Dr hab. Miłosz Ruszkowski, the head of the Department of Structural Biology of Eukaryotes at the IBCH PAS, is the laureate of this year's edition of AgroBioTop. The AgroBioTop award recognizes the achievement of outstanding young scientists whose research contributed to the development of agricultural sciences and to the development of agriculture. In this year's edition, particular emphasis was placed on distinguishing an achievement that contributes or may contribute to the implementation of the idea of sustainable agriculture.
The competition is organized by the Committee of Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, while the award is financed by Bayer.
The laureate's achievement is based on resolving structures of plant proteins and thus deciphering their mechanisms of function, regulation, and interactions. Although the achievement is classified as basic research, its applied potential is strongly emphasized at four levels:
1. Understanding the mechanisms of plant resistance to abiotic stress caused by drought or salinity will allow, for example, rational selection of mutants more resistant to stress.
2. The discovery of the details of hormonal regulation in plants at the molecular level will allow for an in-depth understanding of the cellular processes triggered by phytohormones, either naturally occurring or supplied exogenously.
3. Understanding the structures and molecular mechanisms of essential plant enzymes make it possible to develop herbicides with very high specificity and thus low side effects.
4. Development of varieties for soil phytoremediation will allow revitalizing of lands polluted with heavy metals.