Marcin Smiglak

Marcin Smiglak

Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, Poland

Title: Helping Plants to Become Healthier


Assoc. Prof. Marcin Smiglak obtained his MSc, Eng in Technology of Organic Chemistry at Poznan University of Technology in 2003 (supervisor Prof. Juliusz Pernak). Following his MSc, Dr Smiglak obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA (2007) under supervision of Prof. Robin D. Rogers. In the years 2008-2010 Dr Smiglak held a position of Post-doctoral Research Associate in Prof. Robin D. Rogers research group at Center for Green Manufacturing and Alabama Institute of Manufacturing Excellence, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA. In 2010 he took a position of Head of Production and Technology R&D in IoLiTec Ionic Liquid Technologies GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany and worked there until mid 2012. Since then he holds a position of Head of Materials Synthesis Group at Poznan Science and Technology Park, Poznan, Poland and leads research group oriented toward research on applications of ionic liquids.


Modern agriculture at present times is facing many challenges. On one hand, society requires crops and plant-related products free of contaminations from plant protection products (PPP) residues, on the other hand crop quantity and quality should be sufficient to support continuously increasing demand for food. Unfortunately most often crop yields are reduced by pathogens, insects, other pests or weather conditions, so that forces modern agriculture to focus on finding new and more sophisticated methods of plant protection, even not chemical-based. Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a phenomenon involving stimulation of natural plant immune system which acts to increase resistance against pathogens, especially viruses (which cannot be controlled via classical plant protection agents). SAR could be induced by biological (pathogens) or chemical agents. One of them is BTH (Benzo[1,2,3]thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester) discovered in the last decade of 20th century. Unfortunately usage of this compound was very limited due to its very low solubility in water (~7mg/L). It was interesting to us to design new ionic derivatives of BTH that could be combined with other functional counterions leading to formation of highly water soluble bifunctional salt. As a result we have prepared new group of bifunctional salts (including ionic liquids) with SAR inducer ion combined with biocidal agent or water solubility modifier. On the other hand, research on BTH-based compounds shows, that not only salts exhibit very high potential in SAR induction. Neutral synthesized carboxylic acid derivatives such as amides or esters have also very high biological potential. Some of the obtained compounds exhibit very high biological activity (up to >99 % of infection inhibition) at tested doses (even as low as 20 mg/L). In our opinion such new compounds could be in future successfully used as a new plant protection products. This work was supported by the National Science Centre (Poland), project OPUS (No. UMO-2015/17/B/NZ9/01676) - “Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) of plants against viruses: new elicitors and biological and molecular characterization of their mechanism of action”