Department of Experimental Plant Biology

The Department of Plant Physiology offers study on the Experimental Plant Biology Master’s programme and the Doctoral specialization of Plant Physiology. The research covers environmental plant physiology, biochemistry, and the biophysics of photosynthesis, and is focused to several dominant areas.

Head of the Department: Assoc. Prof. Jiří Šantrůček

Programme Director: Assoc. Prof. Jiří Šantrůček
Contact: phone (420)-387772353, e-mail
Co-operating institutions: Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, Biology Centre of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Photosynthesis of higher plants, algae and cyanobacteria

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. 

Stomatal physiology, plant-atmosphere interactions

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.         

Stable isotopes fractionation in biosphere

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).