About

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 Published Date

 

The Agricultural Biotechnology Center (ABC) was founded by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1989 based upon the realization that biotechnology and its application are the key factors in the future competitiveness of the Hungarian agriculture. Today, the institute is supervised by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).

The center deals with biotechnology research and development for an environmentally sound Hungarian agriculture and participates in the training of biotechnologists and coordinating of biotechnology research activities.

ABC is the largest institute among the research organizations sponsored by MRD with 126 employees, 60 of which belong to the scientific staff, including graduate students in various PhD programmes and visiting scientists from European and other countries.

The institute has state of art technical facilities, with an overall laboratory area of 4000 m2, a greenhouse (800 m2), and animal houses for small laboratory animals. The equipment and the basic instrumentation of the institute meet the international standards.

The research activity of ABC focuses on the molecular aspects of plant and animal development, breeding and modern environmental technologies, dominated by molecular and cellular approaches, to develope products and technologies for utilization.

The research groups of the institute study in their selected fields the molecular mechanisms involved in plant parasite interactions, abiotic and biotic stress resistance, work on breeding of tolerant and multi-resistant species and improving bioenergy plants. With the help of comparative genetic mapping and engineering and using molecular marker technology, developed gene-technology systems, bioinformatics they elaborate innovative techniques and transformation methods. Animal biology projects are aimed at creating transgenic animal models to analyze specific gene expressions and nuclear transfer techniques, studying the role of livestock genes in milk composition and production. The areas of research cover the most strategic cultivars (vital food plants: potato, cereals, legumes and vegetables like beans, maize and the ‘Hungaricum’ paprika) and the special nutritional and medical aspects of livestock and laboratory animals.

Our research teams are involved in several projects supported by MRD and national R&D funds and successfully participate in multilateral cooperations and the EU Framework Programmes. Partnered by leading scientific research and educational institutes, collaborative projects with international partners represent an important section of the research activity.

Based on the concept of the Foundation Letter of the institute, ABC encourages the implementation of scientific results and the utilization of its intellectual property benefits and has played initiative role in establishing knowledge-based spin-off companies in Hungary. Today there are three enterprises hosted by the institute which serve DNA sequencing and GMO analytics by the Biomi Ltd., provide immunodiagnostics of toxins and antibiotics in food and feed by the Soft Flow Biotechnology Ltd., and develops composite soil inoculation products by the Saniplant Ltd.

The Agricultural Biotechnology Center welcomes international and national meetings and workshops, regularly hosts training and educational programmes. Each year the institute organizes a small conference the “ABC Days" which provides a forum for the staff scientists to introduce their newest achievements and an occasion for the colleagues and guests to present new opportunities.

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