Plant biotechnology

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.




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., Gepts P. Plants, Genes, and Agriculture: Sustainability through Biotechnology, Oxford, 1st edition (2017), ISBN: 978-1605356846
•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, 2nd edition (2003), ISBN: 1578082374.
•Heldt H.W., Piechulla B. Plant Biochemistry, Academic Press. (2011), ISBN: 978-0-12-384986-1
•Buchanan B.B., Gruissem W., Jones L.R. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. American Society of Plant Biologist, Wiley Blackwell, 2nd edition (2017), ISBN: 978-0-470-71421-8


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

Lecturer's references

Maruša Pompe Novak is associate professor in the field of biotechnology at the University of Ljubljana.

Selected Bibliography:

  1. DERMASTIA, Marina, ŠKRLJ, Blaž, STRAH, Rebeka, ANŽIČ, Barbara, TOMAŽ, Špela, KRIŽNIK, Maja, SCHÖNHUBER, Christina, RIEDLE-BAUER, Monika, RAMŠAK, Živa, PETEK, Marko, KLADNIK, Aleš, LAVRAČ, Nada, GRUDEN, Kristina, ROITSCH, Thomas, BRADER, Günter, POMPE NOVAK, Maruša. Differential response of grapevine to Infection with ʼCandidatus Phytoplasma solaniʼ in early and late growing season through complex regulation of mRNA and small RNA transcriptomes. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021, 22(7):3531-1-3531-28.
  2. LUKAN, Tjaša, POMPE NOVAK, Maruša, BAEBLER, Špela, TUŠEK-ŽNIDARIČ, Magda, KLADNIK, Aleš, KRIŽNIK, Maja, BLEJEC, Andrej, ZAGORŠČAK, Maja, STARE, Katja, DUŠAK, Barbara, COLL RIUS, Anna, POLLMANN, Stephan, MORGIEWICZ, Karolina, HENNIG, Jacek, GRUDEN, Kristina. Precision transcriptomics of viral foci reveals the spatial regulation of immune-signaling genes and identifies RBOHD as an important player in the incompatible interaction between potato virus Y and potato. The Plant journal. 2020, 104(3):645-661.DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14953.
  3. MEHLE, Nataša, DOBNIK, David, RAVNIKAR, Maja, POMPE NOVAK, Maruša. Validated reverse transcription droplet digital PCR serves as a higher order method for absolute quantification of Potato virus Y strains. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. 2018, 410(16):3815-3825. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-018-1053-3.
  4. BAEBLER, Špela, WITEK, Kamil, PETEK, Marko, STARE, Katja, TUŠEK-ŽNIDARIČ, Magda, POMPE NOVAK, Maruša, RENAUT, Jenny, SZAJKO, K., STRZELCZYK-ŻYTA, D., MARCZEWSKI, W., MORGIEWICZ, Karolina, GRUDEN, Kristina, HENNIG, Jacek. 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. 2014, 65(4):1095-1109. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert447.
  5. RUPAR, Matevž, KOGOVŠEK, Polona, POMPE NOVAK, Maruša, GUTIÉRREZ-AGUIRRE, Ion, DELAUNAY, Agnes, JACQUOT, Emmanuel, RAVNIKAR, Maja. Assessment of SNaPshot and single step RT-qPCR methods for discriminating Potato virus Y (PVY) subgroups. Journal of virological methods. 2013, 189(1):93-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2013.01.013.