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Epigenetic control of transcription termination in plant development

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Papamichos-Chronakis
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project will investigate the mechanism and function of epigenetic regulation of transcriptional termination in eukaryotes (from budding yeast to plants). Correct transcriptional termination is essential for proper gene expression, development and genomic stability. Termination defects are strongly associated with transcriptional dysregulation. Evidence suggests a critical, yet largely uncharacterised role for chromatin regulation in control of transcriptional termination.

Employing a combination of unbiased Systems biology and molecular approaches in the model system organism S.cerevisiae, this project will uncover the physical and functional crosstalk between chromatin and the termination machinery and elucidate the molecular underpinnings of this novel transcriptional regulatory pathway. By using a well-defined developmental transition in plants, we will investigate the biological significance of transcriptional termination in the transcriptional regulation of master developmental regulators with defined agricultural interest.

The project is a tight collaboration between experts in yeast chromatin biology and genetics (MPC), plant genome regulation and developmental biology (MDL), and computational epigenomics (DR). Our aim is to expose the student to a diverse but highly complementary set of skills and expertise from the different labs participating in the project. The prospective student will use state-of-the-art genomic, genetic and biochemical techniques established in the Papamichos-Chronakis lab, gain experience in biocomputational analysis in the Rico lab and illuminate the biological significance of chromatin regulation by performing functional analysis in Arabidopsis in the De-Lucas lab. This provides a unique opportunity to the student to integrate unbiased Systems Biology approaches with mechanistic molecular biology assays in order to explore uncharted, exciting research areas.

For further information see the website:

To apply

Please complete the online application form and attach a full CV and covering letter. Informal enquiries may be made to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 for 2018-19). The PhD will start in October 2019. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.


Lafon A, Taranum S, Pietrocola F, Dingli F, Damarys L, Brahma S, Bartholomew B, and Papamichos-Chronakis M. 2015. INO80 remodeler facilitates release of RNA Polymerase II from chromatin for ubiquitin proteasomal degradation. Molecular Cell 60: 784–796. PMID:26656161.

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