Institute of Phytopathology and Biodiversity


Historical Overview

The scientific direction of Phytopathology and Biodiversity of the BRSU Scientific Center is a legal successor of the Scientific-Research Institutes of Phytopathology and Biodiversity.

The Institute of Phytopatholgy of Georgia (former Institute of Plant Immunity) was founded on 22 May, 1991 on the basis of the Georgian Branch of All-Union Research Institute of Phytopathology which had been functioning in Kobuleti since 1959. 

In 1964 the laboratories of phytopathology, biological control, selection and genetics of microorganisms, herbicides, toxicology and fungicides were established. In 1970 the field station was founded in the village of Tsagveri, Borjomi region. 

During Soviet times, the work of the laboratories was focused on research of highly virulent and the most damaging fungal pathogens of strategic importance. The branch of All-Union Research Institute of Phytopathology was the first scientific institution in Georgia to study genetic structure of crop pathogen populations, identify and check the sources of resistance towards highly virulent races as well as screening fungicides and pesticides. 

The environmental conditions of Kobuleti are unique for field trials because of the natural isolation from major producing areas of test crops and the especially favorable warm humid growing conditions for fungal pathogens.

After the break-up of the USSR the institute was handed over to Georgia and according to the government order was granted the status of a Research Institute and the institute has received a new name: Institute of Phythopathology of Georgia-IPG.

From 2006 the Institute of Phytopathology was subjected to the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. However, on the basis of the Decision №185 of 9 July, 2010 of the Georgian Government, from January 2011 the IPG was affiliated to the ShotaRustaveli State University. 

In 2010, on the basis of the signed Memorandums of Collaboration, the Institute began its close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia (link to the ministry’s and the National Service of Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia. (link to the website of the national

In 2002 the Institute started its cooperation with the UK-based Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA). Within the frames of this collaboration, IPG was provided with the modern equipment for the laboratory of molecular biology, the infrastructure was improved, and the personnel attended trainings. This collaboration is still successfully doing on at present.
IPG has successfully been collaborating with CIMMYT and ICARDA over the years. The main areas of study are the monitoring of cereal rusts and the testing of introduced breeding and selective materials. 

The Scientific-Research Institute of Biodiversity was founded on the basis of the research institute of the Batumi Botanical Garden. Batumi Botanical Garden, one of the biggest riches of the country and the “Open Air Museum” of the exotic and endemic flora, was founded in 1912.

In 1930s 9 floristic departments were created in the Garden: departments of Eastern Asia, North America, South America, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the Himalayas, The Mediterranean and Transcaucasia Humid Subtropics. In 1992 the Fruit and Berry department was founded over the area of 2 ha in the Garden.

From 1934 the activities of the Botanical Garden were supervised by the USSR academy of Sciences whereas from 1938 – the Georgian Academy of Sciences. 

In 2006 the Batumi Botanical Garden was separated from the Georgian National Academy of Sciences and was transferred under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia while in 2007 it was officially acknowledged as the Legal Entity of Public Law.

By the government Decision №176 of 29 September, 2009 the LEPL Batumi Botanical Garden was joined to the LEPL – ShotaRustaveli State University via reorganization on 1 January, 2010, as the independent Research Institute of Biodiversity. 

From 2011 the Research Institute of Phytopathology and the Research Institute of Biodiversity already reorganized as a Department, were joined to the scientific directions of Phytopathology and Biodiversity of the RSU Scientific Center (see website 

Throughout its centenary existence Batumi Botanical Garden played a significant role in the revival of the country’s agriculture (including citrus industry) and landscape gardening as well as in the protection and reservation of plant biodiversity. 

With the long and interesting history, the Batumi Botanical Garden and the Research Institute of Phytopathology are continuing their activities within the structure of Rustaveli State University thus covering new pages of history with usual diligence, care, goals and objectives.
The Scientific Center established on 18 February, 2011 at RSU comprises the following organizations: NikoBerdzenishvili, Kartvelology, Agrarian Technologies, Membrane Technologies, Phythopathology and Biodiversity Research Institutes.