Education - Ph.D. studies - Institute of Plant Biology

Ph.D. Topics of the Institute of Plant Biology



Role of lipids and carotenoids in the structural stability of photosynthetic protein complexes

Group: Laboratory of Plant Lipid Function and Structure
Supervisor: Ildikó DOMONKOS, Zoltán GOMBOS

We are to investigate the structural integrity and stability of photosynthetic protein complexes in cyanobacterial mutants deficient in lipid or carotenoid biosynthesis. It is well studied that phosphatidylglycerol and the unsaturated membrane lipids affect photosynthetic processes. Under stress conditions the quantity and quality of carotenoids are changing in the vicinity of photosynthetic protein complexes. We are to investigate the structural background of these physiological effects by using biophysical methods like DSC (Differential scanning calorimetry), FTIR (Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy) and CD (circular dichroism). We determine the protein composition of photosynthetic complexes in the mutant cells by 2D-BN/SDS PAGE.


Identification of lipolytic enzymes involved in remodeling of glycolipids

Group: Laboratory of Plant Lipid Function and Structure
Supervisor: Bettina UGHY, Zoltán GOMBOS

Our earlier studies demonstrated the retailoring of an artificial phosphatidyglycerol in Synechocystis PCC6803 cianobacterial strain. Most of the enzymes involved in this process are not known in cyanobacteria. By homology search and using fluorescent inhibitors we are to determine these proteins and corresponding genes. We inactivate the genes in order to study the role of these enzymes. The mutants would be also characterized physiologically.


Role of phosphatidyglycerol in cell division

Group: Laboratory of Plant Lipid Function and Structure
Supervisor: Bettina UGHY, Zoltán GOMBOS

We are going to generate mutant cianobacterial strains which are lacking protein subunits of division ring. We are to combine phosphatidylglycerol mutation with GFP fused constructions. Synechococcus PCC7942 strain is used for producing FtsZ, MinE, MinD and SepF mutants. Min proteins are signals for the location of division ring and SepF is the binding protein between the ring and membranes. We study the effect of phosphatidylglycerol deficiency on division ring formation and mutant phenotype. The division mutants would be characterized physiologically.


Signaling through ROP GTPases

Group: Laboratory of Functional Cell Biology
Supervisor: Attila FEHÉR

RHO GTPases constitute a major branch of the Ras superfamily of small GTP-binding proteins and function as GDP/GTP switches that are activated by diverse extracellular stimuli. Once activated, each RHO GTPase interacts with a wide spectrum of functionally diverse downstream effectors to initiate signaling pathways.
Their involvement in various cellular processes (e.g. cell elongation, tip growth, pathogen defense, hormone signaling etc.) has been demonstrated, but the signaling cascades they are involved are hardly explored in plants. It is more and more obvious, however, that plants have evolved specific RHO (ROP) GTPase effectors as compared to other eukaryotes. Especially their links to upstream receptor and downstream effector kinases seems to be unique and largely unknown.
In our laboratory we identified a specific group of plant kinases exhibiting GTP-bound ROP GTPase-dependent in vitro activity. These kinases can be considered therefore the first potential ROP GTPase effector kinases in plants. Our aim is to identify further elements of this signaling pathway and verify its biological significance using transgenic and mutant plants. Moreover, the structure of the plant ROP-interacting kinases (RRKs) predicts a novel, specific way for their functional interaction with ROP GTPases as they do not have any GTPase-binding motif. Therefore we also aim to reveal the structural and biochemical backgrounds of this molecular interaction. Furthermore, we are interested in the characterization of the link of upstream receptor kinases to ROP GTPase signaling.


Genomics and biotechnology of roses

Group: Laboratory of Functional Cell Biology
Supervisor: Attila FEHÉR

Rose rootstock and field rose production is a traditional activity at the “Szeged-Szöreg” region just where the Biological Research Centre is also situated. The “rootstock of Szőreg” is a “Hungaricum” and obtained a national geographical production marking. We intend to initiate a rose biotechnology project in order to combine the expertise on modern plant biotechnology and traditional rose production available in the region.
Understanding the molecular regulatory mechanisms controlling rose flower and prickle development is the prerequisite of qualitative and quantitative improvement of economically important Rose ssp. cultivars. The long term goal of the project is to provide basic genetic information to alter the above morphological traits in rose plants and to develop related intellectual properties.
Traditional rose breading requires huge background and investments besides being highly competitive. Introduction of new traits into old cultivars via genetic engineering could be a way to enter into the market by new types of roses. For this purpose, there is a need for the development of original gene technology procedures that is the goal of the present project. On the one hand, we intend to use the most advanced techniques of modern plant molecular biology in order to reveal molecular targets of rose morphology improvement. The main target traits of this approach are “thornlessness” and flower/leaf/stem morphology. In parallel, the technology for in vitro rose plant regeneration, a prerequisite for genetic improvement, will be improved with an emphasis on genotype independent approaches.


