Guard cells undergo massive and repeated changed in pressure as they open and close the micropores (stomata) upon which plants depend to balance lost of water against gain of CO2 for photosynthesis. The walls of these cells must have very special mechanical properties and in previous work we identified some of the molecular components of the wall involved (e.g. Current Biology (2022) 32, 3170-3179). Current Biology (2017) 27, 2974-2983). In this project you will take the next step forward to understand the nanoscale how these wall components act to control the mechanical properties of the Arabidopsis guard cell. Combining Atomic Force Microscopy with molecular genetic and enzymatic techniques to alter the wall, you will test the mechanistic link between wall structure and guard cell function.
You wil have a background in molecular and cell biology, an interest in biomechanics, and the ability to work across disciplines. You will be part of a large and vibrant research grouping based in Bioscience (4th in REF2021) and Physics (1st in REF2021), providing a supportive and stimulating environment for your PhD.
The BBSRC WR DTP and the University of Sheffield are committed to recruiting future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and we have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.
Note: Relocation costs for international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) will be the responsibility of the student
Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.
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Programme: PhD in Mechanistic Biology (4 years)
Start Date: 1st October 2023
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed mid February 2023