Федеральное государственное бюджетное учреждение науки

Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology of Russian Academy of Sciences

Group of the plant genetic engineering and genome editing


In the 1982-1989 years methods of in vitro somatic cells culture of wheat, barley and sunflowers have been developed under the leadership of A.K. Gaponenko. For the first time in the USSR the plants of the most important food crops – Wheat (1984) and Sunflower (1990) had been regenerated from somatic cells in vitro culture. These achievements allow starting development the methods of genetic transformation of these crops. Research results of the phenomenon of the somaclonal variation in the plant cell culture were summarized A.K. Gaponenko in the form of a doctoral thesis: "Genetic processes in somatic cells of cereals cultivated in vitro: Triticum aestivum L., T. durum Desf. and Hordeum vulgare L.", which has been defended in 1992 at the All-Russian Vavilov Plant Industry Institute, St. Petersburg. A.K. Gaponenko took part in the organization of the Center "Bioengineering" RAS, where during the 1989 – 2006's, he worked on the development methods for genetic transformation of wheat and sunflowers, which he had carried out also in the Swiss Institute of Technology, Zurich, in the prof. Ingo Potrycus lab (1991), at Ohio University, in the prof. John Finer lab (1993 – 1994).

In the Plant Cell Engineering laboratory, the Center for "Bioengineering" RAS under the leadership of A.K. Gaponenko the way of genetic transformation of sugar beet has been created and patented in 2005 year and in the 2006 year the first limited field trials of transgenic forms of sugar beet in Russia have been conducted.

In the 1997-1998 A.K. Gaponenko spends some time working in the Novartis Company, France.


  1. Cellular and genetic engineering principles of developmental biology and plant biotechnology
  2. In vitro study regulation of morphogenesis of wheat, sugar beet and sunflower – the main Russian crops.
  3. Creation of wheat and sunflowers varieties resistant to different environmental stresses, by means of the genetic engineering for the practices of the Russian Federation agriculture.


  • "A method for producing transgenic wheat plants using bio-ballistics". Gaponenko A.K., Ya. V. Mishutkina, A.A. Timoshenko, O.A. Shulga, N.A. Specchenkova, RF Patent No. 2646108 for an Invention: December 07, 2016.
  • "The way to create wheat resistant to the bug harmful turtle (Eurygaster integryceps Puton) by genetic engineering." Gaponenko A.K., RF Patent No. 2277586, June 10, 2006.
  • "Method of production of genetically modified sugar beet plants using Agrobacterium tumefaciens". The priority of 30.12.2004. Gaponenko A.K., Mishutkina Y.V., Skryabin K.G., Patent RF №. 2278162, June 20, 2006.
  • "The ballistic method for producing transgenic sunflower plants". Gaponenko A.K,, Russian patent for the invention № 2193066, 20 November 2002.
  • "Method for producing transgenic sunflower plants." Gaponenko A.K., RF Patent № 2179187 for an invention: February 10, 2002.
  • "Method of micro propagation of gladiolus." Gaponenko A.K., Ahmed Abu Kamel, Russian patent for the invention № 2180165, March 10. 2002, Priority from 31.01.2000.
  • "Method for regeneration of sunflower plants cultivated in vitro somatic cells." Gaponenko A.K., Voronina I.P., USSR Author's Certificate number 720 596, Priority from 31.01.1991.
  • "Method for tissue culture of wheat." Gaponenko A.K., Okhrimenko G.N., Sozinov A.A., USSR Inventor's Certificate number 1458386, 18 October 1988.


  1. Grant agreement the № 14.613.21.0052, with the Ministry of Education and Science in the frame of Federal Target Program "Research and development on priority directions of scientific-technological complex of Russia for 2013-2020": "Increasing tolerance to salinity at productive varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) by introducing a transcription factor OsGATA rice, ectopic expression of which is induced by excess salinity”. 2015-2016. The foreign partner – Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, India.
    (Working group)
  2. Grant of the "Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., USA". "Isolation of proteins, insecticidal for insect of the Hemiptera genus". 2012.
  3. Grant of "CRP-02, International Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB, New Delhi))". "Development of genetic transformation of sunflower chloroplast to prevent genes leakage into the environment and the high expression of transgenes". 2006-2009.
  4. Grant of Presidium RAS: "Creation of sunflower resistant to the herbicide Basta." 2008.
  5. Grant of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. GC № 02.190.006: "Development of biotechnology and industrial production of seed of genetically modified agriculture cultures:" Creation of sugar beet resistant to herbicides and viruses." 2003-2006.
  6. Grant of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation: "Obtaining forms of transgenic wheat with increased tolerance to drought and salinity." 2004.
  7. Grant of "The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NOW)": "Molecular control of the formation and development of inflorescence of sunflower". 1995-1998.
  8. Grant of "Rhone-Poulenc Company": "Development of sunflower regeneration and genetic transformation systems". 1993-1994.


  1. The curator of the section "Biotechnology and immunology" in the long-term Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Program on Science and Technology; 2000-2010 years.
  2. A member of the working group on the development of the "BIO 2020" Ministry of Economic Development.
  3. A member of the working group of Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the development of the "road map of genetic engineering."
  4. Member of the Advisory Council on High Technologies of the State Duma.
  5. Member of the intergovernmental Russian-Indian Working Group on Science and Technology.