Improving the in vitro regeneration capacity of plants via chromatin manipulation

Group: Laboratory of Functional Cell Biology
Supervisor: Krisztina ÖTVÖS, Attila FEHÉR

In vitro plant regenration is strongly genotype dependent hampering widespread application of in vitro propagation. Based on our earlier experiments and published data we aim to investigate the effect of transitional chromatin loosening on the expression of totipotency in plant cells. Studies will be based on Arabidopsis plants carrying mutations/transgenes affecting chromatin structure and/or somatic embryogenesis. Furthermore, the obtained information will be tested on other plant species/genotypes with and without in vitro regeneration capabilities. Changes in chromatin structure and genetic programming will be followed by cell biology and gene expression markers.


Identification and functional analysis of components involved in light-induced protein degradation

Group: Laboratory of Plant Crono- and Photobiology
Supervisor: András VICZIÁN, Ferenc NAGY

Light plays a crucial, dual role throughout the entire life cycle of higher plants. Being sessile organisms, plants have to adapt to ambient light conditions, thus sensing light is essential for their survival. Plants can sense light by specialised photoreceptor molecules. The photoreceptors of the widely used model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana are categorised by the wavelength of the light what they perceive. Receptors of red and far-red light (~620-750 nm) are called phytochromes. In Arabidopsis thaliana a small gene family encodes the five isoforms named phytochrome A (PHYA) through PHYE. The PHYs undergo conformational change upon light absorption and initiate transcriptional cascades, regulating the expression of numerous genes. While the stability of PYHBE is not altered dramatically upon irradiation, the PHYA degradation undergoes fast light-induced degradation. The molecular background of this important signal attenuation mechanism is not known. Genetic screen was performed in order to isolate mutants showing reduced light-induced PHYA degradation compared to wild type plants. The PHYA level can be monitored in the mutants by using the non-invasive real time luciferase marker. One of the aims of our work is to examine the photobiological properties of our mutants. Additionally genetic mapping is used to identify the mutated genes responsible for the examined phenotype. The functional characterisation of the identified gene products will also be performed (epistatic analysis, intracellular localisation, proteinprotein interaction).


The plant growth hormones, auxin and kinetin balance is central to the regulation of plant growth and this works by altering the activity of E2FB transcription factor

Group: Laboratory of Molecular Regulators of Plant Growth
Supervisor: Zoltán MAGYAR

produce proliferating cells, which later differentiate into specialized cells to make up the plant tissues. Therefore, keeping the balance between proliferation and differentiation is central to the function of the meristems. Antagonistic interaction between two plant hormones, auxin and cytokinin play an important role to coordinate these events. Previously we discovered that auxin increases the stability of E2FB protein, and co-expression of E2FB with its dimerization partner DPA in plant cells could maintain cell proliferation in the absence of auxin (Magyar et al., 2005). Ectopic co-expression of E2FB with DPA in transgenic Arabidopsis plants increases the amount of stem cells in the root, and resulted in larger root meristems. Surprisingly these transgenic plants are found to be hypersensitive to cytokinin dramatically decreasing the size of the root meristem without affecting stem cell maintenance. Interestingly, auxin and cytokinin stabilize different forms of E2FB protein. We suggest that cytokinin can change the activity of E2FB from a transcriptional activator to a transcriptional repressor. The project aim is to understand the molecular mechanisms leading to this switch in the E2FB activity during hormone signalling, and to identify the downstream targets of E2FB by using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method. The proposed work is in collaboration with the lab of Ben Scheres (University of Utrecht) and the lab of László Bögre (Royal Holloway University of London).

