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programme SharCo

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Instytut Sadownictwa i Kwiaciarstwa Skierniewice - Poland

Dissecting molecular mechanisms of sharka resistance in Prunus domestica

ISK is a governmental R&D institution supervised by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Its research covers all areas related to fruit, ornamental plant and bee science, from basic studies on physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, through biotechnology, creative breeding, protection of genetic resources, plant pathology, agronomy, fruit storage and processing, horticultural engineering, economics and marketing. ISK is the only centre in Poland carrying research on sharka, which covers epidemiology, virus biology and detection techniques, molecular and cellular mechanisms of disease resistance and breeding.

Key persons involved

Dr. Habilitant Lech Michalczuk the Head of Department of Physiology and Biochemistry and coordinator of several domestic and international projects, including 5th FP project “Research centre of Excellence in Sustainable Pomology”. He has over 30 years experience in plant biochemistry and biotechnology. During the last 5 years he has supervised a number of projects aiming at dissecting molecular mechanisms of sharka resistance in Prunus domestica. He has also experience in Internet-based extension and implementation programmes - at present, he is coordinating a project of Horticultural Portal, cofinanced by EU within Structural Funds and state budget, one of the objectives of which is construction of Decision Support System for quality control in horticultural production.
  • Dr. Tadeusz Malinowski
    Plant virologist with over 20 year experience in sharka research, especially in disease epidemiology, molecular biology of PPV and methods of virus detection.

  • Dr Danuta Wojcik
    Specialising in molecular mechanisms of sharka resistance in Prunus domestica and mechanisms of induction of systemic disease resistance in fruit trees.

  • Dr Agnieszka Marasek
    Senior scientist specialising in chromosomal markers.

  • Ms Katarzyna Kowalczys
    Junior scientists/Ph.D. student. Her Ph.D. project, supervised by prof. Michalczuk, involves studies of gene expression during PPV infection in susceptible and partially resistant cultivars of Prunus domestica.

  • A computer programmer -to be hired-
    Specialising in Internet technology will be employed for a total 9 PM to construct a template for Decision Support System.


  • Wawrzyńczak D., Kowalczys K., Decroocq V., Malinowski T., Jakubowski T., Michalczuk L. 2005. Search for molecular markers of sharka resistance in Prunus domestica. Phytopathol. Pol. 36: 91-96

  • Malinowski T. 2005. Potential problems with the reliability of PCR based diagnostic methods related to plant viruses sequence variation. Phytopath. Pol. 35, 2005: 125-139

  • Malinowski T., Zawadzka B. 2005. Forty two years of plum pox presence in Poland. Phytopathol. Pol. 36: 131-136

  • Jakimova E.T., Michalczuk L.,Woltering E J. 2005. Hypersensitive cell death in plants - its mechanisms and role in plant defence against pathogens. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res. 13: 135-158

  • Malinowski T., Zawadzka B. 2002. Diversity of Plum pox virus isolates found in Poland. Senatatea Plantelor/Plant’s Health special edition 6: 22-24

Material resources

ISK has screenhouses and class-2 greenhouse for experiments with quarantine microorganisms and for carrying biotests and experimental fields. Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry has full equipment for virological and molecular research. To accommodate large number of analyses planned in the project, some additional small equipment like shaker for silver staining gels and ultrasonic bath will be purchased.