Graduate School

Plant biotechnology

This course is part of the programme:
Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology graduate study programme (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

The goal of this course is to introduce biotechnology methods in plants. The objective of the course is to give students new knowledge and widening of the knowledge acquired in other course by handling of classical and modern plant biotechnology processes, including breeding of healthy plants, plants with improved characteristics and plants for biomolecule production. Understanding of biotechnological processes has also applicative value in pharmaceutical and food industry, in agriculture and in ecology.

Course will be active every two years.



Content (Syllabus outline)

The course will be composed of following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Organization and expression of plant genome
  • Methods in plant biotechnology
  • Plant tissue cultures (types of cultures, micropropagation, automation, aclimation, breeding of healthy plants)
  • Production of plant secondary metabolites,
  • Comparison of classical and modern biotechnological methods of plant breeding
  • Methods of transformation of plants by bacteria and viruses
  • Indirect methods of transformation of plants
  • Possibilities of production of new proteins and other substances in genetically modified plants,
  • Possible influences of genetically modified plants on healthy and environment
  • Detection of genetically modified plants and legislation,
  • Selected chapters from other field of biotechnology, e.g. microbial, industrial, pharmaceutical or environmental biotechnology

Intended learning outcomes

Concepts, principles and processes in plant biotechnology.

Applications. Presentation of ongoing research.

Reflexion. The ability of explanation of concepts, principles and usage of the acquired knowledge in biotechnological, pharmaceutical, medical and agricultural applications.

Transmissible skills. Critic usage of literature and other sources, collection and interpretation of data, scientific and technical terminology.


  • Chrispeels M.J., Sadava D.E. Plants, Genes and Crop Biotechnology, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sundbury, Massachusetts 567 pages, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc., 2nd edition (2002), ISBN: 0763715867.
  • Sarad R.Parekh (ed.). The GMO Handbook, Genetically Modified Animals, Microbes, and Plants in Biotechnology. 374 pages, Humana Press, (2004), ISBN: 1588293076.
  • Razdan M.K. Introduction to Plant Tissue Culture. : 376 pages, Science Publishers Inc 2nd edition (2003), ISBN: 1578082374.
  • Heldt H.W. Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oxford University Press. 552 pages, Oxford University Press (1998), ISBN: 0198501803.
  • Buchanan B.B., Gruissem W., Jones L.R. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. 1367 pages, American Society of Plant Physiologists, 1 st edition (2000), ISBN: 0943088372.


  • Discussion with other students and the lecturer responsible for the course (10%). Oral exam (90%).

Lecturer's references

Maruša Pompe Novak is asistent professor at University of Ljubljana


1. Baebler Š, Witek K, Petek M, Stare K, Tušek-Žnidarič M, Pompe-Novak M, Renaut J, Szajko K, Strzelczyk-Żyta D, Marczewski W, Morgiewicz K, Gruden K, Hennig J. 2014 Salicylic acid is an indispensable component of the Ny-1 resistance-gene-mediated response against Potato virus Y infection in potato. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65,4, 1095-1109

2. Rupar M1, Kogovšek P, Pompe-Novak M, Gutiérrez-Aguirre I, Delaunay A, Jacquot E, Ravnikar M. 2013 Assessment of SNaPshot and single step RT-qPCR methods for discriminating Potato virus Y (PVY) subgroups. Journal of Virological Methods,189, 1,93-100.

3. Dobnik D, Baebler S, Kogovšek P, Pompe-Novak M, Stebih D, Panter G, Janež N, Morisset D, Zel J, Gruden K. 2013 β-1,3-glucanase class III promotes spread of PVYNTN and improves in planta protein production. Plant Biotechnol Rep. 7:547-555.

4. Kogovšek P, Kladnik A, Mlakar J, Znidarič MT, Dermastia M, Ravnikar M, Pompe-Novak M. 2011 Distribution of Potato virus Y in potato plant organs, tissues, and cells. Phytopathology. 101(11):1292-300.

5. Baebler Š, Stare K, Kovač M, Blejec A, Prezelj N, Stare T, Kogovšek P, Pompe-Novak M, Rosahl S, Ravnikar M, Gruden K. 2011 Dynamics of responses in compatible potato-Potato virus Y interaction are modulated by salicylic acid. PLoS One. 6(12):e29009.

University course code: 8MG021

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1-2

Course principal:



  • Lectures: 20 hours
  • Exercises: 20 hours
  • Individual work: 50 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
•lectures and seminars •problem oriented learning •individual seminars •presentation and interpretation to other students • discussion of published research articles on the selected topics •individual work