Altai State University and Komarov Botanical Institute RAS create a unique database of flora biodiversity

30 December 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
Altai State University will create a unique database at the intersection of genetic research and digital technologies by 2023.

Scientists from Altai State University started work in this direction this year within the framework of a joint project with Komarov Botanical Institute RAS under the Federal Research Programme for Genetic Technologies Development for 2019–2027.

The name of the head project: “Herbarium funds of biological diversity of plants and fungi of the Collection Fund of Komarov Botanical Institute RAS: Modernization, Development, and Networking as the Basis for Fundamental Research and Improvement of Genetic Technologies.”

“It is important that the Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is our strategic partner and a member of the consortium for the Priority 2030 program. Already in 2021, according to the strategic project of the academic leadership program, more than 2 million of co-financing was attracted for the work and equipment was purchased to create the declared database,” says Director of the South Siberian Botanical Garden of Altai State University, Professor Alexander Shmakov. “Of course, this is not counting the funds attracted by the team under economic contracts and grants which exceed these volumes by 10 times. This year can be called a record for us - the team achieved the highest indicators, with one of them being 12 articles published by the team in Q1 Web of Science and Scopus without additional financial support (unique) in 2021."

Discussion of scientific directions on the implemented tasks of the project, among other things, took place in full-time format at the largest II International Scientific Conference "Kamelin Readings" (September 27-29, 2021). The choice of AltSU as the site and operator of the event for such a responsible mission was for a good reason. Cooperation with BIN RAS has a very long history. The conference was dedicated to the memory of the outstanding Russian botanist, President of the Russian Botanical Society, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Rudolf Kamelin, who devoted a lot of time and effort to work at Altai State University and Altai.

“The planned creation of a database of genomes of economic securities, rare and endemic plants, supported by a digital image of the herbarium leaf and information about the places of collection is unique for the following reasons. Firstly, the basis for its creation was laid by two world trends in genomics and digitalization of biological data. Secondly, the South Siberian Botanical Garden, according to the country's leading scientists (, has secured the status of a center of knowledge on flow cytometry of plants,” said Mikhail Skaptsov, researcher at SSBG AltSU. “And, of course, Altai State University is one of eight in the global biodiversity information system (GBIF). On the basis of the SSBG bioengineering laboratory, many innovative technologies have been tested, including those that have confirmed their commercial value. The technology of analysis of species-specific DNA markers of promising plants in various plant raw materials, the technology of molecular genetic analysis of petaloid sterility in the cytoplasm of cells, plant varieties, the technology of selection crossing and for candidates for a resistant variety with the necessary tools, etc."

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