Magyar Z, De Veylder L, Atanassova A, Bakó L, Inze D, Bögre L. The Role of the Arabidopsis E2FB Transcription Factor in Regulating Auxin-Dependent Cell Division. Plant Cell. 2005; 17(9):2527-41


The role of E2FC and DPB transcription factors in plant growth adaptations

Group: Laboratory of Molecular Regulators of Plant Growth
Supervisor: Zoltán MAGYAR

Environmental signals such as light and various stresses can dramatically influence plant growth. We are seeking to understand the molecular mechanisms how environmental signals are able to modify plant growth. Plant growth is restricted to specific regions in the shoot and in the root apices called meristems; central to the function of the meristem is keeping the balance between cell proliferation and the incorporation of newly produced cells into organ through cellular differentiation. The current view is that these events are controlled by an evolutionary conserved transcriptional regulatory switch, the E2F-RB pathway. Recently we found that light rapidly, and oppositely, regulate the protein levels of E2FB, a transcriptional activator and E2FC, a transcriptional repressor and this regulation was mediated by COP1, the COP signalosome (CSN 5) and DET1 (Lopez et al., 2008). Currently we have generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants where E2FC expression was silenced by RNA interference. Surprisingly we have found that these transgenic plants were unable to make the transition from the dark (skotomorphogenesis) to the light growth (photomorphogenesis). In addition, silencing of DPB, a dimerization partner of E2FC in Arabidopsis also failed to make this light dependent growth transition in this deetiolation experiment. We suggest that E2FC and DPB form heterodimers when dark grown plants were shifted to light and regulate the expression of key genes involved in the deetiolation process. Furthermore we have found that MAP kinase 6 (MPK6), a regulatory component in a number of plant stress signalling pathway, specifically interact with and phosphorylate DPB. Therefore we suggest that DPB-E2FC transcriptional regulators are involved in plant growth adaptation during various environmental conditions. The major aim of this proposal is to find the target genes for E2FC-DPB transcription factors in different stress conditions, and to indentify the signalling events, which influence the activity of these regulators. The proposed project is in collaboration with the lab of Enrique Lopez-Juez and the lab of László Bögre from the Royal Holloway University of London.

Lopez E, Dillon E, Magyar Z, Khan S, Hazeldine S, de Jager S, Murray J, Beemster G, Bögre L, Shanahan, H. Distinct Light-Mediated Gene Expression and Cell Cycle Program in the Shoot Apex and Cotyledons. Plant Cell 2008; 20(4):947-68


Functional role of SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier) protein modification in plant cell division control

Group: Cellular Imaging laboratory
Supervisor: Ferhan AYAYDIN

The reversible conjugation of the small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) peptide to protein substrates (sumoylation) is emerging as a major post-translational regulatory process in eukaryotes. Recent genetic and biochemical analyses indicate that components of the SUMO conjugation and deconjugation systems are conserved in plants such as Arabidopsis, rice and Medicago. Arabidopsis SUMO and related conjugation enzymes are implicated in abscisic acid responses, flowering time regulation as well as salt stress response. The SUMO ligase functions in phosphate starvation responses, cold tolerance, basal thermotolerance, salicylic acid - dependent pathogen defense, and flowering time regulation. In addition to being involved in DNA repair, sub-cellular localization of proteins and modulation of transcription activity, SUMO modification has also been implicated in regulating the progression of the cell division cycle in yeast and animal cells. Yeast SUMO conjugation mutants have cell division defects and are arrested before mitosis and display impaired growth and mitotic defects, leading to suggestions that sumoylation is crucial for cell cycle progression. Detailed understanding of SUMO's role in plant biology is still in its infancy and the role of sumoylation in plant cell cycle control has not yet been studied in detail. At the cellular imaging laboratory, we are interested to identify novel plant SUMO target substrates, their intracellular localization, mobility dynamics and function. In addition to tissue culture and molecular biology-biochemistry tools, our modern imaging center is equipped with state-of-the-art confocal laser scanning microscopes, a fluorescence stereo microscope, a real-time imaging workstation and powerful image analysis computers with imaging software. Using advanced microscopy techniques, we aim to have a "closer look" to plant SUMO modified proteins and SUMO conjugation/deconjugation machinery during plant cell division cycle.

Selected publications:
Kotogány E, Dudits D, Horváth GV, Ayaydin F.: A rapid and robust assay for detection of S-phase cell cycle progression in plant cells and tissues by using ethynyl deoxyuridine. Plant Methods 2010, 6:5.

