Institute of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology

The story of the Institute of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology began in 1970 as the Institute of Plant Breeding and Seed Production. In 1982 the name of the Institute was changed into the Institute of Genetics and Plant Breeding and the current name has been functioning since 2006. The Institute’s retired directors are Professor Czesław Tarkowski (director from 1970 to 1994) and Professor Danuta Miazga (director from 1994 to 2006). Since 2006, the Director of the Institute has been Professor Krzysztof Kowalczyk.

The institute currently employs 17 research and teaching staff as well as 9 technical staff. Moreover, 3 Ph.D. students are currently involved in the Institute’s activities.

Professor Tarkowski initiated research on the cytogenetic and breeding studies of cereals – mainly triticale and rye. Based on plant materials obtained in the Institute, the first 4 semi-dwarf Polish winter triticale cultivars (Pinokio, Fidelio, Woltario, and Magnat) were bred.

Since 1976, at the Institute works concerning collection and characterization of durum wheat as well as spring and winter triticale for breeding purposes have been conducted. Research on the introduction of extraneous genetic variation from wild species (Aegilops sp., Agrotriticum sp., Dasypyrum villosum) to wheat, triticale, and rye are carried out in parallel. Both research directions continue to this day.

For the last two decades, novel molecular techniques in the field of structural and functional genomics are successively implemented in the research carried out at the Institute. The first studies in this area concerned analyses of polymorphism and genetic diversity of wheat, oat, triticale, and rye.


Currently, the main directions of research carried out at the Institute of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology include:

  • Analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the resistance to the most important fungal diseases of wheat, triticale, rye, and oat including rusts, powdery mildew, Septoria, Fusarium, etc;
  • Identification of the genome regions associated with traits important for cereals breeding (resistance to diseases, tolerance to abiotic stresses, dwarfing genes, yield quality determining genes) and development of the molecular markers suitable for genotyping;
  • Analysis of the molecular mechanisms determining a flowering time and vernalization requirement in common wheat, triticale, and sugar beet;
  • Determination of the alteration of genes expression in response to drought stress in wheat;
  • Analysis of the signal transduction pathways based on MAP kinases in Arabidopsis thaliana and common wheat in response to oxidative stress;
  • High throughput analysis of the sugar beet and oat transcriptome using RNAseq technique;
  • Determination of the influence of nanoparticles on development and transcriptome of plants;
  • In vitro cultures of horticultural plants.

The Institute’s facilities include five laboratories and an experimental farm in Czesławice. The laboratories include:

  • Plant genomics and transcriptomics laboratory;
  • Nanobiotechnology laboratory;
  • In vitro cultures laboratory;
  • Biotic stress laboratory;
  • Abiotic stress laboratory.

The laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including phytotron with innovative LED grow lights, climate chambers, Next-Generation Sequencing platform, digital PCR system, real-time PCR cyclers, and ICP-OES system.

The staff of the Institute actively cooperate with many scientific institutions in Poland and abroad, including the University of Sydney, University of Canberra, Technischen Universität München, National Taiwan University, Brigham Young University in Utah, Centro de Biotecnologia y Genomica de Plantas in Madrid, The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in Aberystwyth, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben, Institute of Cytology and Genetics of SB RAS in Novosibirsk. Moreover, the Institute carries out research in cooperation with plant breeding companies (KHBC Sp. z o.o., Hodowla Roślin Strzelce Sp. z o.o. Grupa IHAR, Danko Hodowla Roślin Sp. z o.o.) and the results are used in crop breeding programs.

The research work is financed by several projects funded by the National Science Centre, National Centre for Research and Development as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. During last years the solutions developed at the Institute of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology are the subject of several patents and have been implemented in agricultural practice in Poland and Ukraine.

The Institute’s employees are active members of international scientific communities including The European Society for Plant Breeding Research (EUCARPIA), European Cereal Genetics Co-operative (EWAC), and European Federation of Biotechnology.