  1. Information clip. Group of the plant genetic engineering and genome editing. Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology Russian Academy of Science.


  2. Interview with the professor, Ph.D. Alexander Gaponenko Institute of Developmental Biology of NK Koltsov, professor of genetics, biotechnology, plant breeding and seed "Russia needs domestic GM crops" newspaper "Plant Protection" №08 for 2014 RUSSIA NEED DOMESTIC GM CROPS:
  3. The full version of the interview
  4. The report "Biotechnology – the main reserve for increasing the profitability of crop production in the Russian Federation" at the symposium "Russia – a major agrarian power or raw material appendage?". October 18, 2011.
  5. The debate on the prospects of growing biotech crops continues in Russia. Especially for the "Peasants' Gazette" situation analyzes the chief researcher of the Institute of Biology. Koltsov RAS, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Alexander Gaponenko. Read more:



  • Necessity and prospects of new technologies for sustainable agriculture
  • The regulation of gene expression methods, as genetic modification of plant genomes program
  • Introduction to genetic engineering: molecular mechanisms and methods of practice.
  • Culture cells in vitro, as a stage of plant genetic engineering
  • Plant cells genetic transformation
  • Chloroplasts genetic transformation
  • Making plants resistant to insects by genetic engineering methods
  • Modification of plant metabolism by genetic engineering.


  • Gaponenko A.K., Mishutkina Ya.V., Timoshenko A.A., Shulga O.A. Genetic Transformation of Wheat: State of the Art // Russian Journal of Genetics. 2018. V. 54(3). P.273-291. DOI: 10.7868/S0016675818030013. (WoS, Scopus)
  • Gaponenko A.K., Shulga O.A., Mishutkina Y.B., Tsarkova E.A., Timoshenko A.A., Spechenkova N.A. Perspectives of Use of Transcription Factors for Improving Resistance of Wheat Productive Varieties to Abiotic Stresses by Transgenic Technologies // Russian Journal of Genetics. 2018. V. 54. N 1. P. 27-35. DOI: 10.1134/S1022795418010039. (WoS, Scopus)
  • Shulga O.A., Ya. B. Neskorodov, A. V. Shchennikova, A. K. Gaponenko, K. G. Skryabin. Ectopic Expression of the HAM59 Gene Causes HomeoticTransformations of Reproductive Organs in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) DOKLADY BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS, 2015, Vol. 461, pp. 110–113.
  • Prasad C.V.S. Siva, Saurabh Gupta, Alex Gaponenko, Murlidhar Tiwari. Molecular Dynamic and Docking Interaction Study of Heterodera glycines Serine Proteinase with Vigna mungo Proteinase Inhibitor // APPL BIOCHEM BIOTECHNOL. 2013 .V. 170(8). P.1996-2008.
  • Nechaev V.I. & Gaponenko A.K. The introduction of the newest biotechnologies is necessary for sustainable agricultural development and needs the sufficient investments (2013), VISEGRAD JOURNAL ON BIOECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, vol. 2, № 2, p. 72–77
  • Prasad C.V.S. Siva, Saurabh Gupta, Alex Gaponenko & Murli Dhar Tiwari. In-silico comparative study of inhibitory mechanism of Plant Serine Proteinase Inhibitors // BIOINFORMATION. 2012. 8 (14): 673-677
  • Fadeev V.S., H.R.Shimshiashvili, A.K.Gaponenko, Regeneration, and biolistic sensitivities of different genotypes of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) // RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF GENETICS, 2008, Volume 44, № 9, pp 1096.
  • Fadeev V.S., A.K.Gaponenko. Development of the efficient wheat genetic transformation system for the creation of the transgenic wheat resistant to the sunn pest (Eurygaster integriceps Puton) In: “SUNN PEST MANAGEMENT A Decade of Progress 1994-2004”. Published by Arab Society for Plant Protection 2007, pp.381-389.
  • Mishutkina Y.V., Gaponenko A.K., Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Morphogenesis in vitro: Effects of Phytohormone Type and Concentration in the Culture Medium, Type of Explants, and Plant Genotype on Shoot Regeneration Frequency// RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF GENETICS, 2006, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 150–157.
  • Fadeev V.S., Blinkova O.V., Gaponenko A.K., Optimization of biological and physical parameters for biolistic genetic transformation of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using a particle inflow gun // RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF GENETICS. 2006. V. 42. № 4. p. 402–411.
  • Gaponenko A.K., Petrova T.F., Iskakov A P., Sozinov A. A., Cytogenetics of in vitro cultured somatic cell and regenerated plants of barley (Hordem vulgare L) // THEORETICAL AND APPLIED GENETICS, 1988, 75: 905-911.


Marker uidA (GUS) gene expression in the transgenic sunflower:
A – Inflorescence cut;
B – flowers with developing seeds;
C – germinating seeds of the T1 (2nd generation) &
D – different tissues of transgenic plant.
© Prof. Alex K. Gaponenko, Koltzov institute of development biology RAS, Moscow

Dr. A.K. Gaponenko
Head of group.

e.mail: akgaponenko@gmail.com

Skype: Alex.Gaponenko1