Department of Genetics, Plant Physiology and Microbiology

The department started its activity on 1 November 1949 under the name "Department of physiology of plants and Darwinism" at the initiative of the rector of Uzhhorod state university, candidate of biological sciences, associate professor Tkachenko H.V.  – a specialist in the physiology of plants, former director of Melitopol pedagogical institute and became its first head of department. He ran the department up to 1961. Under his leadership the department staff researched vine embriology.

Since 1961 the department was headed by associate professor V. V. Skrypnyk. Under his leadership the research staff at the department investigated vine physiology in Transcarpathian conditions. P. І. Holinka studied the photosynthetic apparatus of vine, О. М. Lakyza researched the influence of microelements on ther growth and development of vine’s physiological processes, P. P. Bilyk studied the issue of vine affinity.

In 1971 the department was run by professor І. І. Bubryak. His arrival marked the beginning of the research of acclimatization of tea in Transcarpathia. With this aim in mind a number of experimental tea plants were grown and the biggest one was based in the area of Chervona hora near Mukachevo.

In 1986 the department of physiology of plants and Darwinism was joined to the department of microbiology, whose founder was А. М. Ulisko; its heads in different years were V. S. Petrus, А. V. Smerenska, М. М. Ladani, А.I. Turyanitsa. Other department staff include О. P. Kushnirova, І. М. Mihowk, V. М. Plakhotnyuk, N. М. Andropova.

In 1988 due to the intensification of the biotechnological direction of studies the department of physiology of plants and Darwinism was renamed into the department of physiology of plants and biotechnology. Its head was candidate of biological sciences, associate professor, and today doctor of biological sciences, professor, academician of the Academy of Sciences of Higher Education of Ukraine, Honoured academic figure of Ukraine V. І. Nikolaichuk, an honourable academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Hungary that heads the departmentі up till now. Under the leadership of Vitaliy Ivanovych a research was initiated to study the physiological bases of microclonal reproduction of rare and disappearing kinds of plants and intensive study of the genetics of Lotus corniculatus, a perspective and anti-erosion plant.

In 1999 the department of physiology of plants and biotechnology was renamed into the department of genetics and physiology of plants. The main scientific line of the department became a deep study of biology, seed productivity of Lotus corniculatus and the use of the heterosis effect to create new lines and varieties. As a result of intensive work with professor V. І. Nikolaichuk a method of microclonal reproduction  of Lotus corniculatus was patented for the first time in Ukraine.

Moreover, the department investigates the physiology of vine (associate professor V. J. Belchhazi), adaptation of cereals to extreme factors of the environment (associate professor P. V. Vaida, associate professor А V. Kolesnyk, associate professor М. М. Vakerych).

The present name of the department “genetics, physiology of plants and microbiology” is conditioned by the intensification of the microbiological line of studies, increased number of specialists in this sphere and opening of "microbiology" as a speciality for extramural students. The following members of the staff defended their dissertation theses B. М. Sharga, Т. І. Kordon, М. V. Kryvtsova, Т. V. Tsykun, V. V. Pantyo.

The department trains students in three specialties: "Genetics", "Plant physiology", "Microbiology".

Scientific and academic work at the department is at the leading position of the State Higher Educational Establishment “Uzhhorod National University”. The head of the department of genetics, physiology of plants and microbiology prof. V. І. Nikolaichuk actively participates in scientific conferences in this country and abroad. Since 2004 prof. V. І. Nikolaichuk is the vice-president of the society of physiologists of plants, since 2007 he is the head of Uzhhorod branch of the international society of ecoethics. Prof. V. І. Nikolaichuk is a member of the public board of ecological policy and natural resource use in the Transcarpathian regional state administration.

Under the leadership of prof. V. І. Nikolaichuk the department staff published 4 monographs, over 30 academic manuals, among them over 10 are recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine for higher educational establishments of Ukraine.

The total scientific contribution of the department is over 1000 scientific articles, 34 patents for inventions and 2 new varieties of Lotus corniculatus.

At the department of genetics, physiology of plants, microbiology state-subsidized research work was performed:

  • ДБ 779 П “Monitoring research and elaboration of recommendations on the improvement of the ecological condition of ecosystems bordering on railways”, scientific supervisor is doctor of biological sciences, professor V. I. Nikolaichuk.
  • ДБ 811 Ф “Development of ecological and physiological methods of bioremediation and recultivation of antropogenically devastated territories in Transcarpathian lowlands”, scientific supervisor is doctor of biological sciences, professor V. I. Nikolaichuk.

The department performs a complex scientific research theme – “Investigation of genetic, physiological and biochemical mechanisms of adaptation of micro- and biocenosis to antropogenic load”.

The department has close scientific relations with leading scientific and educational establishments of Ukraine and abroad, namely with the Institute of physiology of plants and genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv), Agricultural research institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary), Institute of microbiology and virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv), Institute of molecular biology and genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv), T. H. Shevchenko Kyiv national university, I. Franko Lviv national university, Yu. Fedkovych Chernivtsi national university, O. Honchar national university, etc.

T. Vrebel