Department of Physiology and Reproductive Biology
Studies on plant physiology in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden were initiated by Academician V.N. Lyubimenko in the year 1908. He also organized a laboratory of plant physiology in the Botanical Room. The main direction of the laboratory’s work at that time was the study of pigments and the influence of light on physiological processes; Somewhat later, studies were begun of the winter hardiness and drought resistance of higher plants. This area of research remains a priority and to this day.
Cytological-embryological and genetic studies in the NBS began in the department of genetics and selection created in 1923, which was later reorganized into the department of cytogenetics and embryology of plants. In the past years, the department carried out significant work on the practical selection of tobacco, vegetable crops and grapes. Since the 1970s, research on the reproductive biology of southern fruit, subtropical and ornamental plants (introducers and representatives of native flora) began to develop in the laboratory in connection with their introduction, selection and protection.
A number of new methods for studying plant physiology have been developed: a laboratory-field method for determining plant drought resistance, a refractometric method for determining colloid-bound water in plants, a method for determining the concentration of plant cell sap, A method for determining the heat resistance of plants for the registration of photoinduced luminescence, an algorithm for the optimal control of the water regime of plants under conditions of soil and atmospheric drought, and a multiplicative model for the water exchange of seedlings of fruit crops, a method for determining the frost resistance of woody plants by direct freezing. At present, studies of drought resistance of fruit crops (peach, plum-apricot hybrids), as well as frost resistance of species of the genus Diospyros L. and species of the families Cactaceae and Crassulaceae are being conducted.
As a result of the embryological work carried out in the department, the formation of generative structures in a number of introduced species – representatives of the families Rosaceae, Rhamnaceae, Davidiaceae, Oleaceae, Pinaceae, Cephalotaxaceae, etc., As well as representatives of the flora of the Crimea – species of the families Orchidaceae, Ephedraceae, Ericaceae, Anacardiaceae, Pinaceae, Cupressaceae, and others. Specific features of the formation of generative structures, pollination, fertilization and embryogenesis in the above objects have been revealed. Developed: ways to increase seed productivity and improve the natural reproduction of Arbutus andrachne and Pistacia mutica; Ways to increase the efficiency of hybridization and accelerated production of hybrid progeny Zizyphus jujuba and Olea europaea; A way to assess the response of higher plants to air pollution in the male generative sphere; Recommendations on elite seed production of Taxus baccata and Juniperus excelsa, as well as on the rational use of the gene pool of Juniperus foetidissima; Recommendations for assessing genetic cargo and improving the viability of the seeds of protected and cultivated conifers. Currently, studies are underway to identify the patterns of formation of embryonic structures of higher plants in connection with the problem of conservation and enhancement of biological diversity. Special attention is paid to comparative analysis of reproductive biology of species of different phylogenetic level, as well as ways to increase the efficiency of creating new valuable forms and varieties of plants.
There is a department of 18 people, among them: 1 doctor of biological sciences, 5 candidates of biological sciences and 6 post-graduate students.
Head of Department Department – candidate of biological sciences Gubanova Tatyana Borisovna.
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