Branka Salopek Sondi

Branka Salopek Sondi

+385 1 456 1143


(385) 1 4561 177
senior scientist

Krilo 5/316

Bijenička cesta 54
10 000 Zagreb


  • 1992, BS, Biology,  Molecular Biology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 1995, MSc, Biology, Molecular and cell biology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2000, PhD,  Biology, Molecular and cell biology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


  • 1997-1999, National Institut of Biology (Prof. Dr. Maja Kovač), Ljubljana, Slovenia; Short term graduate trainings: Plant physiology and biochemistry / Analyses of plant hormones cytokinins and plant pigments
  • 1998-2000, Clarkson University (Prof. Dr. Linda A. Luck), Potsdam, NY, USA; Graduate training: Protein structure and function / Research in the field of protein biochemistry
  • 2001-2003, Clarkson University (Prof. Dr. Linda A. Luck), Potsdam, NY, USA; Postdoctoral training: Protein structure and function / Research in the field of protein biochemistry

Research Areas

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Botany, Natural Sciences

Specific research interests

plant physiology and molecular biology, with respect to plant hormones role in plant growth and development; regulation of auxin activity, particularly through the process of reversible conjugation; protein biochemistry.


  • Phytochemical evaluation and antioxidant capacities of commercial and autochthonous fruit and vegetable varieties, applied grant, Podravka food industry, 2013-2014
  • Phenolic derivatives in Physcomitrella patensHedw.: profile, hormonal regulation and role in biotic stress, DAAD grant, (PIs: Ludwig-Muller J. and Rusak G., Co-PI: Salopek-Sondi B.), 2013-2014
  • Study of plant enzymes from metallopeptidase families M20 and M49, Alexander von Humboldt foundation (PIs: Tomić S., Ludwig-Muller J., Abramić M., Salopek-Sondi B., Wade R.), 2012-2015.
  • Molecular regulation of plant development, Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, no. 098-0982913-2829, 2007. - 
  • Endogenous antimicrobial compounds in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.)  upon viral and bacterial infections, DAAD collaboration, (research associate, PIs: Ludwig-Muller J. and Rusak G.), 2011-2012.
  • "Plant hormones in development and biotic stress: biochemical and molecular approach", Collaborative research project between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, 2007 - 2008
  • Propagation of aronia, (Aronia melanocarpa L.), applied grant, Primorsko- goranska county, 2006 – 2007.
  • Propagation of high bush American blueberry  (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), applied grant, Primorsko- goranska county, 2005 – 2008.


  • Undergraduate study at Faculty of Agronomy, University of Zagreb, co-lecturer at course: “Molecular microbiology”, (course leader: Vujaklija D.), 2010-
  • Doctoral study at Faculty of Agronomy, University of Zagreb, co-lecturer at graduate course “Biological and  physiological factors in horticulture”,  (course leader: Vršak I.), 2010-
  • Interdisciplinary doctoral study Molecular biosciences (MOBI), co-lecturer at graduate course: "Molecular enzymology" (course leader: Abramić M.), 2008.-
  • Interdisciplinary doctoral study Molecular biosciences (MOBI), course leader: "Plant hormones: from biosynthesis to activity", 2012- 

Featured Publications

Plant science:

