Department of Plant-Soil and Nano Systems

Department of Plant-Soil and Nano Systems

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The mission of PSNS Department is to foster fundamental and applied multidisciplinary research in the cross-cutting areas of plant-soil-environment interactions with nanotechnologies in highly productive and sustainable systems of agricultural production and forestry, but also in natural ecosystems.


Our vision is to increase international recognition in the global and European research area. To achieve this, a synergy between fundamental and applied research, also from molecules to agro/ecosystems, is needed.


PSNS Department consists of two laboratories:

Research focus:

  • dynamics of mineral elements in the plant-environment system,
  • physiological role of mineral elements and plant ionomics,
  • silicon in plant biology and agriculture
  • rhizosphere processes and root biology,
  • soil fertility, development of new fertilizers and sustainable fertilization strategies, and
  • mineral nutrition of spontaneous vegetation of disturbed (agro) ecosystems, especially post-mining and marginal agricultural soils,
  • production and characterization of nano-fertilizers
  • biosensors and sensors in agriculture,
  • electronic, optical and e-transport properties of hetero and nanophase systems,
  • influence of nanoparticles on plants, soil and environment.

Head of department: Dr Radomir Žikić

  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, 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. Nikolic N., Kostic L., Nikolic M. 2018. To dam, or not do dam? Abolishment of further flooding impedes the natural revegetation processes after long-term fluvial deposition of copper tailings. Land Degradation and Development 29: 1915-1924.
  4. 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.
  5. Pavlovic J., Samardzic J., Masimović 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.
  6. Djurišić I., Dražić M.S., Tomović Ž., Spasenović M., Šljivančanin Ž., Jovanović V.P., Zikic, R. 2020. DNA sequencing with single-stranded DNA rectification in a nanogap gated by N-terminated carbon nanotube electrodes. ACS Applied Nano Materials, doi: 10.1021/acsanm.0c00385.
  7. Milosavljević R., Cerovski V.Z., Canon F., Nahon L., Giuliani A. 2013. Nanosolvation‐induced stabilization of a protonated peptide dimer isolated in the gas phase. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.201301667.
  8. Boguslawski M., Lučić N.M., Diebel F., Timotijević V., Denz C., Jović Savić D.M. 2016. Light localization in optically induced deterministic aperiodic Fibonacci lattices. Optica, doi: 10.1364/OPTICA.3.000711.
  9. Zannotti A., Vasiljević M., Timotijević D.V., Jović Savić D.M., Denz, C. 2018. Visualizing the energy flow of tailored light. Advanced Optical Materials, doi: 10.1002/adom.201701355.
  10. Milosavljević R., Cerovski V.Z., Canon F., Ranković M.Lj., Škoro N.,Nahon L., Giuliani A. 2013. Energy-dependent UV photodissociation of gas-phase adenosine monophosphate nucleotide ions: The role of a single solvent molecule. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, doi: 10.1021/jz500696b.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Kostic L., Nikolic N., Samardzic J., Milisavljevic M., Maksimovic V., Cakmak D., Manojlovic D., Nikolic M. 2015. Liming of anthropogenically acidified soil promotes phosphorus acquisition in the rhizosphere of wheat. Biology and Fertility of Soils 51: 289-298.
  14. Nikolic N., Böcker R., Kostic-Kravljanac L., Nikolic M. 2014. Assembly processes under severe abiotic filtering: adaptation mechanisms of weed vegetation to the gradient of soil constraints. PLOS One 9: e114290.
  15. Pavlovic J., Samardzic J., Masimović 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.
  16. Nikolic N., Nikolic M. 2012. Gradient analysis reveals a copper paradox on floodplain soils under long-term pollution by mining waste. Science of the Total Environment 425: 146-154.
