Algal cell biophysical properties as markers for environmental stress in aquatic systems
Major challenges face the aquatic systems due to different human activities, which may cause substantial damage to the economy of the region (fisheries, tourism). Our common regional challenge is focused on analyzing pressure in aquatic environment and requires transnational action as recognized in EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020.
Single-celled algae play a fundamental role in the aquatic ecosystem and they are very sensitive to environmental changes. In addition to their ecological roles (oxygen producers, food web), they are economically important (biofuel, human food, pharmaceutical and industrial products). Deep understanding of algal cell physicochemical response is essential to predict how the whole ecosystem may be affected by human activities.
Physicochemical and structural characterizations of single algal cell surface are of key importance to interpret, rationalize and predict the behavior and fate of the cell under stress in vivo. We aim to examine the in vitro algal cell response under specific stress conditions (variation of salinity and heavy metals). We will look into cell surface mechanical properties (linked to adhesion dynamics and motility), as well as the membrane protein expression and cell autofluorescence. Such properties of soft and motile cells are hard to access while keeping cells viable and the studies to date are limited. Innovative comprehensive approach with state-of-the-art biophysical methods such as atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation, electrochemistry, spectroscopy and modelling will be employed.
Our solution necessitates regional collaboration to gain immediate access to the specific equipment and complementary expertise.
Project is financed by International Visegrad Fund, Bratislava, Slovakia.
- Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
- Project coordinator: Dr. Nadica Ivošević DeNardis
- Collaborators: Dr. Tea Mišić Radić, Nives Novosel MSc student, Andrea Čačković MSc edu student, Dr. Jadranka Pečar Ilić
- Experts: Prof. Ivica Ružić, Damir Kasum dipl.ing.phys.
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
(Dr. Josef Sepitka, Katarina Mendova PhD student)
Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
(Dr. Bela Gyurcsik, Ria Katalin Balogh PhD student, Balint Hajdu PhD student)
Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Trnava, Slovakia
(Dr. Alzbeta Marcek Chorvatova, Zuzana Pavlinska MSc student)
Announcment of project activity
21.09.-22.09.2017. Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
20.08.-21.08.2018. Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Scientific regional exchanges
1. Zuzana Pavlinska, M.Sc. student, from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at University of Ss Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia will visit the Laboratory of nanoindentation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Host: Dr. J. Sepitka
Time of visit: 04.02.-08.02.2018.
Work plan: evaluation of mechanical properties of algal cells at polymeric surfaces.
2. Ing. Katarina Mendova, PhD student from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic will visit the Faculty of Natural Sciences at University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia.
Host: Dr. A. Marcek Chorvatova
Time of visit: 04.03.–08.03.2018.
Work plan: evaluation of endogenous fluorescence of algae and its changes in different experimental conditions.
3. Dr. Nadica Ivošević DeNardis (PI), Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia will visit the Laboratory of nanoindentation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Host: Dr. J. Sepitka
Time of visit: 24.04.-28.04.2018.
Work plan: characterization of mechanical properties of algal cells in stress and comparison with adhesion based study and AFM imaging.
4. Ria Katalin Balogh, Ph.D. student from the Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Hungary will visit Laboratory for marine and atmospheric biogeochemistry at the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb, Croatia.
Host: Dr. T. Mišić Radić
Time of visit: 18.06.-22.06.2018.
Work plan: AFM protocol optimization for characterization of the DNA/protein system in the presence and absence of toxic metal ions.
Visegradski projekt, prvi je projekt nastao iz COST ACTION CA15126 te predstavlja dobar primjer umrežavanja.