Antropogenic activities, presence of chemical and physical stressors in the environment and their combined action exert strong stressful influence to the whole living world including phytophagous insects and their populations. Early changes in physiological, biochemical and molecular parameters in insect stress may be extremely sensitive markers in ecophysiological studies and biomonitoring. Besides the direct impact, environmental variations alter host plant physiology and, consequently, phytophagous insect responses dependent on changes in host plant quality (concentration of defence allelochemicals and nutrients, accumulation of heavy metals and toxic chemicals etc.).

The aim of our research is to study mechanisms of insect adaptations to environmental stress in order to gain better understanding of their potential for physiological plasticity in a changed environment. Our group seeks to clarify specific and unspecific stress responses of insects (from subcellular to population level of biological organization) after short and long term exposure to chemical (inorganic and organic pollutants, plant defense allelochemicals etc.) and physical (high temperature, constant and alternating magnetic fields etc.) environmental stressors.

Gypsy moth ( Lymantria dispar) as the most important forest pest, mealworm Tenebrio molitor as stored-gain pest and other insect species such as Morimus funereus, Baculum extradentatum, Dinocras megacephala, very sensitive indicator of water pollution, Blatella germanica, Blatta orientalis, Musca domestica etc. are also used in experiments. Current research involves natural populations of pest insect that are differently adapted to environmental stressors.

Our investigations are focused on main stress responsive components: neuroendocrine system as the first-line of stress response, digestive system as an intermediary between the external and the internal environment and the first barrier in trophic/chemical stress (activity and expression of molecular isoforms of the most important groups of digestive enzymes) as well as the place of ghrelin (obesity hormone) synthesis and action. Our studies include the antioxidative defence, detoxification strategy, synthesis of heat shock proteins and hystological /cytological changes in various insect tissues after the acute and chronic impact of different stressors.

Various advanced and classical biochemical, molecular, histochemical and electrophysiological methods are used in our research.

The multidisciplinary approach of studies in the Department of Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, apart from its fundamental importance, contributes to finding physiological, biochemical and molecular biological parameters as biomarkers in ecotoxicology. Researches also participate in improvement of sustainable.


Determination of physiological, biochemical and molecular biological parameters that can be used as biomarkers of environmental changes;
Mechanisms of insect's adaptation to environmental stress;
Physiological plasticity in pest insects stress tolerance;
Local adaptations in stress susceptible and resistant populations of insects;
Improvement of sustainable methods for regulation of insect pest populations.


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