Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory


Васильченко.png
       Head of Laboratory, Research associate
Aleksey S. Vasilchenko
CSc. (Candidate of Biological Sciences)
Scopus ID 36967720800
   

Contacts

Tel: +7(3452) 45-51-07 
E-mail: a.s.vasilchenko@utmn.ru
Address: 23 Lenina St., Lab #14, Tyumen, Russia
Postal address: 6 Volodarskogo St., Tyumen, Russia 625003



Main Research Areas

1. Biological plant protection products based on antimicrobial substances of plant and microbial origin.

We expect to receive extensive data on the diversity of antimicrobial polypeptide compounds produced by bacteria, extremophilic fungi, and wild plants. Moreover, the structural and functional analysis of these compounds will provide a reference frame for using them as active ingredients in new-generation biopesticides and antibiotics, used in integrated plant protection systems. 

We plan to reach the following objectives:
  • Expansion of the antagonist strain collection and assessment of the strains’ spectrum of activity. Optimization of antimicrobial substance production by the producer strains. Development of a purification algorithm for target substances. Production of preparative amounts of antimicrobial agents. 
  • Structural and functional analysis of antimicrobial peptides and proteins: resistance, phyto- and cytotoxicity, and lethal and sublethal effects on phytopathogens. 
  • Development of a prototype biopesticide(s) based one or a few antimicrobial agents for the purposes of conducting "green-house" laboratory experiments. Namely, we plan to conduct ultra-low-volume spraying of cultivated plants during the vegetation season. Subsequently, we plan to record the effect of peptide biofungicides on the soil microbiome and compare it with biological agents and chemical pesticides currently used in plant protection. 

2. Subinhibitory effects of antimicrobial peptides on structural-functional interconnections

In subinhibitory concentrations, the effects of antimicrobial agents on bacteria can vary unpredictably. This project proposes a comprehensive study of the subinhibitory effects of a number of antimicrobial peptides on various populations of microorganisms. Furthermore, we plan to identify some key structural-functional properties of the molecules that trigger the development of a particular stress response. 

While researchers usually focus on antimicrobial peptides’ lethal properties, the novelty of our project is in the focus on antimicrobial peptides’ non-lethal effects. In particular, we plan to study the correlation between physicochemical properties of peptides and a spectrum of induced subinhibitory effects. The results can be used in mathematical models that predict particular types of subinhibitory effects, depending on the structure of a given antimicrobial peptide.


3. The study of molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial substances

In the course of this project, new data will be obtained on the mechanisms of the development of resistance in selected bacterial strains to antimicrobial substances, including peptides.
  • The analysis of microorganisms’ genomes and transcriptomes will allow to identify genes involved in the development of resistance to antimicrobial substances of various nature.
  • We will also study how the resistance to antimicrobial compounds may lead to phenotypical and genetic change in microorganisms. 



Current Projects
  1. State research assignment of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (2020-2023): Biological plant protection products based on antimicrobial substances of plant and microbial origin. 
  2. Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project No. 19-76-30005 (2019-2021): Modernization of the methods of monitoring and disease control of field crops in Russia. 
  3. RSF, project No. 18-74-10073 (2018-2020):  The study of antimicrobial peptides of plants and fungi – new-generation biofungicides.
  4. Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project No. 18-34-20058 мол_а_вед (2018-2020): Antimicrobial peptides of wild and cultivated plants and their influence on molecular mechanisms of innate immunity to biotic stress factors.


Photos


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UTMN Institute
of Environmental
and Agricultural Biology

25 Lenina Street,
Tyumen 625003

Dr. Mikhail Zhak
Deputy Director
(3452) 59-74-00
Marat Shems
Head of Study office
(3452) 59-74-00