The research group
on Plant 
Interactions with

We specialize in investigating plant microbiomes and particularly the role of microbiota in adapting plants to vegetation in environments polluted with heavy metals. The results of our research find application in the bioremediation of polluted areas and in sustainable agriculture and forestry.

The research group on Plant Interactions with Microorganisms in its current form started its activity at the Małopolska Biotechnology Center in 2017.

Recently, we are trying to set the basis for understanding the mechanisms of fungi and bacteria dependent adaptation of Arabidospsis metalophytes to vegetation on a post minning waste dump. Our research is financed by National Science Center from two projects: OPUS14 "The role of endophytic fungi in the resistance of Arabidopsis arenosa on high content of toxic metals" and OPUS 17 "Mechanism of plant endophytic fungi interactions. The role of the endosymbiont in plant phosphorus metabolism".

The research concern the following issues:

1. The mechanism of endophyte activated root hair cell elongation, in particular the role of phytohormones: ethylene, auxin and strigolactone, in this process,
2. Symbiosis-induced changes in the uptake and distribution of nutrients and metals,
3. The role of microbiota in adapting plants to living in areas contaminated with heavy metals.
4. The role of strigolactone and ethylene in the determination of the nature of interaction (parasitism/mutualism) between the plant and fungi.


Recruitment of PhD students to the doctoral school

Please be advised that the MCB / JCET / Solaris doctoral school started regular recruitment for doctoral studies in the academic year 2021/2022. For more information, please visit the website.


New team members

We are glad to announce that our team has grown by two new members. Dr Łukasz Szydłowski and mgr Maciej Gustab joind the OPUS 17 project "Mechanism of plant endophytic fungi interactions. The role of the endosymbiont in plant phosphorus metabolism." We are looking forward for the first successes. Welcome aboard!

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dr hab. Piotr Rozpądek

Team lider

Master’s degree in biology (specialization in cell biology) obtained from the Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University in Kraków. PhD in biology (specialization in plant physiology) obtained from the International Doctoral Studies of Natural Sciences of the Polish Academy of Science in Krakow.

dr inż. Rafał Ważny

Scientific assistent

Received his Ph.D. in Forest Science at University of Agriculture in Kraków, where he specialized in pathogenic and ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with forest trees. Afterwards he worked at Forest Research Institute and at Institute of Environmental Sciences at Jagiellonian University.

dr inż. Roman Jędrzejczyk

Scientific assistent

A former participant of PhD studies within the Society – Technologies – Environment project at Jagiellonian University and PhD studies at Faculty of Chemistry (JU).

dr Agnieszka Domka

Scientific assistant

A graduate of the Faculty of Biology of the Jagiellonian University in the field of environmental biology.

dr Łukasz Szydłowski

Scientific assistant

His research career started at University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Biotechnology followed by a PhD in Biotechnology at Cambridge, UK. Then, he worked at Wageningen University (Netherlands) and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Japan).

    dr Michał Nosek

dr Michał Nosek

Scientific assistant

A graduate of the Faculty of Geography and Biology of the Pedagogical Academy in Krakow. He specializes in plant physiology, with particular emphasis on interactions with abiotic and biotic stress factors.

mgr Maciej Gustab

PhD Student

A graduate from biological studies at the Faculty of Biology of the Jagiellonian University. He was involved in optimizing the regeneration conditions of plant species in in vitro cultures so far. 

    Oliwia Śmieszek

Oliwia Śmieszek

Research technician

A biotechnology student at the University of Agriculture in Kraków. Her engineer’s diploma work, focused on the influence of iodine-based biofortification on plants’ gene expression upon hypoxia stress.