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Home     Ukrainian Institutes Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering of NASU

Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering of NASU

Building of Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering of NASU

General Information

The Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering (ICBGE), established in 1990, is the leading scientific center in the field of plant cell and molecular biology, biotechnology and genomics in Ukraine. ICBGE employs 140 scientists, including 12 Doctors of Science, 6 with the designation of Academician, and 48 Ph.D.s. Together with other highly experienced engineers, they are grouped into 12 departments and labs.

R&D Highlights

In the area of plant cell and genetic engineering, researchers at the Institute discovered the phenomenon of biparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genes as a result of protoplast somatic hybridization. This phenomenon created the basis for the development of new technologies for the production of plant cybrids, and original approaches of plastome transformation. The efforts are also centered on the development of plant molecular biotechnology. The Institute has pioneered the development of transgenic plants with the traits of many agricultural species for further breeding.

Research in the field of cell biology and structural bioinformatics focuses on the investigation of cytoskeletal proteins for novel biotechnological approaches for the improvement of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant mutants have been created and the genes of microtubule proteins (tubulin) responsible for the resistance to herbicides and fungicides have been isolated and used for the production of cell lines resistant to these substances. The Institute identifies new microtubule proteins and tyrosine kinases of plant origin. A biological approach for the creation of a three-dimensional model of plant tubulin has been developed. These models are used for identifying the interaction of antimicrotubular compounds with different biological activities (antiprotozoan & anticancer; herbicides, fungicides) for chemical designing new drugs.

The Institute specializes in the safe utilization of the products of plant genetic engineering. Vertical gene flow from transgenic plants to their wild relatives has been studied (rapeseed, sugar beet and flax) and methods for the detection and measurement of genetically modified components in seeds, feed and food have been developed.

ICBGE research groups also focus on plant biophysics and radiobiology, including the role of molecular recognition in the processes of cell repair; investigation of molecular processes induced by chronic irradiation; methods of phyto-microbial decontamination of radionuclides from soils; study of protective signal systems of plants; and the investigation of structural and functional organization of the cell wall of higher fungi to develop new sorption materials for medicine and industry.

To further R&D and commercialization efforts, the Institute has created one of world's largest banks of plant germplasm from world flora. This bank is recognized as a National Scientific Dignity of Ukraine. It includes about 5000 specimens in the seed bank and 2000 cell lines in the in vitro bank.

Aseptically growing plants and callus lines of different plant species from the germplasm bank of world flora
Aseptically growing plants
and callus lines of
different plant species
from the germplasm
bank of world flora

Plant regeneration from mesophyll protoplasts: Nicotiana africana
Plant regeneration from
mesophyll protoplasts:
Nicotiana africana

Molecule of alpha-tubulin with docked trifluralin molecule: green – amino acid residues of binding site, yellow – amino acid residues involved in tubulin dimer formation
Molecule of alpha-tubulin
with docked trifluralin molecule:
green – amino acid residues
of binding site,
yellow – amino acid
residues involved in tubulin
dimer formation

Opportunities for commercialization and collaborative production

  • Creation of transgenic plants with traits of interest based on Agrobacterium-mediated and biolistic genetic transformation;
  • New gene marker systems for the selection of transgenic plant cell lines;
  • Recombinant pharmacological protein production via transient expression in plant systems;
  • Chemical design and screening of new antimicrotubule substances with herbicide or fungicide activity;
  • PCR based techniques of qualitative and quantitative detection of genetically modified components in plant raw material and food products;
  • Technologies for phytoremediation of ecosystems from radionuclides;
  • Sorbents of heavy metals and radionuclides using cell wall components of higher fungi.

The Institute welcomes collaborative efforts with Western industry in the above mentioned areas.

Contact Details

Kuchuk M.V., Director, Prof., Corr.Member of NASU
Address: 148 Zabolotnogo St., Kyiv 03143, Ukraine
Tel./fax: +380 44 526 7104
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.icbge.org.ua

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