Branka Salopek Sondi

Branka Salopek Sondi

senior scientist
+385 1 456 1143


(385) 1 4561 177

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


  • Phytohormones in abiotic stress of  Brassica crops: mechanism of tolerance and application, HRZZ, 2015-2019.
  • The role of salicylic acid and auxins in defence responses of Brassica crop plants, DAAD (PI: Ludwig-Muller J. and Rusak G., Co-PI: Salopek-Sondi B.),  2015-2016.
  • 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:

  • Karačić Z., Vukelić B., Ho G.H., Jozić I., Sučec I., Salopek-Sondi B., Kozlović M., Brenner S.C., Ludwig-Müller J., Abramić M. (2016) A novel plant enzyme with dual activity: an atypical Nudix hydrolase and a dipeptidyl peptidase III.  Biological Chemistry, DOI:10.1515/hsz-2016-0141.
  • Smolko A., Šupljika F., Martinčić J, Jajčanin-Jozić N., Grabar-Branilović M., Tomić S., Ludwig-Muller J., Piantanida I., Salopek-Sondi B. (2016) The role of conserved Cys residues in Brassica rapa auxin amidohydrolase: the Cys139 is crucial for the enzyme activity and the Cys320 regulates enzyme stability,  Physical Chemistry Chemical Physic, DOI: 10.1039/C5CP06301A.
  • Šamec, D., Pavlović, I., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2016) White cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. alba): botanical, phytochemical and pharmacologicall overwiev, Phytochemistry Reviews, DOI: 10.1007/s11101-016-9454-4,
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Pollmann, S., Gruden, K., Oelmüller R., Ludwig-Müller, J. (2015) Improvement of root architecture under abiotic stress through control of auxin homeostasis in Arabidopsis and Brassica crops. Journal of Endocytobiosis and Cell Research 26, 100-111.
  • 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., Maretić, M., Lugarić, J., Mešić, A., Salopek-Sondi, B., Duralija, B. (2016) Assessment of the differences in the physical, chemical and phytochemical properties of four strawberry cultivars using principal component analysis, Food Chemistry, 194, 828-834.
  • Šamec, D., Durgo, K., Gruz, J., Kremer, D., Piljac-Žegarac, J., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2015) 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"), 186, 298-305.,
  • 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:

  • Mikleušević A., Primožić I., Hrenar T., Salopek-Sondi B., Tang L., Majerić Elenkov  M. (2016) Azidolysis of Epoxides Catalysed by the Halohydrin Dehalogenase from Arthrobacter sp. AD2 and a Mutant with Enhanced Enantioselectivity: an (S)-selective HHDH., Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 27, 930–935. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetasy.2016.08.003.
  • Mikleušević, A., Hameršak, Z., Salopek-Sondi, B., Tang, L., Janssen, D.B., Majerić Elenkov, M. (2015) Synthesis of 5-substituted 2-oxazolidinones through the halohydrin dehalogenase catalyzed dynamic kinetic resolution, Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 357, 1709-1714. DOI 10.1002/adsc.201500111.
  • 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,10, 5063-5072. DOI:10.1039/C2OB25470K
  • 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 Botanical Society
  • 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, 2014-

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; Renata Grenković, 2012

Mentor and Co-mentor of Ph. D. ThesisDunja Šamec, 2013; Vida Ćadež 2015; Ana Smolko (in progress); Iva Pavlović (in progress); Zrinka Karačić (in progress)