Professor Valya Vassileva, PhD

Bldg. 21, Office 222, Lab 107
Тел.: +359-2-9792602 or 2681

Personal page

Field of Research

Our basic and applied research projects are focused on elucidating the genetic and epigenetic aspects of the gene expression regulation in higher plants. The nuclear and plastid gene functions are studied through the generation and characterization of transgenic lines with overexpression or silencing of the genes of interest. We aim at deciphering the molecular mechanisms of plant adaptation to abiotic stress in the search for novel strategies for improvement of plant resistance to unfavorable environmental factors. Our toolbox comprises genetic, biochemical and light microscopy approaches for:

  •  Identification and functional analysis of genes associated with plant development and stress tolerance.
  •  Dissection of the impact from the altered nuclear DNA methylation on the functional status of model plant species as well as economically important crops.
  • Development of novel molecular markers for plant susceptibility to abiotic stress.

The model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana and Lotus japonicus as well as some cereals and legumes are routinely used as experimental plant material in our lab.

Ongoing Research Projects

National Funding

ДН06/12: Study on adaptive mechanisms to drought in Bulgarian winter wheat varieties, 2017-2020. Project coordinator: Assist. Prof. Anna Dimitrova, IPPG – BAS. Partner: ABI – Agricultural Academy.

ДН06/9: A comprehensive study on the signal mechanisms, guiding interactions between host plants, rhizosphere microbiota, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and root parasitic plants, 2017-2020. Project coordinator: Prof. Cveta Hristeva, TTPI – Agricultural Academy. Partner: IPPG – BAS.

ДФНИ БО2/18: Model plant species from the genera Verbascum (Scrophulariaceae), Centaurea (Asteraceae) и Glaucum (Papaveraceae): a study on the genetic diversity of the Bulgarian populations, metabolomics and physiological status of wild, in vitro propagated and ex vitro adapted plants, 2015-2017. Project coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Marina Stanilova, IBER – BAS. Partner: IPPG – BAS.

Bilateral cooperation

VS.095.16N: Epigenetic control of Arabidopsis lateral root initiation and development: involvement of maintenance DNA methyltranspherases, 2016-2018, Joint Research Project between the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Belgium. Project coordinator from BAS: Prof. Valya Vassileva. Partner: Prof. Tom Beeckman, VIB/UGent Department for Plant Systems Biology, Ghent.

„Biochemical and physiological mechanisms of cold hardiness in the resurrection plant Haberlea rhodopensis“, 2016-2018, Joint Research Project between the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Biometeorology, IBIMET, CNR, Italy. Project coordinator from BAS: Prof. Katya Georgieva.

International Funding

BUL5014: Screening of cereal germplasm stress response and adaptation potential by advanced nuclear, omics and physiological approaches, 2016–2017. Project under the program of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). Project coordinator: Prof. Lubomir Stoilov.

ДФНП-192: Arabidopsis thaliana as an experimental system for the study of DNA methylation mechanisms, 2016–2017. Project under the program for Support of Young Scientists at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Project coordinator: Assist. Dimitar Todorov.

BG05M2OP001-2.002-0001: Studentski praktiki – Phase 1, Operational Programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth 2014-2020”, Students mentors: Prof. Valya Vassileva, Assist. Prof. Mariana Georgieva

326711 Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF “Comparative analysis of plant and mammalian DNA methylation functions in epigenetic Arabidopsis mutants (CAPMEM)”, Host laboratory – Plant Epigenetics (Prof. Peter Meyer), University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, Leading researcher – Dr. Valya Vassileva.

271714 по програмата Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF “Quercus Ilex proteomic studies on the germination and early seedling growth under drought stress (QUIPROD)”. Приемаща лаборатория – Agricultural and Plant Biochemistry and Proteomic Research Group,  Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ETSIAM, University of Cordoba, Spain, supervisor Prof.  Jesús V. Jorrín Novo, водещ изследовател – д-р Людмила Симова-Стоиловa.

Research Topics

Scientific Publications

Research Team

Valya Vassileva, Professor, PhD

Office 222, Lab. 107
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2602 or 2681
Professional interests: Molecular genetics, root development, phytochormonal signaling, epigenetic regulation of gene expression, DNA methylation, maintainance DNA methyltansferases, mutant remethylation, nuclear migration, cell cytoskeleton, symbiotic relationships between legumes and Rhizobium.

Lyudmila Simova-Stoilova, Associate Professor, PhD

Office 104, Lab. 107
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2677 or 2681
Professional interests: Plant biochemistry and proteomics, post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, abiotic stress, protein stress markers, proteases, protease inhibitors.

Mariyana Georgieva, Assistant Professor, PhD

Office 104, Lab. 110
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2677 or 2682
Professional interests: Genome integrity, eco-genotoxicology (comet assay), plant adaptation to abiotic stress, epigenetic regulation and expression of radiation stress-induced proteins, molecular cytogenetics (FISH and GISH), physical mapping, chromosome structure, statistical methods in molecular biology.

Elisaveta Kirova, Assistant Professor, PhD

Office 117, Lab. 112
Tel: +359 (2) 979 2689 or 2685
Professional interests: Abiotic stress (drought and salinity), mechanisms of plant adaptation, biological nitrogen fixation, ROS and antioxidant defense system (enzymatic and nonenzymatic mechanisms), stress markers, electrophoretic detection of antioxidant enzymes, regulation of plant membrane permeability.

Anna Dimitrova, Assistant Professor, PhD

Office 104, Lab. 110
Tel: +359 (2) 979 2677 or 2682
Professional interests: rRNA genes, chromatin, nuclear matrix, genotyping, genetic and epigenetic regulation of plant gene transcription under abiotic stress.

Irina I. Vaseva, Assistant Professor, PhD

Office 222, Lab. 121
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2602 or 2691
Professional interests: Plant hormones, ethylene, cytokinins, cell type specificity of hormonal signaling and crosstalk,  dehydrins, expression of stress-inducible proteins.

Kiril Mishev, Assistant Professor, PhD

Office 117, Lab. 112
Tel: +359 (2) 979 2689 or 2685
Professional interests: Plant endomembrane trafficking, plant hormone signal transduction, chemical genetics, natural and induced leaf senescence, regulation of the chloroplast gene expression, functional organization of the photosynthetic apparatus.

Dimitar Todorov, Assistant, MSc

Lab. 112
Tel: +359 (2) 979 2685
Professional interests: Epigenetic regulation of gene expression, DNA methylation, maintainance DNA methyltansferases, mutant remethylation.

Anelia Kostadinova, Researcher, MSc

Lab. 107
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2681
Professional interests: Laboratory analyses.

Bistra Juperlieva-Mateeva, Researcher, MSc

Lab. 121
Tel. +359 (2) 979 2691
Professional interests: Laboratory analyses.

Master Students and Practicants

Irena Tsekova
Katerina Serafimova
Vella Nikolova

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Meet us

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

Contact us

Phone: +359 2 9792606
Phone: +359 2 8728170
Fax: +359 2 8739952