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.

Awards and Achievements

  • 2018. Award of Croatian Women of Influence 2018.
  • 2017. Award of Croatian Academy of Science and Art in the field of Natural Sciences and Mathematics


  • Interdisciplinary doctoral study Molecular biosciences (MOBI), co-lecturer at graduate course: "Molecular enzymology" (course leader: Abramić M.), 2008.-2014.
  • Interdisciplinary doctoral study Molecular biosciences (MOBI), course leader: "Plant hormones: from biosynthesis to activity", 2012-
  • Undergraduate study at Faculty of Agronomy, University of Zagreb, co-lecturer at course: “Molecular microbiology”, (course leader: Vujaklija D.), 2010-2012.
  • Doctoral study at Faculty of Agronomy, University of Zagreb, co-lecturer at graduate course “Biological and  physiological factors in horticulture”,  (course leader: Vršak I.), 2010-2012.

Featured Publications

Plant Science:

  • Pavlović I., Petřík I., Tarkowska D., Lepeduš H., Vujčić V., Radić Brkanac S., Novák O., Salopek-Sondi B. (2018) Correlations between phytohormones and drought tolerance in selected Brassica crops: Chinese cabbage, white cabbage and kale, Internationa Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19, 2866; doi:10.3390/ijms19102866.
  • Pavlović I., Pěnčík A., Novák O., Vujčić V., Radić Brkanac S., Lepeduš H., Strnad M., Salopek-Sondi B. (2018) Short-term salinity stress response of Brassica rapa caused changes in auxin metabolism. Plant physiology and biochemistry 125, 74-84. DOI 10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.01.026
  • Salopek-Sondi B., Pavlović I., Smolko A., Šamec D. (2017) Auxin as mediator in abiotic stress responses, in “Mechanism of Plant Hormone Signaling Under Stress“,Girdhar Pandey (Ed), First Edition, Volume 1. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey, str. 3-36. ISBN: 978-1-118-88892-6, pp 1104
  • Šamec D., Pavlović I., Salopek-Sondi B. (2017) White cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. alba): botanical, phytochemical and pharmacologicall overwiev, Phytochemistry Reviews, 16, 117-135. DOI: 10.1007/s11101-016-9454-4
  • Karačić Z., Vukelić B., Ho G.H., Jozić I., Sučec I., Salopek-Sondi B., Kozlović M., Brenner S.C., Ludwig-Müller J., Abramić M. (2017) A novel plant enzyme with dual activity: an atypical Nudix hydrolase and a dipeptidyl peptidase III.  Biological Chemistry, 398, 101-112. 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, 18, 8890—8900. DOI: 10.1039/C5CP06301A.
  • 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.
  • 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., Urlić B., Salopek-Sondi B. (2018) Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) as a superfood: review of the scientific evidence behind the statement. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition DOI 10.1080/10408398.2018.1454400.
  • Šamec D., Pavlović I., Radojčić-Redovniković I., Salopek-Sondi, B. (2018)  Comparative analysis of phytochemicls and activity of endogenous enzymes associated with their stability, bioavaibility and food quality in five Brassicaceae sprouts. Food Chemistry, 269, 96-102. DOI 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.06.133
  • 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:

  • Čadež V., Škapin S. D., Leonardi A., Križaj I.,  Kazazić S., Salopek-Sondi B., Sondi I. (2017): Formation and morphogenesis of a cuttlebone’s aragonite biomineral structures for the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) on the nanoscale: Revisited. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 508, 95–104.
  • 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; Ivana Rubić (in progress).

Mentor and Co-mentor of Ph. D. ThesisDunja Šamec, 2013; Vida Ćadež 2015; Iva Pavlović, 2017; Zrinka Karačić (in progress); Ana Smolko (in progress); Ida Linić (in progress).

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