Mukhopadhyay D, Ayaydin F, Kolli N, Tan S, Anan T, Kametaka A, Azuma Y, Wilkinson K, Dasso M.: SUSP1 antagonizes formation of highly SUMO2/3-conjugated species. J Cell Biol. 2006, 174:939-949.

Ayaydin F, Dasso M.: Distinct in vivo dynamics of vertebrate SUMO paralogues. Mol Biol Cell. 2004, 15:5208- 5218.


Anisotropic biological structures: differential polarization laser scanning confocal microscopy

Group: Laboratory of Photosynthetic Membranes
Supervisor: Győző GARAB

Highly organized molecular macroaggregates are found in many hierarchically organized biological systems: chromosomes, viruses, stacked membranes, tissues, cytoskeletal and other actin-based structures. However, our understanding concerning their self-assembly, molecular organization, structural dynamics and physiological functions is still rudimentary. The major aim of our research is to identify and characterize anisotropic biological macroassemblies with the aid of a novel, differential polarization laser scanning microscope designed and constructed in ourlaboratory. With our DP-LSM we can image the following differential polarization quantities: linear and circular dichroism (LD&CD), birefringence (LB), fluorescence detected dichroisms (FDLD&FDCD), anisotropy (r) and degree of polarization (P) of the fluorescence emission. These DP quantities and the reconstituted 2D or 3D images, as it has been shown on several examples, provide important and unique information on the molecular architecture of various biological membranes, cellular organelles and tissues.
The PhD student, biophysicist or cell biologist, would join the team of DP-LSM Laboratory, and participate in various projects, including international collaborations, on the identification and characterization of anisotropic structures in various biological objects. Candidates interested in technical questions will have the opportunity to participate in the work to further improve this novel and recently patented instrument.


A novel mechanism: biological thermo-optic effect. Structurally flexible macroassemblies in thylakoid membranes.

Group: Laboratory of Photosynthetic Membranes
Supervisor: Petar H. LAMBREV, Győző GARAB

Earlier we have shown that loosely stacked lamellar aggregates of the main chlorophyll a/b light harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) possess the ability of undergoing light-induced reversible structural reorganizations that affect the long-range chiral order of their chromophores; they closely mimic the behavior of the thylakoid membranes, where the changes turned out to be largely independent of the photochemical activity of the membranes, and operate above the saturation of photosynthesis, a potentially very important, unique feature that appears to play a role in the protection of plants against excess excitation. Detailed analysis of the transients revealed that these structural transitions are driven by a novel, biological thermo-optic mechanism: fast thermal transients arising from dissipated excitation energy, which lead to elementary structural transitions in the close vicinity of the dissipation centers, due to the presence of ‘built-in’ thermal instability in the (macro)assembly of complexes. We would like to elucidate the nature and more precise mechanism of the thermo-optically induced reorganizations in different antenna systems, and establish the physiological significance of these, previously unknown regulatory mechanism.
The PhD student, physicist or biologist, is expected to take part in this research, also in the frameworks of an EU FP7 supported Initial Training Network (HARVEST).


The alternative electron donor of photosystem II and its potential biotechnological application in biohydrogen production

Group: Laboratory of Photosynthetic Membranes
Supervisor: Szilvia Z. TÓTH, Győző GARAB

Atmospheric oxygen arises from photosynthetic water oxidation. The oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) is one of the most vulnerable components of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. We have recently shown that if OECs are destroyed by a heat stress, ascorbate molecules are oxidized by photosystem II instead of water (Tóth et al. 2007 Biochim Biophys Acta 1767: 295- 305; Tóth et al. 2009 Plant Physiol 149: 1568-1578). The most likely physiological role of the electron donation from ascorbate to photosystem II is to protect photosystem II from photoinhibition. This subject is under investigation in our laboratory.
Another interesting aspect is the potential biotechnological application of the electron donation by ascorbate to photosystem II. It has been known for a long time that green algae (mainly Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) are able to produce H2, using the reducing power of the photosynthetic electron transport; however, its efficiency is low due to the oxygen-sensitivity of the hydrogenase enzyme. Since the oxidation of ascorbate does not produce oxygen, hydrogen production could be facilitated in green algae containing inactive OECs. This subject will be investigated in collaboration with several other laboratories. The project includes creating Chlamydomonas mutants with unstable OECs as well as ascorbate-overproducing mutants and optimizing the physiological conditions to ensure high rates of hydrogen production.


