Marko S. Sabovljevic (1974), is a biologist dealing with Bryophyte Biology and leading a group of researchers in University of Belgrade (Serbia). He received his PhD at the University of Bonn (Germany), and has over 350 references including peer-reviewed papers (184), conference communications (151), university text books (5), and book chapters (11). He is Associate Professor at Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Serbia. The main focus of his research includes bryophytes and various aspects of their fundamental and applied features.
Although the second biggest group of terrestrial plants, bryophytes remained under-studied as well as neglected in biotechnology. They comprise very heterogeneous morphology, anatomy, physiology, ecology, chemical constituents, environmental stress reaction types, biochemical pathways and mechanisms and a lot can be learnt from them. Here, we present the insights into many of these features of case studies bryophytes as well as potentials of these plants in future biotechnological applications like remedies, medicines, ecosystem engineering, crop improvement or even food. The main problem in dealing with bryophytes is achievement of clean material in a significant amount. Although they are present almost in all Earth ecosystems (except seas), they are small in biomass and often intermingled with other organisms. This problem can be overcome by in vitro culturing, but it is not easy to establish and maintain the axenic culture of bryophytes having in mind their one cell layer thallus and that they represent the whole habitat for many small groups of organisms. Once, these problems overcome, the optimization of growth factors and enough biomass achievement present the challenge. The production of targeted natural compound can be managed by growth condition or by genetic tools, but the establishment of monoculture in open wide is not a way due to small competitive capacity of bryophytes and its rapid interaction with other organisms. Besides, biotechnological processes applied on bryophytes can also lead to good and valid ex situ conservation of these tiny and nice organisms. The Belgrade Biology Research group has an immense collection of 260 bryophytes species (including hornworts, leafy and thallose liverworts, acrocarpous and pleurocarpous mosses and peat mosses) from all over the World. It is the world biggest live collection of bryophytes, many of which are used in various biological and biotechnlogical research and many examples from the own and new research will be presented.