The relationship between fish and bivalve molluscs is an excellent model system for studying survival and the risk of coexistence in a rapidly changing environment

The project dealt with various aspects of inter-population variability in the success rate of biological invasions and their impact on native species. Experimental and field studies in the areas of invasion and original occurrence were combined. Population genetic studies of both native and invasive species were also an important part of the project. The project was covered by the topic of the relationship between bitterling and host bivalve molluscs.

The most important discovery was the confirmation of the fundamental impact of inter-popular differences in the success of invasions, their impact, but also in the degree of vulnerability of native organisms. This finding may help to explain the known fact that some species may enter non-indigenous areas in the long term without any visible impact on native organisms. Suddenly, however, there is a dramatic change, after which this non-native species has significant negative impacts.

doc. RNDr. Martin Reichard, Ph.D.
Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Compared to the situation in Western Europe and the USA, Czech suburbs are not at risk of segregation

During 2014 – 2016, the team led by doc. Martin Ouředníček, the Head of the Research Team of the Urban and Regional Laboratory and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University, carried out the GACR project “Dynamics of social environment and spatial mobility in metropolitan regions of the Czech Republic”. The main objective of the project was to examine the dynamics of the social environment, which is influenced by various types of spatial mobility, such as migration or commuting.

The research focused on processes taking place in outer parts of post-socialist cities: residential suburbanization and transformation of housing estates. These processes differ significantly from developments in Western Europe and the United States, and the Czech Republic is quite unique in many areas.

doc. RNDr. Martin Ouředníček, Ph.D.
Faculty of Science of the Charles University

The HelD protein is important for correct gene expression

The project “Deciphering the Cellular Role of HelD, a Helicase-like Protein Associated with Bacterial RNA Polymerase” was a follow-up to the previous project, which focused on the study of several proteins that interact with bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) – an enzyme that is crucial for transcription of DNA into RNA. In this previous project, HelD was discovered as a new RNAP interaction partner, and given the central role of RNAP for gene expression that determines a cell’s ability to adapt to environmental changes or pathogens to survive in the host, it was very attractive to further study this protein and to obtain new information on functioning of the transcriptional apparatus.

Mgr. Libor Krásný, Ph.D.
Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences