University of Thessaly

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

The University of Thessaly (UTH) is a dynamic organization continually developing, adapting, and reshaping. The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (DBB) is situated in the city of Larisa and is the first department of its kind in Greece. Its main focus is to form scientists capable of fully understanding the potential of biochemistry and biotechnology and of responding to the challenge of these new technologies. The DBB is committed to offer high quality studies and create a generation of scientists with the capability of undertaking competitive basic research as well as a conscientious attitude toward society and the consequences of biochemistry and biotechnology applications into other fields like economy, ecology, ethics, philosophy, sociology and law. The personnel employed totals approx. 150 persons, out of which 35 are academic staff (20 research and teaching members with permanent posts and 15 research and teaching associates on contract), 10 are technical and administration staff, and approx. 105 are postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows. DBB is well equipped with high-quality tools for biochemical and biotechnological research. DBB has a highly rated postgraduate and undergraduate research activity. It is currently a training site for 25 PhD students and 79 MSc students, working on research projects in different areas of biochemistry and biotechnology. Apart from being an established training and education centre for a large number of students and research fellows in the area of biochemistry and biotechnology, DBB has demonstrated a distinguished research activity in the area of biochemistry and biotechnology. The research staff of DBB focuses on three main areas: i) Functional Genomics ii) Bioactive molecules iii) Biodiversity.



Research Group of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology

The research group of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology which participates in LOVE-TO-HATE project consists of two Faculty members, Dr Kalliope Papadopoulou and Dr Dimitrios Karpouzas, who also serve as Project Leaders in independent as well as in common research areas. The group carries out research into plant metabolism, interactions between plants and microorganisms and the environment and the biotechnological applications of plants and microorganisms in (a) sustainable production processes, (b) production of bioactive molecules and (c) environmental protection. Research within the group spans microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, computational biology, and genetics, working with both with microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) as well as model and crop plants.



Dr Kalliope K. Papadopoulou, Associate Professor in Plant Biotechnology



She has a first degree in Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens. Her main research interest are in plant secondary metabolism and in plant-microbe interactions, the latter extending to soil ecology subjects. She is the author of 34 publications in peer reviewed papers, and co-author of a book on Molecular Developmental Plant Biology. She is associate editor of Annals of Applied Biology.

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Dr Dimitrios G. Karpouzas, Assistant Professor in Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology



He has a first degree in Agriculture – Crop Production from the Aristotle University of Thessaly, an MSc in Crop Protection from the University of Reading UK and a PhD in microbial metabolism pesticides by the University of Reading. His main research interests include 1) microbial metabolism of pesticides in soil and isolation of bacteria able to detoxify agrochemicals 2) development of depuration systems for the treatment of agroindustrial effluents 3) assessment of the effects of agroindustrial wastewaters and agrochemicals on the structure and function of soil microbes 4) basic processes controlling the environmental fate of pesticides. He is the author of 60 articles in peer reviewed journals, 2 chapters in books and an editor of a book. He is also associate editor of BIODEGRADATION and member of several scientific committees including the SETAC Pesticide Microbiology Group, IUPAC Subcommittee on Crop Protection Chemistry and Secretary of the Hellenic Scientific Society of Mikrobiocosmos

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Research Interests

  1. Plant Biotechnology: Biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites, especially triterpenes and glucosinolates; manipulation of their biosynthesis; effect of nutrient availability on gene expression and metabolite profiles
  2. Plant Microbe – Interactions: Ecology and function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF); Plant – Fungal (pathogenic and antagonistic soil-borne fungi); Plant-Bacterial (Rhizospheric bacteria/ Legume-Rhizobia symbiosis); Tri-partite interactions
  3. Environmental Microbiology: Enhanced microbial degradation of pesticides; isolation of pesticide-degrading microbes and their hydrolytic genes/enzymes; bioremediation of agro-industrial effluents
  4. Soil Microbial Ecology: Effects of crop protection and agronomic practices on the structure and function of the microbial community
  5. Environmental Pollution:  Basic processes controlling the environmental fate of pesticides