  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Šamec, D, Mihaljević, S., Smolko, A., Pavlović, I., Janković, I., Ludwig-Müller, J. (2013) Influence of stress hormones on auxin homeostasis in Brassica rapa seedlings, Plant Cell Reports, 32, 1031-1042
  • Mihaljević, S., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2012) Amide conjugate of Indole-3-butyric acid  improves rooting of highbush blueberry. Plant, Soil and Environment, 58, 236-241.
  • Brcko, A., Penčik, A., Magnus, V., Prebeg, T., Mlinarić, S., Antunović, J., Lepeduš, H., Cesar, V., Strnad, M., Rolčik, J., Salopek-Sondi, B.  (2012) Endogenous auxin profile in the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.) flower and fruit: Free and amide conjugated IAA, Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 31, 63–78. DOI: 10.1007/s00344-011-9220-1
  • Salopek-Sondi, B. (2011) Reproductive development of the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.): The role of plant hormones, Croatica Chemica Acta, 84, 277-285.
  • Ayele, B. T., Magnus, V., Mihaljević, S., Prebeg, T., Čož-Rakovac, R., Ozga, J. A., Reinecke, D. M.; Mander, L. N., Kamiya, Y., Yamaguchi, S., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2010) Endogenous gibberellin profile during Christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.) flower and fruit development. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation. 29, 194-209.
  • Penčik, A., Rolčik, J., Novak, O., Magnus, V., Bartak, P., Buchtik, R., Salopek-Sondi, B., Strnad, M. (2009) Isolation of novel indole-3-acetic acid conjugates by immunoaffinity extraction. Talanta. 80, 651-655.
  • Savić, B., Tomić, S., Magnus, V., Gruden, K., Barle, K., Grenković, R., Ludwig-Müller, J., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2009) Auxin amidohydrolases from Brassica rapa cleave the alanine conjugate of indolepropionic acid as a preferable substrate: a biochemical and modeling approach. Plant and Cell Physiology. 50, 1577-1589.
  • Tarkowski, P., Tarkowska, D., Novak, O., Mihaljević, S., Magnus, V., Strnad, M., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2006) Cytokinins in the perianth, carpels and developing fruit of Helleborus niger L., Journal of Experimental Botany, 10, 2237-2247.

Food Science and technology:

  • Šamec D., Durgo K., Gruz J., Kremer D., Piljac-Žegarac J., Salopek-Sondi B. (2014) Genetic and phytochemical variability of six Teucrium arduiniL. populations and their antioxidant/prooxidant behavior examined by biochemical, macromolecule- and cell-based approaches. Food Chemistry, (Special Issue "Chemistry of food-related plants"),
  • Šamec, D., Bogović, M., Vincek, D., Martinčić, J., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2014) Assessing the authenticity of the white cabbage (Brassica oleraceavar.capitataf.alba) cv. ‘Varaždinski’ by molecular and phytochemical markers,Food Research International, 60, 266–272.

Interdisciplinary research:

  • Majerić Elenkov, M., Primožič, I., Hrenar, T., Smolko, A., Čićak, M., Dokli, I., Salopek-Sondi, B., Tang, L. (2012) Catalytic activity of halohydrin dehalogenases towards spiroepoxides. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, (DOI:10.1039/C2OB25470K), in press.
  • Vukelić, B., Salopek-Sondi, B., Špoljarić, J., Sabljić, I., Meštrović, N., Agić, D., Abramić, M. (2012) Reactive cysteine in the active-site motif of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron dipeptidyl peptidase III is a regulatory residue for the enzyme activity,Biological Chemistry, 393, 37-46. DOI: 10.1515/BC-2011-193
  • Sondi, I., Salopek-Sondi, B., Škapin, D.S., Šegota, S., Jurina,I., Vukelić, B., (2011) Colloid-chemical processes in growth and design of bio-inorganic aragonite structure in scleractinian coral Cladocora caespitosa, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science,354, 181-189.
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Vukelić, B., Špoljarić, J., Šimaga, Š.,Vujaklija, D.,Makarević, J., Jajčanin, N., Abramić, M. (2008) Functional tyrosine residue in the active center of human dipeptidyl peptidase III, Biological Chemistry, 389, 163-167.
  • Sondi, I., Salopek-Sondi B. (2005) The influence of primary structure of  enzymes on the formation of CaCO3 polymorphs: A comparison of plant (Canavalia ensiformis) and bacterial (Bacillus pasteurii) ureases, Langmuir, 21, 8876-8882.
  • Sondi,I., Salopek-Sondi B. (2004) Silver nanoparticles as antimicrobial agent: a case study on E-coli as a model for Gram-negative bacteria,Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 275, 177-182.

Membership in professional associations / societies

  • Croatian Society of Plant Biology
  • Croatian Biological Society 1885
  • Japanese Society of Plant Physiology
  • Croatian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB)


Editor in Chief of Acta Botanica Croatica, 2013-

Member of an editorial board:Acta Botanica Croatica, section editor for plant physiology and biochemistry,  2009-2013

Academic advisor for bachelor's: Silvana Rošić, 2008; Maja Brajlović, 2010; Ivana Kapustić, 2010; Andreja Kamenečki, 2011, Iva Janković, 2012