Evolution and Genomics of a Hawaiian Plant Gall Radiation

   School of Biological Sciences

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  Dr D Percy, Dr M Chapman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Natural History Museum is offering one joint PhD studentship with the University of Southampton, starting on 1 November 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates (first degree results at least 2:1) and the studentship is only open to those who qualify for ‘Home’ tuition fees (UK/EU residence).

Deadline for applications: 19 September 2014. See below for project details and application instructions.

Studentship details:

(i) the ecological and developmental characterization of gall biology within the common garden. This will require field-work in Hawaii.

(ii) Genomic approaches to identify the genes, regulatory networks, and expression patterns involved in shifts to different gall phenotypes among closely related insect species. The project will use whole genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the plant and insect genomes (guided by reference genomes of Eucalyptus and Diaphorina/Trioza), together with leaf (infected and uninfected) and nymph transcriptomics to identify candidate genes associated with the perturbation of plant tissue during gall formation. Bioinformatics will include construction of gene coexpression networks to predict plant and insect gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and gene network modules (GNMs) using galled and ungalled leaves. Our approach will draw on recent developmental work on leaf shape using the generation of self-organizing maps (SOMs) and gene co-expression network analysis to describe GNM rewiring between evolutionary-developmental states.

Full details can be found here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources-rx/files/carine_chapman-project-132564.pdf

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 About the Project