  17. Nikolic N., Kostic L., Djordjevic A., Nikolic M. 2011. Phosphorus deficiency is the major limiting factor for wheat on alluvium polluted by the copper mine pyrite tailings: a black box approach. Plant and Soil 339: 485-498.
  18. 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.
  19. Diebel F., BokićB.M., Timotijević V., JovićSavićD.M., Denz C. 2015. Soliton formation by decelerating interacting Airy beams. Optics Express, doi: 10.1364/OE.23.024351.
  20. Djurišić I., Dražić M.S., TomovićA.Ž., Spasenović M., Šljivančanin Ž., Jovanović V.P., Zikic, R. 2021. Field effect and local gating in nitrogen-terminated nanopores(NtNP) and nanogaps (NtNG) in graphene. ChemPhysChem, doi: 10.1002/cphc.202000771.
  21. Dražić M.S., Cerovski V., Zikic R. 2016. Theory of time-dependent nonequilibrium transport through a single molecule in a nonorthogonal basis set. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, doi: 10.1002/qua.25318.
  22. Tomović Ž., Jovanović V.P., Đurišić I., CerovskiV.Z., Nastasijević B., Veličković S.R., Radulović K., Žikić R. 2015. Fast photoluminescence quenching in thin films of 4,4′-bis(2,2-diphenylvinyl)-1,1′-biphenyl exposed to air. Journal of Luminescence, doi: 10.1016/j.jlumin.2015.06.036.
  23. Djurišić I., Dražić M.S., Tomović Ž., Jovanović V.P., Zikic R. 2021. Electrostatically driven energy shift of molecular orbitals of benzene and nicotine in carbon nanotube gaps. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, doi: 10.1007/s11051-021-05139-y.
  24. Tomović Z., Markešević N., Scarpellini M., Bovio S., Lucenti E., Milani P., Zikic R., Jovanović V.P., SrdanovV.I.2014. Stabilization of N,N′-bis(3-methylphenyl)-N,N′-bis(phenyl)benzidine thin film morphology with UV light. Thin Solid Films,doi: 10.1016/j.tsf.2014.03.081.
  25. Tomović Ž., SavićJ.J., BakićN.L., Bortel G., Faigel G., Zikic R., Jovanović V.P. 2017. Oxidized pentacene micro-rods obtained by thermal annealing of pentacene thin films in air. Vacuum, doi: 10.1016/j.vacuum.2017.07.012.
  26. Ivetić V., Devetaković J., Nonić M., Stanković D., Šijačić-Nikolić M. 2016. Genetic diversity and forest reproductive material - from seed source selection to planting. iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, doi: 10.3832/ifor1577-009.
  27. Jokanović D., Vilotić D., Mitrović S., Miljković D., Rebić M., Stanković D., Nikolić V. 2015. Correlations between the anatomical traits of Gymnocladus canadensis Lam. in heartwood and sapwood of early- and latewood zones of growth rings. Archives of Biological Sciences, doi: 10.2298/ABS150424118J.
  28. Cakmak D., Perovic V., Kresovic M., Jaramaz D., Mrvic V., Belanovic Simic S., Saljnikov E., Trivan G. 2018. Spatial distribution of soil pollutants in urban green areas (a case study in Belgrade). Journal of Geochemical Exploration, doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.02.001.
  29. Ristić R., Kostadinov S., Abolmasov B., Dragićević S., Trivan G., Radić B., Trifunović M., Radosavljević Z. 2012. Torrential floods and town and country planning in Serbia. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, doi: 10.5194/nhess-12-23-2012.
  • EU FP7 NMP project “NanoTools for Ultra-Fast DNA Sequencing”, GA214840
  • Switzerland SCOPES: Joint Research Projects, "Growth, Characterization and Modelling of Magnetic Nanostructures at Surfaces"
  • HPC-Europa3 Transnational Access programme “Protein sequencing in graphene and nanoferronics nanogaps”
  • Bilateralni projekat Srbija - Crna Gora (2019-2021) "Transportne i termodinaminamičke osobine novih materijala: supeprovodnik/feromagnet heterostruktura".

The department is equipped with ICP-OES and CHNS analyzer that allow the high performance and advanced elemental analysis of soil, plant tissue, fertilizers and irrigation water samples. We can also help farmers and their consultants in advanced fertilization strategies for various crop production systems. Also, we are equipped with Raman and optical spectroscopy, AFM material surface characterization, vacuum deposition of thin coatings, modeling and characterization of electronic transport in liquid and gaseous phase.