Andrey A. Belimov

 PhD, Sc.D, head of laboratory

  Tel: 007 812 476 1802
              Fax: 007 812 470 4362





      Laboratory of Rhizosphere Microflora established in 2001 on the basis of rhizosphere microbiology group and laboratory of soil mycology. Since the establishment of a laboratory head Sc.D. Leo V. Kravchenko, who is one of the leading scientists in the field of rhizosphere processes of symbiotic interactions between plants and microorganisms. Now the laboratory is part of the Department of Biotechnology under the supervision of the Director of ARRIAM academician Professor Igor A. Tikhonovich.

The laboratory has four research groups:

The Group on the Processes of Ecochemical Integration of Rhizosphere Microorganisms and Plants.
Group Leader is Sc.D. Leo V. Kravchenko.

The group developed original methods of production, purification and chromatographic analysis of root exudates, the method of continuous cultivation of microorganisms in the soil columns to simulate the effect of root exudates on rhizosphere microflora, and the method of selection of PGPR having high colonizing ability and antifungal activity in the rhizosphere. A detailed study of the effect of root exudates on growth, root colonization as well as on antifungal and growth-promoting functions of PGPR in the rhizosphere is performed. The mathematical model describing the behavior of populations of rhizosphere microorganisms competing for nutrient sources is created.


The Group on Adaptation of Plant-Microbe Systems to Stresses.
Group Leader is Sc.D. Andrey A. Belimov.

The group developed original approaches to study the interaction of PGPR with each other and with the native microflora and the method of selection of high-associative and effective PGPR. The collection of heavy metal-resistant PGPR strains containing enzyme ACC deaminase and their influence on the hormonal status and growth of plants is studied. Experimentally established the important role of PGPR in the adaptation of plants to unfavorable soil and climatic conditions (heavy metal pollution, drought, extreme temperatures, deficiency of nutrients and increased acidity of soil). Detailed studies of mechanisms of plant resistance and integration of components of plant-microbe systems under stress caused by heavy metals are conducted.


The Group on Ecology of Facultative Phytopathogenic Fungi.
Group leader is PhD Olga K. Strunnikova.

Based on the use of immunochemical and molecular methods the group developed original approaches for the study of phytopathogenic fungi and PGPR in natural environment such as soil and plants. Description of developmental stages of pathogenic fungi Verticillium dahliae Kleb. and Fusarium culmorum Sacc. in various agro-ecological conditions is performed. Techniques to control the density of phytopathogen population in soil and to decrease disease incidence of plants are developed. Interactions between F. culmorum and antagonistic PGPR Pseudomonas fluorescens in soil and on plant roots depending on environmental conditions and mechanisms of biocontrol are studied.


The Group on Genetics of Differentiation of Specialized Cells in Cyanobacteria.
Group leader is PhD Ivan Y. Khudyakov.

The group investigates the mechanisms regulating formation of heterocyst (terminally differentiated cell) responsible for aerobic nitrogen fixation in filamentous cyanobacteria. Several key regulatory genes controlling different stages of heterocyst differentiation and formation of a linear heterocyst pattern along the filament of vegetative cells, which determines to a large extent the efficiency of nitrogen fixation by free-living and symbiotic cyanobacteria, are identified and investigated.

Services provided by the laboratory:  

АAnalysis of a wide range of chemical elements (macronutrients and trace elements, heavy metals and toxic abiogenic elements) in soils, plants, biological fluids and other objects. The work is carried out using an optical emission spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma-ICPE-9000 (Shimadzu, Japan), which provides determination of most elements at 0,005-10 ppb with a range of 5-6 orders of linearity.

Analysis of low molecular weight organic compounds (amino acids, organic acids, sugars, phytohormones, phenolic compounds, and etc.) in biological systems, including plants, liquid microbial cultures, root exudates and etc. The work is carried out using chromatography systems UPLC ACQUITY H-Class (Waters, USA) and HPLC Jasco LC-900 (Jasco, Japan) to provide high performance, speed and degree of resolution and minimum variance in results at quantitative chromatography of a wide range of organic compounds. Jasco LC-900 (Jasco, Япония).  

Determination of biological nitrogen fixation and phytohormone ethylene production by plants and microorganisms. The work is carried out using gas chromatograph GC-2010 (Shimadzu, Japan), which has an exceptional sensitivity due to detectors of new generation and provides a reliable and precise analysis of trace substances.

Proposals for the performance of service and cooperation, please contact Head of the Laboratory Andrey Belimov: