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BBSRC SWBio DTP Studentship: Activation of the plant cell cycle by sugars; pathways involved in stimulation of CYCD expression by carbohydrates

Cardiff School of Biosciences

About the Project

Plant growth on land, including the production of our food and non food crops, is ultimately the result of cell production and cell growth. These processes are energy demanding. The energy required for this is provided by the oxidation of sugars during respiration, and hence it is quite important that critical processes such as cell division are not started before sufficient sugars are available to execute the process effectively. This control is achieved by linking the levels and/ or activity of cell cycle regulators to the sugar levels. We uncovered that a regulator of cell cycle entry, CYCD2;1 is under control of sugars. If we understand the mechanism behind this, we might be able to improve the response of the cell cycle machinery to the sugars produced during photosynthesis, potentially stimulating plant growth. You will perform a genetic screen in Arabidopsis thaliana, a genetic model system, to identify candidate genes and pathways implicated in the stimulation of CYCD2;1 expression by sugars, The mutations will be identified by next generation sequencing of the entire genome. You will test the effect of these candidate regulators on cell cycle progression and plant growth under different growth conditions. This project will provide you with expertise in genome sequencing by next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, mutant screens, confocal imaging and molecular biology.

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

In addition, due to the strong mathematical component of the taught course in the first year and the quantitative emphasis in our projects, a minimum of a grade B in A-level Maths or an equivalent qualification or experience is required.

Applicants must ensure they highlight their Maths background within their application and to upload any supporting evidence.

Funding Notes

A fully-funded four year SWBio DTP studentship will cover:
• a stipend* (at the standard UKRI rate; £15,285 per annum for 2020-2021)
• research and training costs
• tuition fees (at the standard UKRI rate)
• additional funds to support fieldwork, conferences and a 3-month placement


This studentship has a start date of October 2021. In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the application system, click the 'Visit Institution' button on this advert) 
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2021). This will take you to the application portal. 
In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 
• Supporting statement 
• CV 
• Qualification certificates 
• Proof of English language (if applicable)
• In the research proposal section of the application, please specify the project title and supervisors of the project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, select “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” and specify advertised funding from BBSRC SWBio DTP. If you are applying for more than one Cardiff University project, please note this in the research proposal section as the form only allows you to enter one title.

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