Head of Laboratory, Senior Researcher
The scientific interests of the laboratory include such areas of research as determination of the patterns of accumulation of biologically active substances (essential oils and their components, phenolic compounds, etc.) in plants, assessment of diversity and suitability for long-term conservation in situ and justification of conservation measures for populations of economic plants, including crop wild relatives (CWR) and wild food plants. Phytochemical studies are carried out by using extraction, hydrodistillation, chromatographic, spectrophotometric and other methods; the influence of environmental and internal factors on the composition of biologically active substances is being evaluated, new knowledge about the chemical properties of medicinal plant raw materials and their dynamics is being gathered. This is relevant for the optimization of the use of medicinal plants and quality assessment of raw materials, as well as for the conservation of these plant populations in situ under the ever-increasing pressure of environmental changes, especially climate change. Chemical polymorphism and biological properties of rapidly spreading invasive alien medicinal plants (Solidago spp.) are also being studied.
CWR research focuses on the development of the national CWR strategy by the prioritization of CWR taxa and creation of a CWR database according to the international standard, with the aim of integrating the national data into the European database EURISCO, through the implementation of the corresponding project (https://www.ecpgr.cgiar.org/working-groups/crop-wild-relatives/cwr-in-eurisco).
The Nature Research Centre’s field collections of national plant genetic resources comprise accessions representing about 100 genera of economic plants. The collections serve a threefold purpose: (1) investigation of phytochemical properties and adaptation of plants and related studies, (2) education of the public, and (3) contribution to the conservation and use of genetic resources.