About the Project
Understanding how ruminants convert their food into energy, and subsequently milk and muscle protein, is therefore of obvious importance. If we can improve the efficiency of food digestion by ruminants, we may be able to produce more food while using fewer resources, a key aim of improving global food security.
The cow rumen is adapted for the breakdown of plant material into energy and nutrients, a task largely performed by enzymes encoded by the rumen microbiome. The rumen contains a microbial ecosystem in which a dense and complex mixture of bacteria, archaea, protozoa and fungi convert carbohydrates to short-chain, volatile fatty acids (VFAs).
We have discovered thousands of novel Bacterial and Archaeal species in the cattle rumen, and we are able to predict their metabolic potential using computational techniques. However, full understanding of their role and behaviour in the rumen microbial ecosystem will require bringing these novel species into culture, and studying them in vitro and in vivo.
In this PhD, you will (i) bring into culture important rumen microbial species, focusing on gaps in the current catalogue (there are an approximately 2,300 missing species; (ii) study these novel microbes in the lab in terms of their metabolic potential, and growth and behaviour on various substrates; (iii) build beneficial communities of microbes that mimic beneficial behaviour and study these communities using multi-omics techniques; (iv) test some of these communities in an animal trial to study their effect on important ruminant phenotypes.
Funding information and application procedures:
This 4 year PhD project is part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) http://www.eastscotbiodtp.ac.uk/how-apply-0 .
EASTBIO Application and Reference Forms can be downloaded via http://www.eastscotbiodtp.ac.uk/how-apply-0
Please send your completed EASTBIO Application Form along with a copy of your academic transcripts to RDSVS.PGR.Admin@ed.ac.uk
You should also ensure that two references have been send to RDSVS.PGR.Admin@ed.ac.uk by the deadline using the EASTBIO Reference Form.
Please refer to UKRI (View Website ing-people-and-skills/find-studentships-and-doctoral-training/get-a-studentship-to-fund-your-doctorate/) and Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions for full eligibility criteria (View Website).
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