Agricultural Biotechnology Institute
The Agricultural Biotechnology Institute's building
Photo: Gábor Takács
About the institute
The NARIC - Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (ABC) represents the largest and most important group of scientists in the plant and animal biotechnology field in Hungary. Acting director Ferenc Olasz, scientific deputy director Dániel Silhavy, financial deputy director Anna Czenéné Hájas. The NARIC-ABC’s mission is to perform high quality research (basic and applied) on plant and animal, developments, breading and modern environmental technologies. It has three sections-departments and a central service unit.
The Animal Biotechnology Section (head László Hiripi) was re-established in 2011 and it is currently made of three research groups. Researchers in this section play eminent role in adapting novel transgenic technologies and creating rabbit models. In collaboration with ELTE mouse and rabbit models with enhanced immune response were created and protected by a European patent. A small group focuses on the genome wide polymorphisms with functional importance in ruminants. Exploration of these variabilties can accelerate livestock genetic improvement for milk and meat production.The third group performs transcriptome analysis and functional characterization of rabbit pluripotent stem cells.
The Plant Biotechnology Section (head Zoltán Havelda) has five research groups. The topics are among others: the molecular aspects of plant-virus interaction focusing on the role of the RNA silencing related small RNAs; the role of small RNAs in plant development and their involvement in ambient temperature sensing and response. Another group is focused on potato and aims to improve the stress tolerance of this agriculturally important crop. One group is focusing on the monocot and dicot crop plants as well as on the establishment of fungus and virus resistance based on molecular genetics.
In the Genetic Section (head Péter Kaló) most projects are focusing on the defense mechanisms against pathogens and host-pathogen interactions both in plants and animals. These topics include the study of the interactions between apple-bacteria Erwinia, chicken-bacteria Salmonella, pig-bacteria Ecoli, pepper-bacteria Xanthomonas, pepper-eelworms Meloidogyne, alfalfa-fungi Fusarium, pepper- virus TSWV. The newly established Microbial Genomic Group have established collaborations with other NARIC Institutes to improve profitable milk production with genomic tools and vine production in the Badacsony region with novel yeast starter cultures.
The Agricultural Genomics and Bioinformatics Group is part of the central unit and as such it provides general bioinformatics and genomics services in the ABC. In the frame of the MANGFOOD project genomics and functional genomics methods were adapted by the group members to examine the mangalica pig genome. The Diagnostic group was established in 2013 and carries on viral diagnostic research and investigation in grapevine cultivars. The Plant Tissue Culture Group as a service produces homozygous doubled haploid (DH) pepper lines by in vitro anther culture and works on development of DH cucumber.