Participation in the Science Festival 2022

Our project was presented at the Science Festival 2022, whose main theme this time was – LIFE. PhD student Emanuel Gaši, mag. oecol., explained to numerous audience in an original and interesting way how microorganisms form the pillar of life and how they are interrelated with all other organisms. The lecture “Invisible life of the Mediterranean – microorganisms as a pillar of life” is Emanuel’s first public presentation of the research topic in which he participates in this HRZZ project, we look forward to the upcoming ones …

Grafting of grapevine with virus-infected material

Before the grapevine starts to “wake up”, experts on grafting came to visit our greenhouse. They grafted our uninfected grapevines with buds of virus-infected grapevine by using the “chip budding” grafting method. The success of viral transfer will be determined in two months.

After grafting, pots were reorganized in groups containing one plant from every treatment. The pots will stay in this organization until the end of the experiment.

Determination of viral status in grapevine

We ran the RT-PCR method for the identification of viral isolates in selected grapevine plants that will be used as a viral source for our experiment. Few individuals were tested from the vineyard and we selected plants infected with only one virus (GLRaV-3) and plants that have mixed infections with five different viruses (GFkV, GVA, GLRaV-3, GLRaV-2, and GPGV). The tested grapevines will be used in the next experimental faze – infection of selected treatment with appropriate viral inoculum.

Presentation of the project: “Arbuscular mycorrhiza potential to modify grapevine defence against viruses”

As a part of the lecture series “Friday lectures at 15h” organized by the Institute for Adriatic crops, dr. sc. Tomislav Radić held a presentation of the project “Arbuscular mycorrhiza potential to modify grapevine defense against viruses” funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. Dr. Radić clarified to his audience the term “arbuscular mycorrhiza”, familiarized them with the setup of the experiment, pointed out the importance of this topic on a global and regional scale, and gave answers to many interesting questions that emerged through discussion.

Assessment of grapevine root colonization with arbuscular mychorrizal fungi

In grapevine individuals, inoculated with mychorrizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis, the root colonization successfulness was determined. Microscopic quantification was carried out with a light microscope. We can report, with pleasure, that almost every specimen was colonized with the rate of colonization exceeding 90 %. This set of plants is ready for the next phase of the experiment.

Blue colored structures are hyphae, vesicles and arbuscules of the mychorizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis

Methodological workshop “Determination of selected grapevine genes expression”

In the period from 19th to 22nd of September, dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini held a methodological workshop on gene expression determination with qPCR. Using real samples, we went through all the steps necessary for successful relative quantification of gene expression. Introduction to methodology of this kind of analysis, will be of great importance for further progress of the project.


On September 16th and 17th, in the Institute for Adriatic Crops, a Kick off meeting was held. The main objectives of the project, a detailed plan and assigned individual activities were presented to a team of associates from Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. We discussed about a research setup, but mostly about forthcoming activities. The ideas and suggestions were shared, which will greatly help in successful project realisation.

The next day, September 17th, dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini held a presentation named: „AM fungi and grapevine: from biodiversity to functional aspects“ presenting valuable knowledge on mycorhizal and grapevine interactions, acquired through long-term scientific research on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

We look forward seeing You again. Saluti! Na zdravje! Živjeli!

Installation of qPCR instrument and training for its use

We purchased and installed a qPCR device CFX96 Bio-rad. The application specialist of the Bio-rad company representative held a workshop with training on its use and maintenance, as well as data processing in the corresponding Maestro software package, for which the participants also received a certificate of education. Through analyzes on the new device, we plan to introduce into our work new methods of quantification of microorganisms in plant tissue and expression of selected genes.

New team member

A new team member joined the project – PhD student Emanuel Gaši. He is employed on the “Young Researchers’ Career Development Project”. He graduated in 2021 from the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, studying Environmental Sciences. He will enroll in the Doctoral Study of Biology at the same faculty. His research topic will be the interactions of mycorrhizal fungi, viruses and vines.


Open position for project assistant

Deadline: 11.7.2021.

We are looking for one person for the position of assistant in the Department of Plant Sciences, Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, Split, to work on the project “Arbuscular mycorrhiza potential to modify grapevine defence against viruses – MYCO GRAPE”, HRZZ- IP-2020-02-8397, for a fixed period of 4 years. In addition to the general conditions prescribed by the Labor Act and the conditions prescribed by the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education, applicants must meet the requirements:

  • completed undergraduate and graduate university study or integrated undergraduate and graduate university study or graduate university study in accordance with previously applicable regulations, in the field of natural sciences, biology, or in the field of biotechnical sciences, agriculture or biotechnology
  • total grade point average in undergraduate and graduate studies that ensures enrollment in the “Doctoral Study of Biology” (Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb)
  • active knowledge of English in speech and writing