WP2 Recruitment of experienced researchers working in the field of environmental stresses

Coordinator: Dr. Gbor Galiba

Within the framework of this programme it is planned to employ experienced scientists in the newly established RTS Centre. At present three scientists from Martonvsr have been working abroad for a number of years. It is hoped to exploit the facilities offered by the present grant to ensure their return to the institute.

Task 2.1. Dvid Kszegi is currently working at the Institut fr Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung in Gatersleben, Germany. His work is focussed on obtaining a more detailed knowledge of apomixis, and more particularly of parthenogenesis. He is attempting to make an accurate characterisation of a gene family expressed in the female gametophyte in Arabidopsis, barley and wheat. On his return to Martonvsr he will be involved in studying changes in gene expression in plant egg-cells, dividing zygotes and developing embryos in response to drought and high temperature.

Task 2.2. One scientist from Martonvsr, Balzs Tth, who has already obtained his PhD, is currently working as a guest scientist in the USA at the NIH Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, Section for Molecular Signal Transduction, Bethesda, Maryland, studying the transport processes of sphingolipids in monkey kidney cell cultures. He is investigating the effect of the under-expression of the relevant genes on the sphingolipid metabolism and the localisation and interactions of lipid transport proteins within the cell. As lipids play an important role in stress responses, many of the techniques he has learnt could be usefully employed in the molecular biological and biochemical analysis of the drought and frost tolerance of plants on his return to Martonvsr.

Task 2.3. Pter Szcs PhD is currently doing a five-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR, USA). His research interest includes the genetics of winter-hardiness in barley and wheat and the breeding of cereals using classical and molecular methods. He has primary responsibilities for allele sequencing, genetic mapping, and integrating winter-hardiness genetics into the barley Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) effort.
After returning to Martonvsr he will be part of the research team working
on plant abiotic resistance. His research will focus on barley flowering and breeding. The aim of the molecular breeding program will be to develop adaptable malting and food barley genotypes. Due to the current climate change, barley with a winter growth habit has much greater agronomical potential than the spring type throughout Europe.

Task 2.4. Svetlana Landjeva PhD. The Molecular Cytogenetics Team of the Cell Biology Department and the Institute of Genetics “Acad. D. Kostoff”, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria), Sofia have been cooperating since 2005 and both partners wish to strengthen this cooperation in order to exploit the potential latent in Aegilops species, which have great genetic diversity, including many species with resistance to biotic and abiotic stress factors. Within the framework of the cooperation an experienced Bulgarian scientist will be invited to Martonvsr to use the molecular cytogenetic techniques elaborated by the Hungarian partner to identify the genetic materials developed in Bulgaria, while the Bulgarians will analyse the drought tolerance of the wheat-Aegilops biuncialis addition lines and translocations developed in Martonvsr.

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