Laboratory of Molecular and Ecological Physiology

The Laboratory was founded in 1953 by the famous Russian ecophysiologist Oleg V. Zalensky. His very first studies were performed at the East Pamir highland research station, where Zalensky and his coworkers for the first time in the USSR used the 14С isotope to study gas exchange in plants growing under different environmental conditions. This research provided the basis for the research on ecological physiology of plants in the USSR. Later, Olga A. Semikhatova, a specialist in plant respiration, worked with Oleg Zalensky on the energetics of dark respiration in plants of various botanical-geographical zones. In 1956, David I. Sapozhnikov and his colleagues discovered the violaxanthin (xanthophyll) cycle which later was proven to represent the central mechanism of photoprotection in plants. 1990–2015, Yuri V. Gamalei, a famous plant anatomist and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, directed a large-scale study of the ultrastructure of minor veins in over 1000 species of dicotyledonous plants which helped to reveal ecological and evolutionary trends in phloem loading mechanisms. Current projects of the Laboratory cover the ecological physiology and cell biology of plants using modern methods of molecular and cell biology, physiology and biochemistry.

Olga A. Semikhatova. How I became a Leningrad citizen. Memories (in Russian). Saint Petersburg, 2015. 212 p.

O. A. Semikhatova, O.S. Yudina. Russian Plant Physiologists on East Pamir (in Russian). // Studies in the history of biology. 2013. V 5. № 2. P. 44–58.

Yamamoto H. Y. 2008. A random walk to and through the xanthophyll cycle / Demmig-Adams B., Adams W. W., Mattoo A. K. (eds) Photoprotection, photoinhibition, gene regulation, and environment. Advances in photosynthesis and respiration, vol 21, p. 1–10. Springer, Dordrecht.