University of Thessaly

Laboratory of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology

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The University of Thessaly was founded in 1984 and it became the 3rd largest University in Greece after its merge with the Technical University of Thessaly in 2019. It is composed of 36 Departments organized in 8 Schools. UTH is located centrally in the main agricultural plain of Greece and aims to have a key rôle in research and innovation in the agricultural sector. The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology participating in the project  is located in the city of Larissa, campus of Viopolis and is characterized by research excellence ranked 2nd in research funding in the last 5 years with a total research funding of 11 million euros.

The Laboratory of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology participating in Pharm-ERA is one of the research laboratories of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly. It was officially founded in 2015 and its main research focus is on the study of the interactions of plants, microbes with the environment and the potential exploitation of products of plants and soil microbes for human health and environmental protection. The PLANTENVLAB has been successful in attracting funding from national sources and the European Commission and has coordinated several EU projects including MSCA-ITN-H2020 (ARISTO), MSCA-IAPP-H2020 (LOVE TO HATE), MSCA-IF-H2020 (RNA-STIP and EMIGRATE), WIDENING (Twinning ACTIONr), RIA (MINAGRIS, RATION) and several projects from national funding schemes. The PLANTENVLAB constitutes a dynamic and international group composed of young researchers from Brazil, Armenia, Ireland, France and visitors from Poland, Chile, Italy, France, Cyprus The laboratory is currently composed of 5 faculty members, 10 postdocs, 10 PhD students and several MSc students  - http://plantenvlab.bio.uth.gr/

Research interests & main objectives

The laboratory of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology and particularly the group of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology studies in particular the interactions of organic pollutants including pesticides, microplastics, veterinary medicines and other agrochemicals with the soil microbiota. It studies both sides of this interaction (toxicity or growth-linked microbial degradation) in soil using a wide range of biochemical and molecular tools, coupled with advanced statistical and bioinformatic tools relevant for soil microbial ecology. In addition the group study the potential evolution and dispersal of AMR traits in the environment and the risk for environmental and human health.

Principal investigator

Dimitrios Karpouzas – Professor in Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (Google Scholar https://scholar.google.gr/citations?user=IeQOCjoAAAAJ&hl=el

Staff involved in Pharm-ERA


Sotirios Vasileiadis  – Assistant Prof in Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics (Google Scholar : https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=SwZ7i44AAAAJ&hl=el )

Equipment and processes

The PLANTENVLAB has access to fully equipped facilities for high quality research in environmental microbiology, molecular biology, environmental fate studies and plant microbe-interactions. This include : Real-time PCRs with liquid handling for highthroughput analysis, PCR blocks, gel electrophoresis, HPLC-UV, HPLC-PDA, LC-MS/MS, fluorescence and confocal microscope, laminar flow cabinets, spectrophotometers, luminometer, scintillation counter, Ultracentrifuge, Flow Cytometer, iSEQ and Miseq Illumina platform, Two MinION for RNA/DNA sequencing, PC Servers for bioinformatic analysis, Plant growth room and Plant growth cabinets of different size and requirements (5). In addition the staff of the group have their own office space and dedicated working positions in the main laboratories of the group along with dedicated rooms for soil handling, pollutants extraction, mycorrhiza and nitrifiers in vitro cultivation dedicated rooms.

See also

Modification date : 13 March 2024 | Publication date : 06 March 2024 | Redactor : Emilie EGEA