Laboratory of Microbial Ecology


Natalia O. Kozyrovska

Ph.D. (Mol. Biol.), Senior Staff Scientist
Tel.: +38044 526-55-96
Fax: +38044 526-07-59

Education and Degrees:

19711976 Graduate Student, Faculty of Biology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine, M.Sc. (biology, microbiology)

1984 Ph.D. (molecular biology)

Honours, Prizes, Awards:

1989 DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Grant

1993 Royal Society Grant

2003 WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Gold medal for an invention

Research Area:

Scientific and biotechnological aspects of polymicrobial community study

urrent Research Activities and Recent Achievements:

Interaction of microorganisms with plants: the mechanism of plant protection against biotic and abiotic factors, involving endophytic microbial populations.

The concept of plant protection under the assistance of communities of resident endophytic bacteria is elaborated. In addition to known plant defence mechanisms (basic and induced resistance), the reserve mechanism is revealed, which involves latent endophytic microorganisms. The effectiveness of this mechanism depends on the plant genotype-associated endophytic microbiome and its ability to resuscitate from the latent state and to respond to external factors. Biocontrol agents used for plant protection may serve as activators of the latent state. The reaction of plants on pathogens after priming by biocontrol agents depends on the endophytic microbiome structure and its quality. The concept may explain, why the same microbial preparations for plant protection act differently on different plant species and even varieties, and provides a tool for selection of plant varieties with beneficial endophytic microbiome composition.

Fig. 1. a Survival of potato plants under post vitro conditions; b primed in vitro plants; c increase of bacterial OTUs inside potato roots after priming with PGPB (on results of 16S rDNA PCR/TRFLP (Hha )-analysis)
Polymicrobial communities: communal interactions with an emphasis on biofilm formation. Design of biodegradable composites based on nanocellulose for use in medical and aerospace industries.

Kombucha polymicrobial community (a tea fungus) is known within two millennia, and for the first time, the full microbiome of one of the ecotype (Ukrainian) has been revealed by DNA barcoded pyrosequencing. Construction of consortia, using different kombucha community members, for a high throughput synthesis of cellulose showed that the level of kombucha cellulose film synthesis depends on partners-duals in the community. Biodegradable antimicrobial composites based on nanocellulose were designed for a wide application.

Fig. 2. Stages of new composite nanomaterials manufacture: growing biofilm (a), purification from bacterial cells (b), modification of pure cellulose (c) (joint materials of IMBG, IBOPCH NASU).

National Grants:

Projects of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:

  • 20122016 N 47 Project: Participation in international project BIOMEX (NASU)
  • 2009 N 44 Project: System biotechnology of potato protection and molecular tests of potato pathogens

Projects of Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine:

  • Projects of Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine:
  • 20092010 M/431 20092010 M/431 Ukrainian-German Project: A study of model organisms for a use on a Lunar base

International Grants:

  • 5th Framework Programme (FP5) Project: The use of mycorrhizal fungi in phytoremediation projects
  • BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Project: Biological and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX)
  • COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action FA1103 Project: Endophytes in Biotechnology and Agriculture
  • STCU (Science and Technology Center in Ukraine) N16 Project: Molecular interactions between bacteria under microgravity


with Ukrainian organizations:

  • Kyiv T. Schevchenko University
  • National M. Gryshko Botanical Garden
  • Institute of F. Ovchrenko Biocolloidal chemistry of NANU
  • Institute Physics of NANU
  • Potato Institute of UAAS

with foreign organizations:

  • ESA Research and Scientific Support Department, ESTEC/SCI-PD, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, Dr. B.H. Foing
  • Oulu University, Finland, Dr. A.M. Pirtilla
  • Selected publications:

    1. Podolich O, Zaets I, Kukharenko O, Orlovska I, Reva O, Khirunenko L, Sosnin M, Haidak A, Shpylova S, Rabbow E, Skoryk M, Kremenskoy M, Demets R, Kozyrovska N, de Vera JP. Kombucha Multimicrobial Community under Simulated Spaceflight and Martian Conditions. Astrobiology, 2017, 17(5):459-469.
    2. O. Podolich, I. Zaets, O. Kukharenko, I. Orlovska, O. Reva, J.-P. deVera, N. Kozyrovska et al. The First Space-Related Study of a KombuchaMultimicrobial Cellulose-Forming Community: Preparatory Laboratory Experiments. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. March 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s11084-016-9483-4.
    3. I. Ye. Zaets, O. V. Podolich, O. N. Reva, N. O. Kozyrovska. DNA metabarcoding of microbial communities for healthcare. Biopolymers and Cell. 2016, 32(1): 38.
    4. Janne Koskimäki, Marena Kajula, Juho Hokkanen, Emmi-LeenaIhantola, Jong HKim, Heidi Hautajärvi, Elina Hankala, Marko Suokas, Johanna Pohjanen, Olga Podolich, Natalia Kozyrovska, et al. Methyl-esterified 3-hydroxybutyrateoligomersprotectbacteria from hydroxyl radicals. Nat Chem Biol. 2016 May;12(5):332-338.
    5. Podolich O, Ardanov P, Zaets I, Pirttilä AM, Kozyrovska N. Reviving of the endophytic bacterial community as a putative mechanism of plant resistance. Plant and Soil. 2015, 388(1-2):367-377.
    6. Reva ON, Zaets I, Ovcharenko LP, Kukharenko OE, Shpylova SP, Podolich OV, de Vera J-P, Kozyrovska NO. Metabarcoding of the kombucha microbial community grown in different microenvironments. AMB Express. 2015, 5(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13568-015-0124-5
    7. Kharina A, Podolich O, Faidiuk Iu, Zaika S, Haidak A, Kukharenko O, Zaets I, Tovkach F, Reva O, Kremenskoy M, Kozyrovska N. Temperate bacteriophages collected by outer membrane vesicles in Komagataeibacter intermediu. J Basic Microbiol. 2015, 55(4):509-513.
    8. Ardanov P, Lyastchenko S, Karppinen K, Häggman H, Kozyrovska N, Pirttilä AM. Effects of Methylobacterium sp. on emergence, yield, and disease prevalence in three cultivars of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) were associated with the shift in endophytic microbial community. Plant and Soil. 2015, 5:1-12.
    9. Kukharenko O, Jean-François Bardeau, Zaets I, et al. Promising low cost antimicrobial composite material based on bacterial cellulose and polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride. European Polymer Journal. 2014;60:247-254.
    10. Zaets I, Kukharenko O, Podolich O, et al. Bacterial cellulose may provide the microbial-life biosignature in the rock records. Adv Space Res. 2014;53(5):828835.
    11. Podolich O, Ardanov P, Zaets I, et al. Reviving of the endophytic bacterial community as a putative mechanism of plant resistance. Plant Soil. 2014; DOI 10.1007/s11104-014-2235-1
    12. Kozyrovska NO. Crosstalk between endophytes and the plant host within informationprocessing networks. Biopolym. Cell. 2013; 29(3):23443. doi: 10.7124/bc.00081D
    13. Ardanov P, Sessitsch A, Huggman H, Kozyrovska N, Pirttila AM. Methylobacteriuminduced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7:e46802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046802
    14. Kozyrovska N, Reva O, Goginyan V, de Vera JP. Kombucha microbiome as a probiotic: a view from the perspective of postgenomics and synthetic ecology. Biopolym. Cell. 2012; 28(2):10310. doi:10.7124/bc.000034
    15. Zaets I, Kozyrovska N, Heavy metal resistance in Plants: a putative role of endophytic Bacteria In: A. Zaidi et al. (eds.), Toxicity of heavy metals to legumes and bioremediation. SpringerVerlag, Wien 2012. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-0730-0_12
    16. Zaetz I, Burlak O, Rogutskyy I. et al. Bioaugmentation strategy of growing plants for lunar bases. Adv. Space Res. 2011; 47: 10718. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2010.11.014
    17. Ardanov P, Ovcharenko L, Zaets I, Kozyrovska N, Pirttila AM Endophytic bacteria enhancing growth and disease resistance of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Biocontrol. 2011; 56 (1):439.
    18. Burlak O, Lar O, Rogutskyy IS, et al. A bacterial consortium alleviating a lowdose gamma irradiation effect in kalanchoe plantlets. Space Sci. Technol. 2010; 1:3240.
    19. Podolich O, Laschevskyy V, Ovcharenko L, Kozyrovska N, Pirttila AM. Methylobacterium sp. resides in unculturable state in potato tissues in vitro and becomes culturable after induction by Pseudomonas fluorescens IMGB163. J. Appl. Microbiol. 2009; 116: 72832. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.03951.x