The macro-organization of natural and artificial light harvesting antenna systems

Group: Laboratory of Photosynthetic Membranes
Supervisor: László KOVÁCS, Győző GARAB

The intensity of sunlight is dilute, i.e. the photon flux density is low - even in strong sunlight the optimal operation of the photosynthetic machinery cannot be ensured without a light harvesting antenna system, of ~200-500 chlorophylls on average per photochemical reaction center. Also, efficient capture of solar energy, by an antenna system, is crucial in artificial solar devices. The antenna should possess the following properties: (i) cover a large spectral range (i.e. contain various chromophores), (ii) possess a high absorption cross section (i.e. large number of pigments per light converting unit and a high extinction coefficient) (iii) be able to transfer excitation energy sufficiently fast to a light-conversion unit in order to avoid unwanted loss and photodamage processes (i.e. short distances between the antenna pigments and directionality of transfer to the light-conversion units) (iv) have photoprotection (carotenoids) and photostability and protection against oxidation by the light-converting unit.
Light-harvesting antenna systems, in granal thylakoid membranes and/or composed of native, isolated complexes and embedded in lipid (multi)layers, or nanostractures self-assembling from native or synthesized porphyrin molecules might satisfy these requirements.
The PhD student will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of preparative and biophysical techniques that are related to this important research area and will conduct research on the macroorganization of the light harvesting antenna systems of plants, using mutants with modified protein and lipid contents, and also of self-assembling artificial antennae.


Characterization of regulatory genes controlling abiotic stress responses in higher plants

Group: Laboratory of Arabidopsis Molecular Genetics
Supervisor: László SZABADOS

Program: cDNA library transformation have been developed in our group to identify regulatory genes which control responses of higher plants to environmental stress such as drought, and high salinity. We have identified a number of Arabidopsis genes hich can enhance salt tolerance, modify sensitivity to abscisic acid, or control the expression of stress-induced genes. The ITC program will include the genetic and molecular characterization of some of the identified genes.
The successful candidate will join the ongoing program and contribute in the characterization of one or two genes. The work will include genetic and physiological characterization of the identified lines, cloning and molecular characterization of the identified genes, gene expression studies by Northern hybridization, RT-PCR analysis or microarray transcript profiling, etc. Methods used: We use molecular and genetic techniques to characterize genes and gene function. The genome sequence of Arabidopsis is available and insertion mutants can be identified to practically all genes in this species, facilitating genetic analysis. Gene cloning, genetic analysis, different physiological assays and biochemical methods for protein analysis will be used. Preference: Candidates with experience in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, working with DNA and proteins will have preference. Strong interaction with other group members is required. Upon mutual agreement the ITC fellowship can be extended to get Ph.D. degree in the University of Szeged.

Selected publications:
1. Papdi Cs, Ábrahám E, Joseph MP, Popescu C, Koncz Cs, Szabados L (2008) Functional identification of Arabidopsis stress regulatory genes using the Controlled cDNA Overexpression System, COS. Plant Physiol. 147: 528–542.

2. Ábrahám E, Papdi C, Joseph MP, Koncz C, Szabados L (2008) Identification of Arabidopsis stress regulatory genes using the Controlled cDNA Overexpression System. Acta Biol Szeged 2008, 52:45-48

3. Papdi Cs, Joseph MP, Pérez-Salamó I, Vidal S, Szabados, L (2009) Genetic technologies for the identification of plant genes controlling environmental stress responses. Funct Plant Biol 36:696-720.

4. Papdi Cs, Joseph MP, Pérez-Salamó I, Szabados L (2010) Use of genetic approaches to identify plant stress genes. In: „Plant Stress Tolerance“, Methods in Molecular Biology, Ed. Sunkar R., Humana Press, (in press).


