čo ich spája a čo delí?
Islands of continental saline vegetation in temperate Europe – what they have in common and in what they differ?
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Dítě Daniel, PhD.
Annotation: The project is aimed to study inland saline vegetation of temperate Europe. We expand our study area into 11 regions where saline vegetation occurs, from central Germany to the Transylvanian Basin and Harghita Mountains in Romania. We focus on the complex study of relevant abiotic (especially climate, soil characteristics, land use) and biotic factors that determine the optimal conditions and surviving potential of halophytes and their plant communities. The groundwork of the analyzes will be a list of obligatory and facultative halophytes recorded in each region and their habitat linkage throughout the individual islands of halophytic vegetation. We also summarize the results of vegetation development of 9 halophytic sites within the Podunajská nížina lowland in Slovakia. 64 permanent plots were established with different sizes and under several forms of management in order to evaluate the success of restoration techniques as topsoil removal and re-introduction of grazing.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2023
SiliToxi – Potenciál kremíka na zmiernenie toxicity arzénu a antimónu pri kultúrnych rastlinách
Potential of silicon for mitigation of arsenic and antimony toxicity in agricultural crops
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Luxová Miroslava, CSc.
Annotation: Contamination by arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) is not only a serious environmental problem in highly-industrialized countries of the world, however also in Slovakia, mainly due to mining and power industry. The sites contaminated by these elements can be found across the whole Slovakia, from Malé Karpaty Mountains, Horná Nitra region, Liptov region to surrounding of Košice city in east Slovakia. As and Sb belong to toxic and dangerous elements for all living organisms. Despite an intensive research in the last years there is still only limited knowledge about the effect and phytotoxicity of As and Sb, and especially on interaction of toxic (As, Sb) and beneficial (Si) metalloids in plants what is the research aspect of this project. Therefore, the main aim of this project is to obtain a complex characterization of beneficial effects of Si on toxicity of individual elements and their combination on molecular-biological, biochemical, anatomical-morphological and physiological level. As a model object, important agricultural crops will be investigated.
Duration: 1.8.2018 – 30.6.2022
POLYPLOID – Pôvod polyploidných komplexov: úloha polyploidizácie a geografickej a ekologickej izolácie
The origin of polyploid complexes: the role of polyploidization, geographical and ecological isolation
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: prof. RNDr. Marhold Karol, DrSc.
Annotation: The main topics of the proposed project are microevolutionary and speciation processes in diploid-polyploid complexes belonging to the Brassicaceae family. Speciation both at the diploid and polyploid levels will be examined, elucidating the role of genome merge and duplication, geographical and ecological separation. The questions addressed have broader relevance, beyond the studied genera, and the answers can help us better understand processes underlying polyploid speciation as such. The methods applied in this project will include both conventional molecular systematics markers, as well as methods based on the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), namely restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) and combination of target enrichment of low-copy nuclear genes and genome skimming (Hyb-seq). Using the multi-marker approach we expect to gain deeper insights into the studied species complexes and increased robustness of the results. As a complement, flow-cytometric, morphometric, and ecological and climatic niche analyses will be employed. In order to achieve these goals we have chosen four genera from three different tribes of the Brassicaceae family (Alysseae [Alyssum, Odontarrhena], Camelineae [Arabidopsis], Cardamineae [Cardamine]), representing different evolutionary lineages in this family. We will take the advantage of the wealth of methods that are available for and already tested in the closely related genus Arabidopsis, our previous long-term experience with the proposed study genera, and also previously collected plant material.
Duration: 1.8.2018 – 31.7.2022
LORIEN – Smerom k udržateľnému manažmentu lesa: odpovede biodiverzity na pestovanie monokultúr naprieč viacerými taxonomickými skupinami a škálami
Towards a sustainable forest management: muLti-taxa and multiscale biOdiveRsIty response to the treE plaNtation
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Šibík Jozef, PhD.
Annotation: In almost all European forests their land-use history is deeply embedded with a variety of effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The majority of indicators of sustainable forest management are derived from information traditionally collected for timber production assessment, lacking meaningful biodiversity information. To understand multiple interactions between organisms and their environment, the main goal is to investigate the biodiversity responses to impacts of non-native forest plantations compared to native forest stands. Based on twin plot-method, multiscale relationships between multi-taxa biodiversity, structure and management will be analysed using five groups: plants, mites, spiders, saproxylic fauna and birds, providing an innovative perspective based on structured biodiversity information. This study could fill a critical gap in the understanding of complex biodiversity responses to forest management and may help to overcome sectoral biases on the local, regional or national scale.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
STRAKA – Strom a krajina – vplyv drevín na diverzitu pôdnych mikroorganizmov v poľnohospodárskej krajine
Tree and country – influence of trees on diversity of soil microorganisms in agricultural land
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Adamčík Slavomír, PhD.
