The Application Laboratory for Agricultural Research

The Application Laboratory for Agricultural Research is the first laboratory at the Czech Academy of Sciences to link scientists with breeders and farmers. It was established under the Food for Future Program of the Strategy AV21 in February 2017 and is located at the Centre of Plant Structural and Functional Genomics of the Institute of Experimental Botany in Olomouc. 

The main objective of the Laboratory is to facilitate the transfer of the latest results and methods of fundamental and exploratory research to plant breeders and agricultural industry in general. The Laboratory has the ambition to play an important role in the efforts to secure enough food for the growing human population at
global level and contribute to food quality and self-sufficiency at national level. A key task in these efforts will
be to support breeding new crop varieties adapted to the changing climate and to drought, in particular. The new generation of crops should be also resistant to diseases and pests friendly agricultural practices. 

Target groups
• Organizations involved in breeding crops as well as utility and ornamental plants
• Companies involved in seed propagation and seed production
• Agricultural companies and farmers
• Professional organizations involved in quality control of food production and their impact on human health
• State authorities responsible for testing new crop varieties and supervising the use of agrochemicals
• Ministries and authorities dealing with legislation related to agriculture and food industry
• Local governments interested in adapting agricultural production to changing societal and environmental
• Citizen initiatives, foundations and organizations promoting environment-friendly agriculture and healthy nutrition

Our activities

Genome analysis in main crops
We are a world-recognised workplace for sorting of plant chromosomes and downstream applications, including
sequencing and data analysis in main crops. We have developed original methods that have helped to break
down complex genomes of wheat, barley and pea. The results of our research have been published in prestigious international scientific journals Nature and Science. We also participate in projects aiming at cloning
genes underlying important agronomic traits, including disease resistance.

Development of DNA markers
We have extensive experience in developing a wide range of DNA markers / probes for high-throughput genotyping and population screening. Our Centre serves as a global genotyping centre for some crops.

Organization of specialized workshops
We routinely prepare scientific conferences, professional seminars and workshops, including practical demonstration of selected methods. 

Professional consultation
Our experts are engaged in comprehensive research of heredity in plants. That is why we are able to offer
or mediate consultations in various areas of genetics and genomics.

Custom analyses
We can analyse your samples using state-of-the-art instruments and methods. The most common are flow
cytometry and ploidy determination in particular, cytogenetic analysis, genotyping using different types of
DNA markers and NGS sequencing.

Sequencing of DNA and RNA
We routinely sequence DNA and RNA samples. Individual samples may be processed by the Sanger method.
Genomic projects are addressed primarily by Illumina technology using MiSeq and HiSeq sequencers.

Bioinformatics analysis
We process, store, and analyse the sequencing data of your samples according to your requirements. The
Laboratory is well-equipped for the analysis of large volumes of sequence data and management.

Genome editing
We perform targeted genome editing using the CRISPR / Cas9 method. We design the so-called "guide" RNA
(gRNA) for the target sequence and we can prepare and verify vectors for plant transformation.

Technical equipment
The laboratory is fully equipped for a¨wide range of DNA analysis methods. These include instruments for the
new generation of sequencing methods (MiSeq, Illumina) and Sanger sequencing. The laboratory also uses
IRYS (BioNano) optical mapping system. Processing of large amounts of NGS data and their storage enables
high-capacity server, data storage and relevant bioinformatics tools. We also use flow cytometry (FACSAria
SORP-Becton Dickinson flow sorter and Partec PAS Flow Cytometer), fluorescence microscopy and high
resolution microscopy. The ability to handle a large number of samples is facilitated by the use of a wide range
of automated and robotized devices.

We successfully collaborate on a number of projects, including:
• Characterization of interspecific hybrids of fescues and ryegrasses by flow cytometry
• Determination of genomic composition of Festulolium cultivars by molecular-cytogenetic methods (GISH)
• Development and use of DNA chip for genotyping of fescue, ryegrass and their hybrids
• Production of dihaploid lines in maize
• Identification of female papaya seedlings by PCR
• Ploidy determination in petunia hybrids
• DNA analysis of algae
• Professional consultation on fruit tree genomics
go to web