University of Belgrade - Institute for Multidisciplinary Research

Miroslav Nikolić

PhD in Agricultural sciences

Research Professor

Address: Kneza Višeslava 1, 11030 Belgrade

Research area

My research is focused on the nutrient acquisition and utilization processes in plants under stressful environment, and on the metabolic functions of mineral elements in stress tolerance, particularly on the mechanisms through which silicon modulates acquisition, transport and utilization of nutrients in crops. My team was the first one to demonstrate that silicon promotes root acquisition and uptake of iron and phosphorus under conditions of their low availability by up-regulating expression of key genes involved in these processes. Ongoing research is to understand the mode of silicon action in improving nutrient use efficiency in crops, and more general to discover its signaling role in plant stress physiology. Practically, these studies may suggest the way to develop novel fertilization strategies for sustainable crop production in stress conditions.

  • Biography
  • Projects
  • Selected publications

1.Work experience:

  • 2020-present: Associate Director for Science, University of Belgrade – Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2018-2020: Head of Department of Plant, Soil and Nano systеms (former Department of Plant Nutrition), University of Belgrade – Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2011-2015: Associate Director for Science, University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2007-present: Research Professor, University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2005-2008: Head of Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2003-2007: Senior Research Fellow, University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2002-2003: Assistant Professor, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture,
  • 2002: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Udine, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; advisors: Roberto Pinton and Zeno Varanini.
  • 1999-2001: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Hohenheim, Institute of Plant Nutrition; advisor: Volker Römheld.
  • 1997-1998: Visiting PhD-student, University of Hohenheim, Institute of Plant Nutrition; advisor: Volker Römheld.
  • 1996-1999: PhD-student, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade; advisor: Ružica Džamić.
  • 1991-1999: Teaching Assistant, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture.

2.Education:

  • 1999: PhD in Agricultural Sciences (Plant Nutritional Physiology), University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture.
  • 1995: MSc in Plant Physiology, University of Belgrade, faculty of Agriculture.
  • 1990: Graduate degree with honours in Agronomy (Viticulture major), University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture.

3.Awards and certificates:

  • University of Belgrade (Serbia) scholarship for talented students (1988).
  • University of Belgrade outstanding student award (1989).
  • DAAD (Germany) research fellowship at University of Hohenheim (1997, 2004).
  • MIUR (Italy) postdoctoral fellowship (2002).
  • Serbian Ministry of Science and Technology (Serbia) research excellence award – the First Price in biology (2004).
  • Erasmus Mundus (EC) professorship, International Master in Viticulture and Enology – VINTAGE (2008-2009).

4.Other professional activities:

  • 2021-present: Member of Scientific Council, Fund of Science of the Republic of Serbia.
  • 2017-present: Vice President of the International Society for Silicon in Agriculture.
  • 2015-present: President of the Steering Bord, Institute of Plant Protection and Environment.
  • 2011-2015: Member of Council of Institutes of the University of Belgrade.
  • 2012-2015: Member of Board of Faculties of Science and Mathematics of the University of Belgrade.
  • 2008-2013: President of Scientific Council of the Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.
  • 2005-2008: Member of Steering Bord, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research.

Courses taught:

  • 2021-present: “Plant Physiological Ecology”, Doctoral Studies of the Faculty of Forestry.
  • 2007-2013: “Physiological and Molecular Principles of Plant Nutrition”, Doctoral Studies of the Faculty of
  • 2008-2013: “Rhizosphere Ecology”, Doctoral Studies of the Faculty of
  • 2004-2010: “Mineral Nutrition” (part of the course “Plant Physiology”), Bachelor Studies of the Faculty of
  • 2004-2006: “Environment and Sustainable Development”, Master and Doctoral Multidisciplinary Studies of the University of Belgrade.
  • 2002-2003: “Plant Physiology”, Bachelor Studies of the Faculty of Agriculture.
  • 1991-1999: Practicum in “Plant Physiology” and “Agricultural Chemistry”, Bachelor Studies of the Faculty of Agriculture.