Selected recent publications

  1. Delis C, Krokida A, Georgiou S, Peña-Rodríguez LM, Kavroulakis N, Ioannou E, Roussis V, Osbourn AE, Papadopoulou KK (2011)Role of lupeol synthase in Lotus japonicus nodule formation, New Phytologist 185: 335-346
  2. Ipsilantis I., Samourelis C., Karpouzas D.G., (2012) The impact of botanical pesticides on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 45: 147-155
  3. Hadar Y, Papadopoulou KK. (2012) Suppressive composts: microbial ecology links between abiotic environments and healthy plants. Annual Review of Phytopathology 50:133-153
  4. Omirou M, Dalias P., Costa C., Papastefanou C., Dados A., Ehaliotis C., Karpouzas D.G., (2012) Exploring the potential of biobeds for the depuration of pesticide-contaminated wastewaters from the citrus production industry: laboratory, column and field studies. Environmental Pollution 166: 31-39
  5. Chanika E., Soueref E., Georgiadou D, Karas P., Tzortzakakis E., Karanasios E., Karpouzas D.G. (2011) Isolation of soil bacteria able to hydrolyze both organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Bioresource Technology 102: 3184-3192
  6. Omirou, M., Rousidou, C., Bekris, F., Papadopoulou, K.K., Ehaliotis, C., Menkissoglu-Spiroudi, U., Karpouzas D.G. (2011) The impact of biofumigation and chemical fumigation methods on the structure and function of the soil microbial community. Microbial Ecology 61: 201-213
  7. Tsohatzis E.D., Tzimou-Tsitouridou R Menkissoglu-Spiroudi, U, Karpouzas D.G., Katasantonis D. (2013) Dissipation of tricyclazole, profoxydim and penoxsulam in rice paddy systems: Laboratory and field studies. Chemosphere (in press)




Research Group of Bioinformatics in Genomics

This group that participates in LOVE-TO-HATE project is headed by Dr. Grigorios Amoutzias. The group carries out research into Genomics, Proteomics, Molecular Networks and Evolution, by integrating data from various sources, analysing them with bioinformatics and statistical tools and thus extracting knowledge from noisy raw data.


Dr. Grigorios Amoutzias, Lecturer of Bioinformatics in Genomics



He has a first degree in Biology (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), MRes in Bioinformatics (Leeds University, UK), PhD in Bioinformatics (The University of Manchester, UK) and was an EMBO Long-term postdoctoral fellow. His main research interests include 1) Evolution of genes, genomes and molecular networks, 2) Properties of phosphoproteomes, 3) Analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing data. He is the author of 22 articles in peer reviewed journals and 2 chapters in books.


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Selected recent publications

  1. Amoutzias GD, He Y, Lilley K, Van de Peer Y, Oliver SG. Evaluation and properties of the budding yeast phosphoproteome. Molecular Cellular Proteomics. 2012 Jun;11(6):M111.009555.
  2. Cock MJ, Sterck L, Rouzé P, Scornet D, Allen AE, Amoutzias G, et al. The Ectocarpus genome and the independent evolution of multicellularity in brown algae. Nature. 2010 Jun 3;465(7298):617-21.
  3. Amoutzias GD, He Y, Gordon J, Mossialos D, Oliver SG, Van de Peer Y. Posttranslational regulation impacts the fate of duplicated genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 16;107(7):2967-71.
  4. Amoutzias GD, Robertson DL, Van de Peer Y, Oliver SG. Choose your partners: Dimerization in eukaryotic transcription factors. Trends Biochem Sci. 2008 May;33(5):220-9.
  5. Pinney JW, Amoutzias GD, Rattray M, Robertson DL. Reconstruction of ancestral protein interaction networks for the bZIP transcription factors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Dec 18;104(51):20449-53


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