University of Belgrade

Institute for
Multidisciplinary Research

logo Plant




Department of Plant-Soil and Nano Systems(PN)


The mission of the department is to foster fundamental research in plant nutrition of natural and managed systems. The final goal is to increase nutrient use efficiency by manipulating plant-environment interactions and developing new sustainable fertilization strategies.


The vision of the department is to increase international recognisability in the global plant nutrition society. To achieve this, we need better integration of basic and applied research from the molecular level to the field/ecosystem scale.


The long-term department’s focus is to understand nutrient acquisition and utilization processes in plants under stressful environment, and metabolic functions of mineral elements in stress tolerance.

Currently, the main research interests are:
– dynamics of mineral elements in plant-environment systems,
– physiological role of mineral elements and plant ionom,
– rhizosphere processes and root biology,
– soil fertility and development of new fertilization strategies, and
– mineral nutrition of natural vegetation on degraded and low fertile soils.

The central topic of the research is the role of silicon in mineral acquisition and transport, and in overall stress signaling. The other ongoing research topics are available at

Service and extension

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.

Department of Plant -Soil and Nano Systems (PN)

Head: Dr Miroslav Nikolić


►1. Nikolic D.B., Nesic S.B., Kostic L., Nikolic M., Samardzic J. (2019) Silicon alleviates iron deficiency in barley by enhancing expression of Strategy II genes and metal redistribution. Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 416. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.0041

►2. Bosnic, P., Pavlicevic, M., Nikolic, N., Nikolic M. (2019) High monosilicic acid supply rapidly increases Na accumulation in maize roots by decreasing external Ca2+ activity. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 182: 210-216.


►1. 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.

►2. Yan G., Nikolic M., Ye M., Xiao Z., Liang Y. (2018) Silicon acquisition and accumulation in plant and its significance for agriculture. Journal of Integrative Agriculture 17: 2138-2150.

►3. Savic J., Stevic N., Maksimovic V., Samardzic J., Nikolic D.B., Nikolic M.(2018) Root malate efflux and expression of TaALMT1 in Serbian winter wheat cultivars differing in Al tolerance. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, doi: 10.4067/S0718-95162018005000402

►4. 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, doi 10.1002/ldr2921.

►5. Pontigo S., Ulloa M., Godoy K., Nikolic N., Nikolic M., de la Luz Mora M., Cartes P. (2018) Phosphorus efficiency modulates phenol metabolism in wheat genotypes.Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 18: 904-920.

►6. Ribera-Fonseca A., Rumpel C., de la Luz Mora M., Nikolic M., Cartes P.(2018) Sodium silicate and calcium silicate differentially affect silicon and aluminium uptake, antioxidant performance and phenolics metabolism of ryegrass in an acid Andisol. Crop and Pasture Science 69: 205-215.


►1. 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.


►1. Stevic N., Korac J., Pavlovic J., Nikolic M.(2016) Binding of transition metals to monosilicic acid in aqueous and xylem (Cucumis sativus L.) solutions: A low-T electron paramagnetic resonance study. Biometals 29: 945-951.

►2. 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.

►3. Nikolic N., Böcker R., Nikolic M.(2016) Long-term passive restoration following fluvial deposition of sulphidic copper tailings: nature filters out the solutions. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23: 13672-13680.

►4. 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.

►5. Deljanin I., Antanasijevic D., Bjelajaca A., Anicic, Urosevic M., Nikolic M., Peric-Grujic A., Ristic M.(2016) Chemometrics in biomonitoring: distribution and correlation of trace elements in tree leaves. Science of the Total Environment 545-546: 361-371.


►1. 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.

►2. Žižić M,, Dučić T., Grolimund D., Bajuk-Bogdanović D., Nikolic M., Stanić M., Križak S., Zakrzewska J.(2015) X-ray absorption near-edge structure micro-spectroscopy study of vanadium speciation in Phycomyces blakesleeanus mycelium. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 407: 7487-7496.

►3. Pontigo S., Ribera A., Gianfreda L., de la Luz Mora M., Nikolic M., Cartes P.(2015) Silicon in vascular plants: uptake, transport and its influence on mineral stress under acidic conditions. Planta 242: 23-37.


►1. 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(12): e114290. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114290.

►2. Dragisic Maksimovic J., Zivanovic B., Maksimovic V., Mojovic M., Nikolic M., Vucinic Z.(2014) Filter strip as a method of choice for apoplastic fluid extraction from maize roots. Plant Science 223: 49-58.

►3. Bityutskii N., Pavlovic J., Yakkonen K., Maksimovic V., Nikolic M.(2014) Contrasting effect of silicon on iron, zinc and manganese status and accumulation of metal-mobilizing compounds in micronutrient-deficient cucumber. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 74: 205-211.


►1. 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.

No. Project ID Project Title Financial Source
1.OI173028 Mineral Stress and Plant Adaptations to Marginal Agricultural SoilsMinistry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia
  • Tithane dioxide laboratory glass
  • Tithane dioxide HPLC
  • Tithane dioxide patch-clamp
  • Tithane dioxide HPLC
  • Tithane dioxide EPR
  • Tithane dioxide electrode puller
  • Tithane dioxide leaf
  • Tithane dioxide magnified leaf
  • Tithane dioxide spectrophotometer
  • Tithane dioxide spectrofluorimeter
  • Tithane dioxide HPLC