Editorial and Reviewer’s activity (journals, books, projects):

  • Section Editor of Plant and Soil (2018-present).
  • Associate Editor of Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2020-present)
  • Associate Editor of Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (2019-present).
  • Associate Editor of Frontiers in Plant Science (2017-2018).
  • Consulting Editor of Plant and Soil (2013-2018).
  • Editorial Board member of Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering (2019-present).
  • Guest Editor of the special research topic “Wheat Biofortification for Global Nutritional Security”, Frontiers in Nutrition (2020-2021).
  • External reviewer for the following international scientific journals: Plant and Soil (2006-2013); Physiologia Plantarum; Journal of Experimental Botany, New Phytologist; Annals of Botany; Plant Physiology and Biochemistry; Environmental and Experimental Botany; Plant Cell Environment; Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Functional Plant Biology; PLOS ONE; Chemosphere; Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (2017-2019); Journal of Plant Nutrition; Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research; New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science; South African Journal of Botany; Silicon; Journal of Plant Growth Regulation; Science of the Total Environment; Environmental Science and Pollution Research; Scientific Reports; Plant Biosystems; Frontiers in Plant Science.
  • Reviewer of the research projects for: Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MPNTR), Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Polish National Science Centre (NCN), Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), British Council (BC), German Leibniz Association and Israel Science Foundation (ISF).

Memberships:

  • International Society for Silicon in Agriculture.
  • American Society of Plant Biologists.

Current: 

  • “Genetic Valorization of Autochthonous Grapevine Varieties in Serbia (GEVIN21)”; funded by the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Resources; total budget: 115,000 EUR; duration 2020-2021.

Past:

  • “Plant Adaptations to Mineral Stress on Marginal Agricultural Soils (ON-173028)”; funded by Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development; total budget: about 90,000 EUR yearly; duration 2011-2019.
  • “Mechanisms of Silicon-mediated Plant Adaptations to Abitotic Stress”, exchange project between Serbia and China; co-funded by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development; duration 2012-2013.
  • “Rhizosphere Interactions and Functional Adaptive Mechanisms During Spontaneous Re-vegetation of Mining-waste Degraded Soil (153002)”; funded by the Serbian Ministry of Science; duration (2008-2010).
  1. Pavlovic J., Kostic L., Bosnic P., Kirkby E.A., Nikolic M. 2021. Interactions of Silicon with essential and beneficial elements in plants. Frontiers in Plant Science 12: 697592. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.697592
  2. Bosnic P., Bosnic D., Jasnic J., Nikolic M. 2018. Silicon mediates sodium transport and partitioning in maize under moderate salt stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany 155: 681-687.
  3. Kostic L., Nikolic N., Bosnic D., Samardzic J., Nikolic M. 2017. Silicon increases phosphorus (P) uptake by wheat under low P acid soil conditions. Plant and Soil 419: 447-455.
  4. Pavlovic J., Samardzic J., Kostic L., Laursen K.H., Natic M., Timotijevic G., Schjoerring J.K., Nikolic M. 2016. Silicon enhances leaf remobilization of iron in cucumber under limited iron conditions. Annals of Botany 118: 271-280.
  5. Nikolic M., Nikolic N., Kostic L., Pavlovic J., Bosnic P., Stevic N., Savic J., Hristov N. 2016. The assessment of soil availability and wheat grain status of zinc and iron in Serbia: Implications for human nutrition. Science of the Total Environment 553: 141-148.
  6. Liang Y., Nikolic M., Bélanger R., Gong H., Song A. 2015. Silicon in Agriculture: From Theory to Practice. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN: 9789401799775.
  7. Pavlovic J., Samardzic J., Maksimović V., Timotijevic G., Stevic N., Laursen K.H., Hansen T.H., Husted S., Schjoerring J.K., Liang Y., Nikolic M. 2013. Silicon alleviates iron deficiency in cucumber by promoting mobilization of iron in the root apoplast. New Phytologist 198: 1096-1107.
  8. Nikolic M., Cesco S., Monte R., Tomasi N., Gottardi S., Zamboni A., Pinton R., Varanini Z. 2012. Nitrate transport in cucumber leaves is an inducible process involving an increase in plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity and abundance. BMC Plant Biology 12: 66.
  9. Nikolic M., Nikolic N., Liang Y., Kirkby E.A., Römheld V. 2007. Germanium-68 as an adequate tracer for silicon transport in plants. Characterization of silicon uptake in different crop species. Plant Physiology 143: 495-503.
  10. Nikolic M., Römheld V. 2003. Nitrate does not result in iron inactivation in the apoplast of sunflower leaves. Plant Physiology 132: 1303-1314.