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Identification of genetic effectors that control stem strength in arable crops using a comparative network approach

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Selection of plants for increases in grain size and number is essential to feed the growing world population. These plants will also require increases in stem strength to support the increased weight of the inflorescence, particularly in wet and windy conditions. Such changes are likely to become increasingly important as we enter a period of climate uncertainty. On this project, the student will use a combination of classical genetics and genomic technologies, combined with informatics approaches to identify genes that coordinate how plant stems are organised through growth and development. Notably, the student will also gain understanding and experience of integrative systems biology modelling. We aim to identify genes and manipulate them in order to understand the mechanisms that control patterning in plants.

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

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.


Turco, G.M., Kajala, K., Kunde-Ramamoorthy, G., Ngan, C-Y., Olson, A., Deshphande, S., Tolkunov, D., Waring, B., Stelpflug, S., Klein, P., Schmutz, J., Kaeppler, S., Ware, D., Wei, C-L., Etchells, J.P. & Brady, S.M. (2017). DNA methylation and gene expression regulation associated with vascularization in Sorghum bicolor. New Phytologist 214(3): 1213-1229.

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