Annotation: Solitary tree standing out of continual forest vegetation has well-known positive and negative impacts on grasslands and arable cultures. Close vicinity of tree causes light and wind interception resulting in change of herbal diversity of grasslands or inhibited growth of crop plants in arable agricultures. Positive influences of tree presence are local enhancing of biological diversity associated with improved ecosystem function. Soil fertility, stability of ecosystem and sustainable land management essentially depends on soil quality. Soil microorganisms are very susceptible to changes in soil characteristics and play the fundamental role in nutrient recycling and stability of ecosystem. Changes in microbial communities connected to presence of trees are underexplored but very actual with current effort to improve landscape structure. Trees are associated with specific groups of fungi; among them are highlighted ectomycorrhizal fungi. Soil of semi-natural grasslands is often dominated by probably biothrophic basidiomycetes and ascomycetes known as CHEGD fungi. In arable soils, special importance is attributed to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and presence of parasitic fungi. This project aims to study representation of fungi with symbiotic, saprophytic, parasitic or other trophic guilds resulted from interaction of tree presence in agricultural land. In addition, we will evaluate selected abiotic and biotic soil characteristics to estimate changes in functional diversity. Project uses advances methods in sequencing of environmental DNA, soil analyses and computer modelling of special influence of ecological factors.
Duration: 1.7.2021 – 30.6.2025
Svet vo svete – od mikrokozmov k ekosystémom
Worlds in a world – from microcosms to ecosystems
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Svitková Ivana, PhD.
Annotation: A good model system for ecological studies can be distinguished by low spatial variability (high replicabilty) and low stochasticity (high predictability). Aquatic ecosystems in phytotelmata are generally considered as excellent model systems to address various ecological theories (e.g., dynamics of metapopulations and metacommunities, island biogeography, food-web interactions). In temperate Europe, only small number of plant species exhibit morphological structures that would be able to hold water long enough to provide suitable conditions for development of aquatic communities, teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) being one of them. Beside some rather faunistic notes, very little is known about the ecosystem functioning in phytotelmata. Aims of the proposed project are to validate eligibility of phytotelmata as model systems, and to evaluate how the ongoing processes in phytotelmata affect the fitness of the whole teasel plants, what in turn can affect the character of a whole plant community itself.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2023
Systematika a fylogenéza rodu Dermoloma v Európe a Severnej Amerike
Systematics and phylogeny of the genus Dermoloma in Europe and North America
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Adamčík Slavomír, PhD.
Annotation: Dermoloma is insufficiently known genus of basidiomycetes classified in the order Agaricales (Agaricomycotina). More than 30 species are described worldwide, but only few of them are generally accepted. Opinions about morphological delimitation and number of the species are very variable in the current literature. Traditionally, up to eight species are recognised, although more than 30 European species were described. Our preliminary phylogenetic study suggest existence of more than 25 molecular operation units in Europe that probably represent independent species. Aim of the project is to define European and North American Dermoloma species by means of molecular and morphological methods and to assign them correct names. Fungi of the genus Dermoloma are essential part of grassland ecosystems and accordingly this project will deal with studies of environmental soil samples. We will look for suitable metabarcode for identification of species using next generation sequencing (metagenomics).
Duration: 1.1.2018 – 31.12.2021
Taxonómia čeľadí Elmidae, Protelmidae a Dryopidae
Taxonomy of families Elmidae, Protelmidae and Dryopidae (Insecta: Coleoptera)
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiampor Fedor, PhD.
Annotation: Beetles of the families Elmidae, Protelmidae and Dryopidae are adapted with their morphology and physiology primarily to life in the aquatic environment. Rather exceptionally are some Dryopidae from the wet tropics terrestrial (e.g. Sostea, Geoparnus, Spalacosostea, Monstrosostea).
The biodiversity of these groups and their evolutionary history are still poorly known, despite their almost cosmopolitan distribution and great importance in eco-environmental research. This project deals with taxonomy and reconstruction of phylogeny of studied beetles by a complex molecular-morphological approach. It is focused on the systematic position of the questionable and newly described taxa, and recognition of evolutionary patterns in the phylogeny of Elmidae, Protelmidae and Dryopidae.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Tradičné ekologické poznatky pre ochranu a obnovu travinno-bylinných biotopov
Traditional ecological knowledge for grassland conservation and restoration
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Janišová Monika, PhD.
Annotation: Recent crisis in biodiversity conservation of high nature value grasslands and failures of the Common Agriculture Policy of the EU ask for new effective solutions. Semi-natural grasslands evolved through a long-lasting low-intensity human land use, thus their biodiversity can be most effectively preserved by simulation of traditional agricultural practices. In the project we focus on a detail analysis of grassland phytodiversity in close relation with its historical development and traditional land use. The regions of the Eastern and Central Europe with well maintained traditional rural culture belong to the key study areas. Obtaining of high-value biological, ecological and ethnological data on the selected sites should guarantee the proper interpretation of the gathered traditional ecological knowledge. This can become a valuable scientific material for future adjustment of socio-political mechanisms in the realm of grassland conservation and restoration and sustainable land use.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Úloha kremíka v metabolických a biochemických procesoch rastlín vystavených stresu z toxických a potenciálne toxických prvkov
The role of silicon in metabolic and biochemical processes of plants exposed to stress induced by toxic and potentially toxic elements
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Fialová Ivana, PhD.
