PhD Studentship: How Does The Plant Regulate Receptor Signaling To Balance Immune Response and Growth? (MENKE_S18DTPR)

University of East Anglia - Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Dr Frank Menke

Project description:

Plants sense microbial pathogens through the detection of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMP) and this is mediated by cell surface localized pattern recognition receptors (PRR). Perception of PAMPs triggers a signaling network that includes activation of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), activation of defense gene expression and ultimately leads to PAMP triggered immunity (PTI). Perception of PAMPs also leads to growth inhibition, by mostly unknown signaling events. Since the regulation of growth also involves receptor-mediated perception of plant peptides there is potential for cross regulation. Some connections have already been identified that suggest some of the signaling components are shared between PRR signaling and plant peptide signaling, such as co-receptor BAK1 (1). Furthermore, perception of plant peptides has recently also been linked to negative regulation of defense response and suppresses resistance to microbial pathogens (2,3). The current project investigates the links between PRR signaling and plant peptide signaling controlling growth. In the current project the receptor based signalling event will be studied with advanced proteomics approaches and cell biology (using confocal microscopy). The project will also involve molecular biology and protein biochemistry allowing for a broad training of the candidate. Further information can be found at or by contacting

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Please note, this project is directly funded and will be shortlisted and interviewed separately to the main Norwich Research Park DTP Programme.

Person specification: Standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1 or equivalent  

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website:

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South East England