Scientific Council


The Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics (IPPG) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) is a national scientific center dedicated to fundamental and applied research in the fields of plant physiology, biochemistry and genetics. It was established in 2010 through the merger of two esteemed institutes: the Institute of Plant Physiology “Acad. Metodiy Popov” and the Institute of Genetics “Acad. Doncho Kostov.”

The Institute of Plant Physiology ‘Acad. Metodiy Popov’ is one of the oldest biological institutes of the BAS, founded in 1948 by Academician Metodiy Popov as the Institute of General Biology. The Institute of Genetics “Acad. Doncho Kostov” can be traced back to the Central Agricultural Research Institute, established in 1910. During the period from 1939 to 1949, this Institute was under the leadership of the renowned Bulgarian scientist, Academician Doncho Kostov.

Mission and Goals

The research conducted at IPPG is in the field of functional plant biology. It is focused on three primary research directions: Molecular Biology and Genetics, Plant Ecophysiology and Experimental Algology. These research topics are closely aligned with the needs of society and offer substantial potential for long-term applications across various domains, including sustainable agriculture, healthcare, the efficient utilization of natural resources and environmental protection, particularly in conditions of ongoing climate changes.

 Priority Topics

  • Identification and functional analysis of genes related to plant development and stress response. Development of molecular markers for resistance or susceptibility to abiotic stress.
  • Effects of altered DNA methylation on the functional status of model and crop
  • Study of natural and stress-induced genetic diversity and ecological dynamics in plants by applying DNA marker technologies.
  • Molecular mechanisms of occurrence and removal of DNA damage and the role of DNA repair systems for plant tolerance to environmental stressors.
  • Assessment, preservation and effective use of genetic resources in common wheat in Bulgaria.
  • Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Antitumor potential of medicinal and aromatic plants.
  • Study of the etiology of addictions to psychoactive substances in humans – analysis of psycho-social and molecular-genetic factors.
  • Physiological phenotyping. Changes in the primary and secondary metabolism of plants with a focus on biogenic volatile organic compounds.
  • Effects of climatic factors and anthropogenic pollution of the environment on the photosynthetic process. Plant plasticity in the changing environment. Mechanisms of plant resistance to extreme drought.
  • Microorganism-plant symbiotic interactions.
  • Development of protocols for micropropagation of threatened traditional and non-traditional Bulgarian medicinal plants.
  • Hormonal regulation of physiological processes in plants: Exploring the role of growth regulators and other biologically active substances in plant growth, development, and the mechanisms underlying natural and induced defense responses to abiotic and biotic stressors.
  • Population diversity of phytopathogens and induced resistance in plants. Identification of sources of complex resistance to economically important diseases in crop plants.
  • Isolation, physiological-biochemical characterisation, and evaluation of the biotechnological potential of microalgae. Development of innovative technologies for the production of algal biomass and methods for extracting substances with high biological activity. Application of microalgae in ecological agriculture.

Our scientists are actively involved in various forms of education and training of students, specialists and graduates. The Institute has accreditation for educating doctoral students in three doctoral programs – Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics. The training of doctoral students is based on expert experience, long-standing traditions and established policies at IFRG for the preparation of highly qualified and motivated specialists, which guarantees competitiveness and successful professional development.

Research Facilities

IPPG is equipped with specialised, modernly equipped laboratories and a wide range of advanced equipment for conducting physiological, biochemical, and molecular-genetic research: a specialised laboratory for non-invasive physiological and photosynthetic studies, laboratories for molecular-genetic research, laboratories for biochemical analyses, laboratories for microscopic analyses, a Keldahl laboratory, climate chambers for plant cultivation under controlled conditions, tissue culture rooms, a cultivation facility for intensive microalgae cultivation. Researchers at the Institute have access to an experimental base covering an area of ​​600 hectares in the territories of the villages of Gorni Lozen and Kazichene for year-round plant experiments in field conditions, as well as a greenhouse area of ​​12 hectares, which enables research in the field of applied genetics.

 International Research Collaboration

IPPG actively fosters scientific collaboration with numerous international institutions. Scientists from the Institute actively engage as partners in joint research projects with academic Institutes and Universities across Europe, including Belgium, Germany, Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, India.

One of the Institute longstanding and traditional partnerships is with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) based in Vienna, Austria. Technical cooperation projects under the IAEA program enable the Institute to participate in the implementation of comprehensive scientific programs of national significance in the field of sustainable agriculture.

Implementing a project under the National Program “European Scientific Networks” has contributed to increasing the visibility of the Institute in the international scientific arena and deepening institutional scientific contacts. In 2021, IPPG achieved recognition as the representative unit for Bulgaria within the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium and became a partner in the European node of iBOL – BIOSCAN EUROPE. This European network supports collaboration among member countries in biodiversity research in Europe, as well as various forms of training activities in the field of DNA barcoding and its applications in ecology, evolution, selection, and quality control of food products.

Featured image from: WallpapersWide

↑ Top ↑

Write to us

Meet us

Acad. G. Bonchev Street, Bldg. 21
1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Contact us

Phone: +359 2 9792606
Fax: +359 2 8739952