Organisation structure

Department of Biology and Genetics

Scientific research activity

In addition to teaching, the staff of the Department of Biology and Physiology also provide scientific research activities in several areas:

  • Use of molecular biological methods for identification and systematic classification of organisms by barcoding, thus contributing to biodiversity mapping of vertebrates and invertebrates;
  • diagnostics of opportunistic pathogens at the molecular level - direct detection of Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozoon spp., Cryptosporidium spp. and Blastocystis hominis in clinical and environmental samples, with the aim of mapping the occurrence of individual species (genotypes) of these opportunistic pathogens in susceptible animals in Slovakia, as well as studying their molecular-biological properties and their zoonotic potential;
  • elucidation of the impacts of the potential ecotoxic effect of common insecticidal, fungicidal and herbicidal products, antibiotics and other xenobiotic substances used in various aspects of anthropogenic activities using alternative bioassays (Artemia franciscana, Caenorhabditis elegans or chicken embryos);
  • Continue monitoring post-Chernobyl 137Cs in the forest ecosystem and tracking the harmful effects of ionising radiation on living organisms at the metabolic level, with the aim of using model organisms for alternative biotests;
  • assessing the potential genotoxic effects of agrochemicals (pesticides) in peripheral blood lymphocyte cell cultures of livestock, using methods such as chromosome analysis, micronuclei, sister chromatid exchange, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, comet assay, phosphorylated histone H2AX and DNA fragmentation;
  • study of changes in epigenetic status of cells - DNA methylation of selected bovine genes after exposure of cells to pesticides by methylation-specific PCR.
  • monitoring of changes in the expression of genes for enzymes of the second phase of metabolism of xenobiotics, or of the gene for acetylcholinesterase, and the effect on the activity of this enzyme after exposure to pesticides;
  • studying the possibilities of molecular-genetic detection and prevention of inherited diseases in companion animals, in particular selected eye diseases, disorders of sexual development in dogs;
  • studying the effect of biologically active substances in essential oils, mineral and phytogenic additives affecting physiological functions in the organism, factors affecting the intestinal barrier and oxidative damage and antioxidant protection of the organism;
  • study of the mechanisms of action of bioactive additives of natural origin with an emphasis on the modulation of metabolic processes of animals and the reproductive abilities of females with the possibility of developing functional foods and additives;
  • to study the toxicological and biochemical effects of animal venoms on living organisms and the use of the chicken embryo as an effective animal model;
  • study of the influence of transplanted, sex-specific microbiomes on the state of the gut, regulation of feed intake and metabolic interactions in pseudo germ-free mice.