Robert Malinowski
Institute of Plant Genetics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

34 Strzeszynska street, PL-60-479 Poznan
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[+48 61] 65 50 243

Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information:


2015 BIO-TALENT ERA-CHAIR Holder, Director of the Integrative Plant Biology Department – Institute of Plant Genetics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland 

2013 Acting Deputy Director for Research PAN OB-CZRB Powsin, Warsaw, Poland

2013 Associate Professor PAN OB-CZRB Powsin, Warsaw, Poland

2012 Habilitation – Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

2009 – 2012 Research associate Sheffield University

2007 – 2009 M. Curie Transfer Of Knowledge (TOK) Fellow

2005 – 2007 Postdoctoral Fellow University of South Carolina, Columiba SC, USA

2004 Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) START Fellow

2004 PhD WULS, Warsaw Poland

2000 M. Sc. WULS, Warsaw, Poland

Key Research Interests:

During evolution a vast diversity of plant forms have emerged. Enormous developmental plasticity of plants allows them to function in various environmental conditions, including situations when the entire plant is submerged in water. Plant morphogenesis is governed by molecular regulatory networks defining basic body plan. This can be compared to the rules used in Japanese garden design where particular elements mark boundary regions or define the space. This developmental plan, however, is further modified by environmental as well as internal factors, making it more like an English style sentimental landscape garden where strict division and pattern is not so obviously visible.

Plants are also subjected to the same physical laws that apply to buildings. There are numerous elements reinforcing or making the entire structure more plastic. Due to the composite nature of plant organs, understanding how basic information from molecular networks is transcribed into cellular effects (such as cell growth, division or expansion) and linking it with mechanical and biochemical feedbacks present during organ development is crucial for a proper and complete understanding of morphogenesis.

In my studies I try to build a holistic view of morphogenesis of plant organs where the study of cell division, cell growth and cell differentiation are the starting point for understanding developmental plasticity. I use integrative approach to study cellular changes during different aspects of plant organ development as well as evolution of developmental programs in context of the emergence of the new organ forms.

My main object of studies is leaf of higher plants, in particular I am interested in understanding how many different leaf forms evolved and what is the significance of this phenomenon.

Another subject of my work is developmental reprogramming during plant-pathogen interaction. I am interested in molecular, cellular and physiological aspects of pathogen and pest driven reprogramming of the host plant. So far my research in this subject is focused mainly on the clubroot disease caused by the Plasmodiophora brassicae. This obligatory pathogen of the Brassicaceae family species use very sophisticated mechanisms in order to exploit and modify plant endogenous regulatory pathways turning this way plants into factories producing and supplying food for the pathogen. As a consequence of infection reprograming of plant morphogenesis occurs and development of galls on the underground part of plants and disturbance in vascular tissue formation can be observed. Understanding the entire developmental reprogramming will help to design proper strategy for engineering tolerant plants, therefore this subject has not only biological but the applied aspect as well.

Research Group:


Dr Franklin Gregory – Senior researcher

Dr Jorge Paiva – Senior Researcher

Dr Karolina Stefanowicz – Postdoctoral Researcher Cell wall proteomic changes in response to biotic and abiotic factors BIO-TALENT Team

Dr William Truman – Postdoctoral Researcher BIO-TALENT Team

Preeti Shakya – Researcher BIO-TALENT Team

NCN-Sonata Bis2

Marcin Olszak – Research Associate - Cell cycle reprogramming during P. brassicae infection (NCN Sonata Bis 2)

Piotr Walerowski – Research Associate - Phloem changes during P. brassicae infection (NCN Sonata Bis 2)

Current Research Grants:

 - NCN Sonata Bis-2 National Science Centre grant “Integrated approach for deciphering the mechanism leading to shift in cel proliferation/differentiation balance accompanying clubroot infection”. 

Selected Publications:

1. Malinowski R., Smith JA., Fleming AJ., Scholes JD., Rolfe SA. (2012) Gall formation in clubroot-infected Arabidopsis results from an increase in existing meristematic activities of the host but is not essential for the completion of the pathogen life cycle. The Plant Journal 71: 226-238.

2. Kuwabara A., Backhaus A., Malinowski R., Bauch M., Hunt L., Nagata T., Monk N., Sanguinetti G., Fleming A.J. (2011) A shift towards smaller cell size via manipulation of cell cycle gene  expression acts to smoothen Arabidopsis leaf shape. Plant Physiology 156: 2196-2206 [equal first authorship, cover paper].

3. Malinowski R., Kasprzewska A., Fleming A.J. (2011) Targetted manipulation of leaf form via local growth repression. The Plant Journal 66: 941-952 [equal first authorship, cover paper].

4. Abogadallah G.M. , Nada R.M. , Malinowski R., Quick P. 2011. Overexpression of HARDY, an AP2/ERF gene from Arabidopsis improves drought and salt tolerance by reducing transpiration and sodium uptake in transgenic Trifolium alexandrinum L. Planta 233: 1265-1276.

5. Hind SR, Malinowski R, Yalamanchili R, Stratmann JW. 2010. Tissue-type specific systemin perception and the elusive systemin receptor. Plant Signaling & Behavior 5: 42-44.

6. Sloan J, Backhaus A, Malinowski R, McQueen-Mason S, Fleming AJ. 2009. Phased control of expansin activity during leaf development identifies a sensitivity window for expansin-mediated induction of leaf growth. Plant Physiology 151: 1844-1854

7. Malinowski R., Higgins R., Luo Y., Piper L., Nazir A., Bajwa VS., Clouse SD., Thompson PR., Stratmann JW. 2009. The tomato brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 increases binding of systemin to tobacco plasma membranes, but is not involved in systemin signaling. Plant Molecular Biology 70: 603-616

8. Lanfermeijer FC., Staal M., Malinowski R., Stratmann JW., Elzenga TM. 2008. Micro-Electrode Flux Estimation confirms that the Solanum pimpinellifolium cu3 Mutant Still Responds to Systemin. Plant Physiology 146: 129-139

9. Malinowski R., Filipecki M., Tagashira N., Wiśniewska A., Gaj P., Plader W. and Malepszy S. 2004. Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase genes in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) - differential expression during somatic embryogenesis. Physiologia Plantarum 120: 678 – 685

10. Malinowski R., Filipecki M. 2002. The role of cell wall in plant embryogenesis. Cellular and Molecullar Biology Letters 7/4: 1137-1151