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Creation of A 3D Cell Atlas of the Germinating Barley Grain Using Mass Spectrometry and Micro-CT Imaging

   Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre

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  Prof Neil Bricklebank, Dr Catherine Duckett, Dr Mathew Lewsey, Dr Lim Chee Liew  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Germination is the pivotal moment in the growth and development of a plant and no other developmental stage can proceed if it is not completed successfully. Germination is a complex dynamic developmental process that occurs when the seed is exposed to the correct environmental stimuli, including availability of nutrients and temperature. However, typically 10 - 25% of seeds do not germinate correctly leading to reduced crop yield. This represents a significant drain on finite resources at a time when we need to increase global agricultural production in response to the twin challenges of population growth and climate change. Greater understanding of the factors that control the germination process could lead to increased crop yields and contribute to improvements in the sustainability of agriculture.

The project aims to combine molecular biology approaches that have been developed at La Trobe to study the signalling pathways that influence the growth and development of plants with the advanced analytical imaging techniques available at SHU, including laser-ablation ICP Mass Spectrometry and X-ray micro computed tomography (m-CT), with the overall aim of creating three dimensional models of germinating barley seeds. The project is a novel combination of molecular biology and analytical science and will provide new insights into the germination process and enhance our understanding of how we could control the germination of seeds ultimately leading to increased yields of essential crops.

Candidate Requirements

Applicants should have a 2.i honours degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or related discipline and be interested in developing knowledge and expertise in laser-ablation ICP mass spectrometry and related analytical techniques, and in molecular biology and transcriptomics.

Although the project will be based primarily at Sheffield Hallam the student will also complete a period of research at La Trobe in Australia. 


Information on entry requirements can be found here

How to apply

Please send your application form and supporting documents to [Email Address Removed] by the closing date of 31st October.

Find the application form here

For further information on how to apply please click here

We strongly recommend you contact the lead academic, Professor Neil Bricklebank, [Email Address Removed], to discuss your application.

Start date for studentship: February 2023

Interviews are scheduled for: TBC

Your application should be submitted by 31st October 2022. Late applications will not be accepted.

Funding Notes

This is a competition-funded project. We are inviting applications to a number of different projects and are offering up to 3 scholarships which will be awarded to the strongest applicants overall. Further information on the scholarships, including funding and eligibility, is available on our website.
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