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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Featured PhD Programmes

China Scholarship Council - Regulating plant architecture and development through Receptor-like kinase S-acylation

Project Description

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, joint with the China Scholarship Council (CSC), is proud to be able to offer a scholarship programme for postgraduate research students. The scholarship covers all tuition fees and research fees and provides living expenses and one return flight ticket to successful candidates. There are up to 5 scholarships of 4 years duration available.

Project Description

S-acylation is an emerging lipid based post-translational modification affecting up to 40% of membrane proteins. We have found that S-acylation in plants is a dynamic process allowing for regulation of protein function.

We have demonstrated that Receptor-like kinases, the main means by which plants perceive extracellular stimuli such as pathogens, symbiotes, hormones and cell wall status, are regulated by S-acylation.

We currently study proteomic strategies for identifying dynamically S-acylated proteins, investigate the enzymology of S-acylation and determine the mechanisms by which S-acylation regulates protein function. We are particularly interested in examining how S-acylation controls Receptor-like kinases that regulate plant development with a view to manipulating S-acylation for agricultural gain. We therefore have a range of potential projects, ranging from proteomics and biochemistry to developmental physiology and evolution, which can be offered depending on the desires of the applicant.

Students in the lab will have the opportunity to learn analysis of S-acylation, protein biochemistry, molecular biology, plant transformation, plant physiology, proteomics, cell biology and enzymology.

Interested candidates are invited to contact Dr. Piers Hemsley () before application to discuss potential projects.

Funding Notes

In order to be eligible for these awards applicants must:

Be a Chinese national
Meet the requirements of the CSC – please see their website
Hold an unconditional offer to study for a PhD at the University of Dundee and meet our English language requirements
Have completed bachelors or masters degree before the agreed start of PhD study.


Suggested reading:
1. Hurst et al (2019) Scientific Reports 9(1):12818
2. Turnbull and Hemsley (2017) Curr Opin Plant Biol. 40:63-70.
3. Cowan et al (2018) Plant Physiol. 176(3):2052-2070.

How good is research at University of Dundee in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 73.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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