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China Scholarship Council: The molecular cell biology of Plant-Phytophthora interactions

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.

Phytophthora species are amongst the most devastating causes of disease on dicot plants. Chief amongst them is P. infestans, cause of late blight, the number one disease globally on potato and tomato. P. infestans is able to secrete proteins called effectors which are delivered inside living plant cells to manipulate various processes, including host immunity. Our group study the secretion, post-translational processing and delivery of so-called RXLR effectors. RXLR effectors may target host proteins to alter, promote or prevent their functions. This project can be tailored to fit the interests of the student applicant, and can focus on effector secretion, processing, delivery or function.

Recent Publications:
• He Q, McLellan H, Hughes R, Boevink P, Armstrong M, Lu Y, Banfield M, Tian Z, Birch PRJ (2019) Phytophthora infestans RXLR effector SFI3 targets potato UBK to suppress early PAMP-triggered immune responses. New Phytologist 222:438-454; doi: 10.1111/nph.15635.
• He Q, Naqvi S, McLellan H, Boevink P, Champouret N, Hein I, Birch PRJ (2018) A Phytophthora infestans RXLR effector associates with host Susceptibility factor NRL1 to degrade the positive immune regulator SWAP70. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 115:E7834-E7843 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1808585115.
• Wang S, Boevink P, Welsh L, Zhang R, Whisson S, Birch PRJ (2017). Delivery of Cytoplasmic and Apoplastic Effectors from Phytophthora infestans Haustoria by Distinct Secretion Pathways. New Phytologist 216:205-215.

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.

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