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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-01-01 - 2020-12-31

Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and references to the plant abound in their literature. The plant was grown in monastery gardens of continental Europe through the Middle Ages and was introduced to Britain about the sixteenth century. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, cornelian cherry is present at some specific habitats, like the Drvar valley in the Mostar region. Similarly, Cornus mas is the lead species for an entire “Genuss-Region” in Lower Austria, the Dirndl-valley in the Pielachtal-Region. It is valued as a plant characterizing/shaping the landscape and for its many alimentary and medicinal aspects. Cornelian cherry has an attractive and impressive aroma, which influence specific tastes. Also, the high concentration of vitamin C in fruit is a feature of this species. The fruits are distinguished by high concentration of vitamin E, polyphenolic complexes, organic acids, carotenoids and anthocyanins. Epidemiological studies have shown a clear positive correlation between fruit intake and reduced heart disease, tumors, and other degenerative diseases, as well as slowing the aging process. Contemporary scientific studies have shown that oxidative stress is a major cause of various diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, malignant diseases, heart attack, stroke and other severe and chronic illnesses. Biochemical parameters, primarily antioxidants certainly prevent the emergence and development of these diseases. Inventories of Cornelian cherry fruit tress will be established on the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria. Health related compounds, like Vitamin C concentration in fruits, total phenols concentration, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity of the samples will be analyzed will be analyzed and a breeding strategy developed. Efforts will involve the in vitro conservation and molecular characterization of selected cultivars. This research represents the basis or starting the procedure for the protection of traditional cornelian cherry products and knowledge. This would lead to the improvement of direct sale of the products on the producers' farms, contributing to a sustainable development of local communities.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-08-01 - 2023-07-31

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris) is a young crop plant that originated from wild sea beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima), a coastal plant native to Western and Southern Europe. It has been shown that transposons have influence onto the genome structure and gene functionality of beets. Of the many different repeats contained in a genome, only a small subset is intact and fully functional. However, this small portion may have a huge impact on the genome and as consequence on the phenotype as well. By creating alternative splicing patterns, introduction of novel promoters, change of gene regulation or simply by inactivation of gene function. Thus, the genome is constantly in motion: Transposons get inserted into new positions in the genome; thereafter, selection and mutational processes act upon them. Repeats disrupting crucial functions will disappear quickly, while other elements which are neutral or even beneficial will stay on. By comparing different genomic sequence data of domesticated beets and their wild relatives, we assess the mutagenic events that took place in the beet genome in the recent evolutionary past and explore the role that transposons have played in the evolution of the beet genome. Advances in the repeat-related knowledge of the beet genome may discover new insights about recent transposon evolution and will provide a foundation for further improvements of beet as a crop plant.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2011-01-01 - 2012-02-21

Different species of Pseudomonas are used as plant protecting agents especially to bate potatoes. To achieve an admission from the authorities the Pseudomonas strains must be tested for their toxicological properties. To circumvent animal studies, test systems are developed to analyse the harmful potential on in vitro cultures of lung epithelial cells. Therefore Calu-3 cells are grown on transwell plates until tight junctions are formed. To classify the bacterial strains, the integrity of the tight junction is evaluated after incubation of Pseudomonas with cell cultures.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations