Research

The Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology is active in basic research in the fields of retroviral molecular biology, proteomics, plant biochemistry a physiology, enzymology, environmental microbiology, food microbiology and bioanalytical techniques. These activities provide a platform for applied research focused on design of modern therapeutics, bio-remediations of organic and inorganic pollutants in environmental and food quality control and monitoring. The department runs a food microbiology laboratory, which is accredited to provide qualified microbial analyses of food and raw materials.

Research is often interdisciplinary and requires collaboration with domestic as well as foreign laboratories. On the national level we participate in two centres of excellency (the Centre of applied genomics and Centre of plant cell and organ regulations and morphogenesis). We participate in the research program of Progressive food and biochemical technologies and in a joint laboratory of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry and ICT Prague. Our research is founded by the Czech Science Foundation, Technology Agency of the CR, Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health as well as projects of NPVII.

Scientific portfolio at a glance:

Clinically oriented research and development

  • retrovirus particle assembly, structure and intracellular transport with respect to the use of modified virus-like particles for gene therapy
  • identification of proteins locally deposited to places related to implants application or calcification of heart valves and vessels; biocompatible materials for skin replacements
  • construction of nanoparticles targeted to cancer cells for tumour imaging, testing of cytostatics
  • plant nucleases as anticancer therapeutics, lipid bodies as targeted carriers of hydrophobic drugs
  • the effect of adipokines and potential nutritional and pharmacological intervention in metabolic syndrome
  • plant and insect peptides with antimicrobial effect as therapeutics
  • glycosidases from extremophiles for enzymatic synthesis of therapeutically interesting glycoconjugates

Monitoring and bio-remediation of the environment

  • metabolic conversion of xenobiotics and application of microorganisms and plants for bio-remediations of the environment polluted by organic xenobiotics
  • genomics and metagenomics studies of microbial diversity and genetic potential, focused on a symbiosis of microbial-plant consortia and their synergy in bio-remediation processes
  • molecular determinants of phospholipid signalling system in plants and its role in the response to biotic and abiotic stress, focused on the application of induced resistance mechanisms in alternative protection against plant pathogens
  • design of immunochromatography kits for assay and evaluation of xenobiotics, their metabolic intermediates and heavy metals in terms of their cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and physiology impact of their ingestion
  • biochemistry and molecular biology aspects of a (hyper)accumulation of heavy metals by mycorrhizota, focused on the determinants applicable to phyto-remediations
  • transgenic plants for phyto-remediations of soil and sediments contaminated by organic xenobiotics and heavy metals
  • surface display of affinity peptides to increase binding capacity of microbial bio-sorbents of heavy metals
  • the potential of lipid bodies for cleanup and recovery from oil spills and for feasible synthesis of degradable polymers

Food quality control and management

  • design of modern rapid methods of capture and quantification of food pathogens (detection and quantification by PCR, DNA arrays, genotyping methods, immunochemistry methods including design of immunochromatography kits) supported by classical microbiological methods.
  • molecular biology of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins
  • biofilm formation as a factor of microbial resistance to antiseptic agents
  • resistance of selected food pathogens to antibiotics
  • accredited methods and design of novel methods of detection and quantification of genetically modified foods and raw materials
  • identification of heavy-metal-binding peptides in food and raw materials