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PhD Studentship: To Divide or to Respond: The Balanced Matter of Finding the Right Partner to Coordinate Morphological Plasticity in Plants (MOUBAYIDIN_J19DTP)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 pa
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 9th October 2018
Closes: 26th November 2018

Location John Innes Centre, Norwich

Start date: 1/10/2019

Supervisor Laila Moubayidin

Project description

Coordination of organ development and physiology is fundamental for plant survival. Plant organ patterning and function depends on the control of cell division. Hence, regulators of the cell-cycle such as cyclin genes are often targets of regulation by key determinants of organ development and environmental cues. Here, we hypothesised that in plants, members of the P-type family of cyclin (CYCPs) preside over the coordination of organ development and physiology, via regulating development and biological functions in specific contexts. We will test whether, in Arabidopsis thaliana, CYCPs dynamically interact at a protein-protein level with key regulators of organ patterning in distinctive cellular and physiological contexts, activating and deactivating their functions. These CYCPs/key-regulator interactions hold the potential to regulate morphological adaptation and plasticity during physiological responses, including the response of plants to phosphate (P)-starvation. P availability is a major limiting factor for plant development and productivity, thus unlocking the molecular mechanism that underpins its tight regulation will allow strategic improvement of agronomic traits. For this purpose, carrying out the investigation of CYCPs’ roles during organ development and physiological response across plant species (using Marchantia polymorpha and Capsella rubella), will generate translational approaches aimed to improve the yield in crops, like oilseed rape. In conclusion, this project will investigate a pioneering hypothesis that a CYCP-centric module represents a dedicated general mechanism for coordination of organ patterning and physiology, an unprecedented role for cyclin genes that lies beyond the canonical regulation of the cell-cycle.

Person Specification UK 2:1 & English Language (6.5 overall, 6 in each section)

Funding notes For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (UKRI rate: £14,777 pa – 2018/9), 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. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.  

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 8th, 9th or 10th January 2019. 

The NRP DTP 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: 

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