Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Department was founded in 1889 by the initiative of the prominent scientist Vladimir Ivanovich Palladin who set up Kharkov plant physiology school. Since 1964 the department has got a name Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. Since 1993 Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Department has headed by Dr V.V. Zhmurko.
An area of researches of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry department includes physiological and genetic relatedness of plant growth and development control, plant tissues and cell cultures morphogenesis in vitro and physiological and biochemical mechanisms of plant-microbes interactions, physiological and biochemical mechanisms of stress and environmental effects on plant growth and development as well as regularities of microorganism species structure formation in forestry soils. During 2008-2009 members of the department published 11 papers in scientific journals, 34 theses of reports (22 with the participation of students). The department participated in XVI Congress of Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB, Finland, 2008). For the last five years the patent for an invention has been acquired. In 2008 International Conference ‘Plant growth and Development Control: physiological, biochemical and genetic aspects’ has been held on the basis of the department (130 participants). Annually in autumn-winner period the department holds a meeting ‘Palladin’s Days’ within the framework of the Student Scientific Society and Scientific Seminar where both collaborators and invitee scientists from different research institutes of Kharkov and Ukraine, and students give their reports.
The department provides training Bachelors and Masters in field of Biology majoring in plant physiology and biochemistry, and microbiology and virology. Graduates of the Department work as scientific collaborators in research organizations and laboratories of biological, medical (clinical, biochemical and bacteriological), pharmaceutical, agricultural specializations as well as teachers of biological disciplines at Secondary and High Schools.
For the last eight years members of the department have defended four PhD theses (PhD in Biology by specialties ‘Plant Physiology’, ‘Botany’ and ‘Biochemistry’) and a doctoral thesis (V.V. Zhmurko, Doctor of Science degree in Biology by specialty ‘Plant Physiology’). At the department there is a post-graduate course. There are three post-graduate students and two applicants for PhD in Biology.
The department provides teaching of general courses for students of the School of Biology such as Plant Anatomy, Microbiology, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.
The Department provides special courses for Bachelors: Biochemistry of Plant and Microorganisms; Industrial Microbiology; Intracellular Signal Systems; Plant Ecophysiology; Plant Mineral Nutrition; Microbial Synthesis; Viral and Microbial Ecology; Metabolism of Microorganisms; Photosynthesis; Plant Hormones; Physiology of Flowering; Industrial Microbiology, Biology and Taxonomy of Bacteria Groups. Special practices: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Assays, Methods of Plant Cell and Tissue Cultures in vitro, Basic Microbiology Technique; analysis of hormones, enzymes, as well as lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins; a cultivation and identification of microorganisms, modern microbiology assays, methods of sanitary, medical and clinical microbiology, methods of water and soil microbiology as well as methods of plant cell and tissue cultures in vitro.
Special courses for Masters: Biological Nitrogen Fixation; Computer in Scientific Research; Antibiotics; Biological Principles of Microbial Gene Engineering; Plant Stuff Quality Control, Plant Secondary Substances; Applied Biochemistry of Plant and Microorganisms; Physiology of Transgenic Plants and Biosafety; Physiology of Plant Resistance; System of Plant Physiological Functions, Viral and Microbes Genetics; Plant Viruses. Two textbooks for High School recommended by Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine («Plant Anatomy», 2004, 2007; and «Plant Biochemistry», 2007), three textbooks for Secondary School recommended by Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and 9 manuals for High School have been published by the lecturers of the department for the last five years.