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Exploring natural diversity in Rubisco activase isoforms to enhance the climate resilience of crops

Project Description

Rubisco activase is a key regulator of carbon assimilation and has been shown to limit photosynthesis when temperatures increase above the thermal optimum. Some plant species have adapted to live in climates with widely oscillating temperatures, suggesting a diversity of Rubisco activate isoforms exist in nature. This project aims to enhance our understanding of natural variation in Rubisco activase isoforms. Rubisco activase from a diversity of species and environments will be sequenced to determine polymorphisms that relate to ecological adaptation to different thermal environments. The most diverse Rubisco activase proteins will be characterised biochemically to test the hypothesis that specific polymorphisms are associated with thermal tolerance. The findings will provide novel information on ecological variation in Rubisco activase and identify new targets for improving crop resilience to climate change. The project will provide training in plant biochemistry and ecology, and the student will join the photosynthesis research team at Lancaster.

For further details please contact Dr Elizabete Carmo-Silva: . Website of the photosynthesis research team at Lancaster:

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or higher in appropriate subjects such as Biology, Ecology, or Plant Sciences.

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 2019/20 [tax free])) for UK/EU students for 3.5 years. Unfortunately funding is not available for International (non EU) students.

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