Proline metabolism as model for stress responses in plants

Group: Laboratory of Arabidopsis Molecular Genetics
Supervisor: László SZABADOS

Program: Proline is considered as compatible osmolyte, which is accumulated to high concentration when plants are subjected to drought or salt stress. In previous years our group has characterized the proline metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana, the model organism for molecular and genetic studies. We have isolated and characterized the genes that control proline biosynthesis and degradation and identified regulatory genes that influence proline accumulation. We are looking for candidates to participate in the further analysis of this metabolic pathway. Effect of other environmental factors such as light will be studied. Function of recently identified regulatory genes will be characterized with special emphasis on proline metabolism. Physiological role of proline during dehydration or salt stress on photosynthesis, mitochondrial respiration, redox balance, etc. will be studied using Arabidopsis mutants and transgenic plants with altered proline accumulation. Methods used: We use molecular and genetic techniques to characterize genes and gene function. The genome sequence of Arabidopsis is available and insertion mutants can be identified to practically all genes in this species, facilitating genetic analysis. Preference: Candidates with experience in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, working with DNA and proteins will have preference. Strong interaction with other group members is required. Upon mutual agreement the ITC fellowship can be extended to get Ph.D. degree in the University of Szeged.

Selected publications:
1. Székely Gy, Ábrahám E, Cséplő Á, Rigó G, Zsigmond L, Csiszár J, Ayaydin F, Strizhov N, Jásik J, Schmelzer E, Koncz Cs, Szabados L (2008) Duplicated P5CS genes of Arabidopsis play distinct roles in stress regulation and developmental control of proline biosynthessis. Plant J. 53:11-28.

2. Zsigmond L, Rigó G, Székely Gy, Ötvös K, Szarka A, Darula Zs, Medzihradszky KF, Koncz Cs, Koncz Zs, Szabados L (2008) Arabidopsis PPR40 connects abiotic stress responses to mitochondrial electron transport. Plant Physiol. 146:1721-1737.

3. Szabados L, Savouré A (2010) Proline: a multifunctional amino acid. Trends Plant Sci 15:89- 97

4. Lehmann S, Funck D, Szabados L, Rentsch D (2010) Proline metabolism and transport in plant development. Amino Acids (in press).

5. Ábrahám E, Hourton-Cabassa C, Erdei L, Szabados L (2010) Methods for determination of proline in plants. In: „Plant Stress Tolerance“, Methods in Molecular Biology, Ed. Sunkar R., Humana Press, (in press).


Comparative analysis of stress responses in stress adapted and non-adapted plant species

Group: Laboratory of Arabidopsis Molecular Genetics
Supervisor: László SZABADOS

Program: Arabidopsis thaliana has emerged as the main model organism in higher plants, leading to the complete sequencing of its genome. Important information has been accumulated on this species about the regulation of stress responses and numerous Arabidopsis genes have been identified that are important in stress perception and adaptation. However, Arabidopsis is not adapted to extreme environments such as drought or high salinity. The close relative of Arabidopsis, Thellungielly halophyla is known to withstand high salt concentrations in the soil and is better suited to study long-term stress adaptation. In order to identify those factors which can contribute to the better stress adaptation of this species, several Thellungiella genes have been cloned which are orthologs of known Arabidopsis stress factors. The isolated genes will be characterized to reveal important molecular differences that may lead to enhanced salt tolerance. Thellungiella genes will be introduced into Arabidopsis to study their effect on salt tolerance. RNAi technique will be employed to reduce or eliminate transcription of selected genes in Thellungiella and study the salt tolerance in the silenced plants. Expression of stress-responsive genes in Thellungiella, Arabidopsis and the transgenic plants will be chracterized and compared. The succesful candidate will joing the ongoing project and will be responsible for the characterization of one such gene or small gene family.
Methods used: We use molecular and genetic techniques to characterize genes and gene function. Gene cloning, genetic analysis, different physiological assays and biochemical methods for protein analysis will be used.
Preference: Candidates with experience in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, working with DNA and proteins will have preference. Strong interaction with other group members is required. Upon mutual agreement the ITC fellowship can be extended to get Ph.D. degree in the University of Szeged.

Selected publications:
1. Papdi Cs, Ábrahám E, Joseph MP, Popescu C, Koncz Cs, Szabados L (2008) Functional identification of Arabidopsis stress regulatory genes using the Controlled cDNA Overexpression System, COS. Plant Physiol. 147: 528–542.

2. Papdi Cs, Joseph MP, Pérez-Salamó I, Vidal S, Szabados, L (2009) Genetic technologies for the identification of plant genes controlling environmental stress responses. Funct Plant Biol 36:696-720.