Our research group focus on two subjects; Plant Seed Development and Metabolic Pathways.
We are working on natural apomicts plant species Boechera. Apomixis, an asexual mode of reproduction, results in embryo formation without fertilization of the egg. We are investigating the morphogenic potential of various Boechera tissues to establish an efficient regeneration system. The effect of various concentrations of the PGRs on in vitro regeneration of the explants is investigated and an efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method is developed. We are also investigating the effects of genomic imprinting on the seed development of the Boechera species. We will also study the phylogeny of these genes and the influence of evolutionary selection and expression analysis of candidate genes, cloning, complementation analysis of the mutated genes in a model plant Arabidopsis.
The molecular mechanisms controlling Plant Metabolic pathways are very diverse and the identification of relevant genes is necessary for metabolic engineering. We are recently working with Olive (Olea europaea L.) which is a widely cultivated economically important Mediterranean plant with high-quality oils and rich compounds. Previously, we studied Vitamin E, strigolactones, and phytosterol biosynthetic pathways in Olive. We obtained the full-length transcripts of genes involved in biosynthesis with the RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends) method, identified and compared the gene expression levels through fruit development with Real-Time PCR, and analyzed the contents with HPLC. We also published reference genes that could be used for the normalization of gene expression data qPCR studies in olive. We are now, working on the structure and expression levels of genes responsible for adventitious root formation in Olive cuttings. We also have experience with marker-assisted breeding techniques. We would like to join a consortium related to Agricultural genetic resources as a partner.
The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG-COMU) was established in 2013 and admitted the first BSc. students in 2013-2014 academic years. Today, there are 6 faculty members and 4 research assistants working on various research themes including Biotechnology, Genetic engineering, Genetics, Microbiology, and Cellular Biology. In the department, there are 3 research laboratories composed of different units, student laboratories, and working areas. We have also access to the opportunities of the central research laboratory and animal research facility of our university.
Academic members of the Department are also involving collaboration projects with universities around the world such as Cologne University (Germany), Kings College (UK), University of Oxford (UK), Lille University (France), University of California, Davis (USA), University of Nebraska (USA), University of Rutgers (USA) and St. Petersburg State University (Russia), Research Center for Disease and Certification (CREA-DC of Rome, Italy), The University of Western Australia (Australia), Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Germany), Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment of Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) and University of Lodz (Poland). Our Department is also actively involved in industrial collaborations with Evolve Biosystems Inc, USA microbiome company, and ULUOVA Dairy company to produce new generation milk-based products as well as novel prebiotics.
Research laboratories are equipped with following instruments and facilities; Real-Time PCR, Gradient Thermal Cyclers, Gel Documentation system, Semi-dry blotting system, Fluorometer, Ultra freezers (-80 and -20 0 C), Plant Growth Chamber, Conventional Incubators and Water Baths, Laminar Flow Hoods, Spectrophotometer, Shakers, Centrifuges, Elisa plate reader, Microscopes, Vortex, Magnetic Stirrer and an Experimental Animal Care Facilities and Plant Growth Rooms are also available.
The undergraduate program offers courses on chemistry, mathematic, physic and Fundamentals of Biology in the first year, and genetic, molecular genetics, microbiology, Organic chemistry, Molecular Biology of cell in the second year. After that, the program allows students to select elective courses such as Proteins, Physiology, Pharmacology,
Immunology, Biostatistics, Scientific Writing, Cancer, Gene cloning and DNA Analysis, Biotechnology, Biochemistry (two-semester -must course) and Molecular Evolution and Genomes.
The Molecular Biology and Genetics department also has been offered Graduate programs since the 2015-2016 academic years.