Our research group mainly studies the metabolism and physiological functions of growth regulators, polyamines, and phenolic compounds in plants. We investigate the role of these biologically active compounds in plant development and in the response of plants to abiotic stresses.

In our experiments, we use diverse plant systems from the whole plant to the cell cultures. Our research is primarily focused on the somatic embryogenesis of conifers. In the scope of this theme, we study the regulation of somatic embryo development, the role of phytohormones in somatic embryogenesis, and the effects of abiotic stresses on somatic embryos. We are also involved in in vitro propagation of medicinal cannabis. We mainly study the effect of phytohormones (auxins and cytokinins) added to the culture medium on the process of organogenesis from segments of cannabis plants grown in vitro from seeds.

We use a wide array of approaches:

  • Microscopy – light, confocal, and electron microscopy, enhanced by advanced computer image analysis

  • Biochemical methods – studies of activities of enzymes involved in metabolism of biologically active compounds (e.g. radiometry)

  • Molecular biology methods – specific gene expressions, and transformation of tissue cultures

  • Analytical methods – qualitative and quantitative determination of biologically active compounds by gas- and liquid chromatography in tandem with mass spectroscopic detection (cooperation with the IEB Laboratory of mass spectrometry).

Unbiased estimation of the proportion of non-embryogenic cell clusters in the somatic embryogenic culture of Douglas-fir

Submitted by Kateřina Eliášová on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 23:26

Embryogenic cultures of Douglas-fir were induced from immature zygotic embryos. They proliferate as embryonal masses, however, in some lines of Douglas-fir, non-embryogenic cell (NECs) clusters interspersed with early somatic embryos (SEs) were observed. In order to evaluate the differences between lines we wanted to quantify the proportion of the SEs and NECs in the embryonal mass. For estimation of this proportion (volume density) we used stereological point-counting method based on counting points of the test grid falling in the tissue under study.