Gottlieb Haberlandt Plant Sciences Doctoral Program

Coordinator of the Program: Prof. Dr. Vince Ördög, DSc

One of the main aims of the program is to learn and use the beneficial and harmful microorganisms in plant/soil-systems or to control it by providing ideal growth and development, either in vitro or in vivo, of plants.

As part of the program we study:

  • effect of micro-organisms (occurring naturally or dispersed artificially in plant/soil-system) on soil fertility and their impact on plant growth and development;
  • applicability of hormone-producing micro-organisms in the micro-propagation of recalcitrant plants;
  • occurrence of plant pathogens and pests and the potential (micro-) biological control;
  • technical solutions for improving the detection of weeds and soils different from average and solutions for increasing the accuracy of dispersion of materials suitable for crop and soil treatments;
  • our area of research includes renewable energy production, particularly biofuel production by microalgae.

In Mosonmagyaróvár, we have established Europe's 13th largest and in term of soil algae, the third largest microalgae collection (Mosonmagyaróvár Algal Culture Collection = MACC). We have been studying the agricultural utilization of microalgae within the framework of international and national cooperation for decades. The most important topics are:

  • plant hormone production;
  • efficacy against plant pathogenic fungi;
  • volatile organic compounds, and
  • lipid production used for biofuel production.

It was concluded that microalgae are capable of producing plant hormones and – as seaweed extracts – they have bio-stimulatory effects on crops. It has been determined by bioassays, that microalgae show 1-2% fungicid activity against at least one plant pathogenic fungus, which justified by field experiments in European Union funded projects. It was found that the cyanobacterial volatile organic compounds have insect repellent effect, which has been proved by an EU FP7 project carried out on cabbage root fly. We confirmed that by changing the environmental conditions, the lipid content of microalgae could be increased from 10% up to 50%. The practical application of microalgae is still in its infancy, unlike other heterotrophic microorganisms that contribute the increase of accessibility of plant nutrients in soil and the breakdown of organic materials. The results of soil microbiology, rhizobiology are increasingly taken into focus when we choose a research project during the program, so we can benefit from the combination of autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms.