Projects

Post Doc

The effect of increasing cold on the dynamics of polyamine biosynthesis in winter oilseed rape and the scope its control

Projects leader: dr. Petras Prakas

Postdoc researcher: dr. Elžbieta Jankovska-Bortkevič

Postdoc duration: 2021.06.15–2023.07.14

Postdoc No.: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-23-0166

Funding source: the activity is funded under Measure 09.3.3-LMT-K-712 “Development of Scientific Competences of Scientists, other Researchers and Students through Practical Research Activities” (Funding instrument – European Social Fund).

Adverse environmental factors have a significant impact on the growth and productivity of economically important agricultural crops. One of the main challenges of modern agriculture is to improve plant productivity in adverse environmental conditions, and one of the most important areas of science is research of the mechanism of plant stress and its management. In order to reduce the impact of adverse environmental conditions, much attention is paid to biologically active substances. Polyamines have been shown to be involved in plant response to environmental influences. Studies have shown that intensified polyamine biosynthesis in transgenic plants and exogenous effects of polyamines increase plant tolerance to stress; mutations in polyamine biosynthesis and inhibition of their biosynthesis result in less tolerance to abiotic stress. In this fundamental and applied research, the use of molecular methods will increase the understanding of specific polyamine mechanisms and signal transduction pathways under optimal and stressful conditions in winter oilseed rape and will provide information for the development of biotechnological solutions. In parallel, an analysis of abiotic stress markers and an assessment of biometric characteristics and plant survival will be performed. The results of the study will complement the scientific knowledge about the plant's response to the cold. Based on the results obtained, science-based recommendations will be developed.

Project publicity

Molecular diagnosis of Sarcocystis species from sheep and goat

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Postdoc researcher: dr. Alina Marandykina-Prakienė

Postdoc duration: 2021.07.15 – 2023.07.14

Postdoc No.: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-23-0064

Funding source: the activity is funded under Measure 09.3.3-LMT-K-712 “Development of Scientific Competences of Scientists, other Researchers and Students through Practical Research Activities” (Funding instrument – European Social Fund).

Representatives of the genus Sarcocystis (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) are protozaons widespread globally in mammals, birds and reptiles. These parasites are characterized by a two-host, prey-predator life cycle. Sarcocysts are formed in muscles and CNS of the intermediate host, while sporocysts develop in small intestine of the definitive host. Some of Sarcocystis spp. found in sheep and goats are pathogenic. Due to the intense Sarcocystis infection wool and meat production is reduced and industry lose millions annually. The Sarcocystis species diversity in these animals has not been fully elucidated. Typically, Sarcocystis species are identified by isolating sarcocysts from muscle and characterizing them genetically. However, isolation of sarcocysts is not effective in epidemiological studies. In this work, diaphragm, oesophageal, and heart samples from sheep and goats will be examined. The objective of the study is to develop a rapid and efficient molecular methodology for the identification of Sarcocystis species in sheep meat and goat meat by muscle digestion, PCR and sequencing. The distribution, genetic variability and morphological characteristics of the detected species will also be assessed. Due to the lack of studies on Sarcocystis in goats, new Sarcocystis species are expected to be described in these hosts. The molecular diagnostic methodology, developed and optimized in this work, after modification will be applicable in other economically important animals.

Scientific team projects

Investigations into diversity of genus Sarcocystis parasites from Cervidae and cattle

Projects leader: dr. Petras Prakas

Terms of the project: 2017–2020

The purpose of the project is to estimate the distribution and species diversity of genus Sarcocystis parasites (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) in Lithuanian Cervidae and cattle. Some Sarcocystis species are pathogenic to humans as well as to domestic and wild animals. Humans can get infected with Sarcocystis parasites when they consume undercooked beef or bacon meat; however, we cannot reject a possibility that infection from Carvidae meat is also possible. The species composition, distribution, host specificity and intra-specific diversity of Sarcocystis parasites in Cervidae have not been investigated in detail. The rate of cattle infestation with Sarcocystis cysts is recorded to be high (~90%) in Lithuania; however, species diversity of parasites from cattle has not been investigated in Lithuania so far. The projected morphological and molecular investigations will allow comparing the parameters of Sarcocystis infection in roe deer, red deer and elk naturally distributed in Lithuania with Sarcocystis infection in sika deer and fallow deer raised in farms; phylogenetic affiliation of Sarcocystis spp. detected in Cervidae with species pathogenic to humans will be examined; the species new to science will be described; new data about species composition, distribution, abundance and intermediate host specificity of Sarcocystis parasites from Cervidae will be collected; regularities of intra-specific genetic variability will be developed; attempts will be made to develop a relatively cheap, quick, accurate and molecular-investigation-based method for identification of Sarcocystis  species in cattle meat; as well as species distribution of these parasites in Lithuanian cattle will be evaluated.

Investigations into genus Sarcocystis parasites from birds order Anseriformes

Projects leader: dr. Petras Prakas

Terms of the project: 2013–2015

National scientific research programs

The study of genomic changes and factors influencing the invasiveness of alien herbal plants

Projects leader: dr. Regina Vyšniauskienė

Terms of the project: 2014–2015

Research on regularities of distribution, genetic diversity, adaptation and naturalization of invasive bird species

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Terms of the project: 2010–2011

Branduolinės jėgainės eksploatavimo poveikio ešerių (Perca fluviatilis) populiacijai įvertinimas remiantis genetiniais ir žuvų otolitų-natūralių aplinkos kontaminacijos radionuklidais bei šilumine tarša fiksatoriais, tyrimais (TAIVANIS)

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Lietuvos, Latvijos ir Kinijos (Taivano) mokslinių tyrimų ir eksperimentinės plėtros programa

Evaluation of Nuclear Power Impact on Perch (perca fluviatilis) Population by Means of Genetic-based Analysis and Application of Fish Otholiths as Natural Recorders of Radiocontamination and Thermal Pollution

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Terms of the project: 2013

COST

FA0906 UV-B radiation: a specific regulator of plant growth and food quality in a changing climate

Projects leader: dr. Regina Vyšniauskienė , dr. Vida Rančelienė

Project duration:  2010–2014

International scientific projects

Branduolinės jėgainės eksploatavimo poveikio ešerių (Perca fluviatilis) populiacijai įvertinimas remiantis genetiniais ir žuvų otolitų-natūralių aplinkos kontaminacijos radionuklidais bei šilumine tarša fiksatoriais, tyrimais (TAIVANIS)

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Lietuvos, Latvijos ir Kinijos (Taivano) mokslinių tyrimų ir eksperimentinės plėtros programa
Užsakovas: Lietuvos mokslo taryba

Evaluation of Nuclear Power Impact on Perch (perca fluviatilis) Population by Means of Genetic-based Analysis and Application of Fish Otholiths as Natural Recorders of Radiocontamination and Thermal Pollution (TAIPĖJUS)

Projects leader: (HP) dr. Dalius Butkauskas

Terms of the project: 2013

Laboratories