Head: Prof. DSc Frąc Magdalena
Research focus on: i) the evaluation of effect of soil physical conditions and abiotic stresses on growth and yield of selected crops; ii) biodiversity of soil environment, organic waste and agricultural plant materials, including activity, ecology and biochemistry of microorganisms; iii) the assessment of effect of use and management of soils on their physical behavior and plant growth.
Abiotic stresses and the growth and yield of plants. The impact of the selected environmental factors on growth, functioning and yield of crops grown in drought conditions.The impact of water deficit in variously eroded soil on physical properties of soil and the growth and yield of plants.
Organic waste utilization. Agricultural utilization of organic waste. The use of microorganisms and their communities in the detoxification process, processing and biological degradation of agri-food organic waste.
Biodiversity of soil and organic waste. The assessment of activity and genetic and functional diversity of microorganisms in soil and organic waste for evaluation of quality, biological state and safety of soil environment and organic waste.
Microbial ecology and biochemistry. The assessment of biochemical properties and chemical sensitivity microorganisms in the environment, including heat-resistant fungi, to select strains with high biotechnological potential and to explain mechanisms responsible for the regulation of their metabolic pathways.
The microbiological analysis of plant materials. The development, optimization and testing of the methods of rapid detection and elimination of microorganisms (e.g. PCR, real-time PCR, phenotype microarrays), including heat-resistant fungi, to improve quality of agricultural raw materials and products.
Physical properties of soils under different use and management. The study of soil physical properties including penetration resistance, crushing strength, pore size distribution, wetting rate of water and ethanol, and the hydrophobicity index.
Analysis of growth properties of plants in different conditions of cultivation. The study ofsize and weight of the aboveground parts, relative root length within root diameter classes by image analysis, specific surface area, total cation exchange capacity and density of the surface charge of the roots.