Department of Protein Biosynthesis



Prof. Tomasz Twardowski



Dr. Agata Tyczewska,

Dr. Joanna Gracz,

Dr. Ewa Woźniak


PhD Students:

Jakub Kuczyński,

Medhat Helmy











Key words:

RNA, miRNA, gene expression, herbicidal stress, cold stress, soybean, corn, GMO


Scientific profile:

Research conducted at the Department of Protein Biosynthesis are related to the molecular basis of plant responses to abiotic stress condition. We analyze natural occurring plant resistance to commonly used herbicides (RoundUp, Titus and Basta) on the example of maize inbred lines (Zea mays). Extensive research include analysis of the level of gene expression using deep sequencing techniques, analysis of microRNA profiles and degradome, DNA methylation and histone modification of corn proteins.

The second direction of research is identification of the differences in the pool of small non-coding RNA molecules (sRNA ) and degradome in soybean during cold stress. We selected three soybean varieties (Fiskeby V, Augusta and Toyomusume) and one variety of the wild soybean’s ancestor - Glycine soja ( PI 538411A). Soybeans are cultivated in cold stress condition in germination, vegetative and reproductive phase of growth. Moreover we examine the changes in the phenotype of selected varieties and changes in the expression of known genes involved in the plant response to low temperature.

A separate area of ​​interest are the legal and social aspects of biotechnology (intellectual property, legislation, public perception of biotechnology), as well as the overall analysis of the Polish biotechnology.


Current research activity

  • Sequencing and annotation of the maize genomes from two lines of corn varying in their sensitivity to the herbicide RoundUp.
  • Analysis of the miRNAs pool differentially expressed under the herbicidal stress conditions in eight maize inbred lines.
  • Evaluation of phenotypic response of selected soybean varieties to cold stress at three growth stages.
  • Analysis of the sRNA pool in soybeans under stress cold using second generation sequencing techniques and northern blot analysis.
  • Social and legal aspects of biotechnology.


Most important research achievements:

  • Identification of short regulatory RNA and genes differentially expression in maize under Roundup herbicide spraying.
  • Identification of new non-coding RNAs in maize under herbicidal stress.
  • miRNA expression profiling in soybeans under cold stress conditions.


Actual research projects:

  •  Multilevel approach to reveal elucive molecular basis of herbicide stress response in maize, 2012/06/A/NZ9/200125, 2013-2018 [MAESTRO].
  • Identification of molecular mechanisms involved in soybean's cold stress response in temperate climate conditions, 2014/15/B/NZ9/02312, 2015-2018.


Selected publications:

Tyczewska Agata, Bąkowska-Żywicka Kamilla, Gracz Joanna, Twardowski Tomasz Stress Responsive Non-protein Coding RNAs, w: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants - Recent Advances and Future Perspectives, InTech - Open Access Publisher 2016, InTech, ISBN 978-953-51-4590-5

Małyska Aleksandra, Bolla Robert, Twardowski Tomasz The role of public opinion in shaping trajectories of agricultural biotechnology, Trends in Biotechnology, July 2016, vol. 34,530-534

Tyczewska Agata, Kuczyński Jakub, Gracz Joanna, Twardowski Tomasz Deciphering soybean molecular stress response via high-throughput approach, Acta Biochimica Polonica 2016, vol. 63, No 4/2016, 631–643

Twardowski Tomasz, Małyska Aleksandra Uninformed and disinformed society and the GMO market, Trends in BioTechnology2015, 33, 1-3

Żywicki Marek, Gracz Joanna, Karłowski Wojciech, Twardowski Tomasz, Tyczewska Agata Expression of miRNAs involved in phosphate homeostasis and senescence is altered in glyphosatetreated maize, Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2015, 37:265