Annotation: Contamination of soil and water with heavy metals and metalloids is a worldwide problem today. The beneficial effect of silicon for optimal plant performance and agricultural crops exposed to various types of abiotic stress (studied in our previous projects) have been reported by several authors, though the mechanism of its action is still not fully understood. The aim of the project is to study the mechanisms of action of exogenously applied silicon on the defense responses of the selected cultivars of maize (or other crops – wheat and sunflower) exposed to toxic (As, Sb) and potentially toxic (in excess) essential elements (Cu) on metabolic and biochemical levels. We will focus on growth, physiological processes (membrane damage, water intake and release, etc.), changes in nitrogen metabolism and its possible connection with antioxidant mechanisms (glutathione-ascorbate cycle), as well as non-enzymatic and enzymatic components of the antioxidant defense system in individual organs of experimental plants.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
PLANTin – Votrelci medzi nami: Časovo-priestorová dynamika rastlinných invázií a ich nepriaznivý dopad na ekosystémy
Aliens among us: Spatio-temporal dynamics of plant invasions and their adverse impact on ecosystem
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Hrivnák Richard, PhD.
Annotation: Plant invasions are an ongoing process threatening biodiversity at the species, habitat and landscape levels. The unique composition of alien flora at a regional level is mainly influenced by climate and cultural factors. The proposed project focuses on the environmental background of plant invasions in Slovakia (covers a substantial part of the Western Carpathians and an adjacent part of the Pannonia) which has been studied in this region only marginally so far. Dynamics of plant invasions will be studied in riparian vegetation along rivers that play a dominant role in the natural spreading of invasive plants. Using time series of vegetation, seed bank, and soil properties, we will reveal spatio-temporal changes in riparian ecosystems which will be further linked with environmental and human factors. Based on field and revised herbarium data, we will reveal the ecological demands of model invasive plant groups (Fallopia japonica agg. and Solidago canadensis agg.) and estimate their potential distribution under current and future climate conditions. An integrative approach will be used to study the impact of plant invasions on semi-natural grasslands which represent the most invaded non-anthropogenic habitats in Slovakia. We will compare multiple-taxa diversity (plants, bryophytes, fungi – by environmental DNA sequencing, molluscs and soil invertebrates) in non-invaded plots and in plots invaded by F. japonica agg. or S. canadensis agg. Further analyses of soil properties, seed bank, microbial activity, and fungal trophic structure will shed light on changes of belowground ecosystem processes at studied plots. We will also conduct a field experiment to study the impact of invasive plants on the decomposition of leaf litter. Such a study with exceptionally broad coverage of taxonomic and methodological approaches will provide a unique look at the plant invasion process and enable us to reveal, besides general trends, also species or group-specific patterns
Duration: 1.7.2020 – 30.6.2024
Vplyv hybridizácie na diverzifikačné a speciačné procesy u Karpatských zástupcov rodu Soldanella
The impact of hybridisation on diversification and speciation processes in Carpathian members of the genus Soldanella
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Mgr. Slovák Marek, PhD.
Annotation: The project addresses the impact of hybridization on the diversification and overall demographic structure of mountain-dwelling species of the genus Soldanella. The study design is focused on species occupying the genus diversity centre, specifically mountain regions of the Carpathians and adjacent areas (Bohemian Massif, NE Alps and east Balkan mountain ranges). To resolve proposed questions, we will employ a combination of modern methods and analytical tools including novel genomic approaches such as the RAD sequencing, karyological, cytogenetic, morphological and ecological analyses. Outcomes of the project will enable to uncover frequency and intensity of gene flow among studied taxa and specify factors and processes which have triggered or prevented hybridization (introgression) among pairs of closely and more distantly relatedspecies. We should also elucidate whether hybridisation contributed to the accumulation of novel lineages and facilitated speciation events in the genus.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Zmeny biodiverzity v urbánne fragmentovanej krajine
Changes in biodiversity in an urban fragmented landscape
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Čejka Tomáš, PhD.
Annotation: The project deals with changes in biodiversity in an urban environment in two ways: in the space (ecological gradients, fragmentation of habitats) and time (historical data). For study, we chose two ecologically linked model groups: vascular plants and land snails. Based on the research of these model organisms, we will solve five main points: [1] How the urban fragmented woodland fits principles of the island biogeography and what is the impact of the fragmentation and env. variables on the biota structure and variability. [2] Whether and to what extent the genetic diversity of the populations of selected model species varies in long-term continuously forested areas comparing the neorefugia; [3] How the urban environment impacts in time and space on the diversity of indigenous species; [4] On the basis of the theory of refugia verify what is the ecol.l traits structure of biota in the remains of forest vegetation; [5] Whether biotic homogenization occurs and which groups of biota are most affected by biotic homogenisation.
Duration: 1.1.2018 – 31.12.2021