The Department of Experimental Plant Biology guarantees the Master's degree programme in Plant Physiology and Cell Biology. In the PhD programme Integrative Biology it covers topics focused on plant biology.
We coordinate bachelor's degree programmes, and students' theses focused on physiology, anatomy, ecophysiology, immunity and biochemistry of plants, as well as on the biophysics of photosynthesis and processes on biomembranes. We closely cooperate with the Institute of Plant Molecular Biology (Biology Centre of the CAS) and the Třeboň department of the Institute of Microbiology of the CAS.
Photosynthesis is a traditional research topic in institutes located in South Bohemia (Třeboň, České Budějovice, Nové Hrady). The regulation of photosynthesis in higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria is studied on a molecular level, with respect to environmentally important questions of natural variability of temperature, irradiance, and nutrients. For example, recently we obtained important results on the regulation of photosynthesis in diazotrophic cyanobacteria under conditions of projected increased CO2 levels.
Leaf internal limitations to CO2 fixation (mesophyll transport conductance) are studied using gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and stable isotope mass spectrometry techniques.
Environmental factors controlling stomatal development and patterning in leaf epidermis are studied using gas exchange, thermography, mass spectrometry, and microscopy. In co-operations with crop research institutes water use efficiency and other physiological and biochemical drought resistance traits are screened in barley, wheat,and forage grass cultivars. Transport and structural properties of the cuticle as a leaf water transport barrier are studied in cooperation with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Botany, University of Bonn.
Fractionation of water isotopes (18O and D) in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and stable carbon isotopes (13C/12C) in leaves and stems (tree rings) is applied in the assessment of plant growth conditions, hydraulic architecture and in the tracing of geographical origin of plant products and herbivores (reptiles).
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