Meet over 65 universities on 27 & 28 April GET YOUR FREE TICKET >
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

MSc by Research programme - Mechanisms underlying aphid effector virulence activity

School of Life Sciences

Dundee United Kingdom Agricultural Sciences Biochemistry Molecular Biology

About the Project

Pests and diseases are a major threat to food security with losses ranging between 20-40%. Aphids are one of the most devastating insect pests, globally. These insects form a close association with their host and use specialized mouthparts (stylets), to probe leaf tissue and feed on the phloem over prolonged periods of time. Upon puncturing the leaf epidermis, the stylets follow a mainly extracellular route through the different cell layers to reach the phloem, and puncture cells along the pathway. During probing and feeding, saliva is secreted, which is rich in proteins and small molecules that function as effectors in reprogramming host processes underlying susceptibility. 

Functional characterization studies have implicated several effectors in aphid virulence, indicating that they are important players in plant-aphid interactions. In our bid to attribute function to an increasing number of candidate effectors, the identification of their cellular host targets represents a critical step. We previously initiated an aphid effector host target identification approach to determine the role of effectors in manipulating host cell processes. This led to the identification of 6 different effector-host protein interactions. This project will focus on the characterization of one of these interactions in more detail to understand the role of aphid-host protein interactions in host susceptibility. 

The student will use molecular biology and biochemistry approaches, such mutagenesis, Gateway cloning and co-immunoprecipitation assays, to determine protein regions/amino acids required for protein-protein interactions. In addition, in planta functional assays will be used to explore the link between effector-host protein interactions and susceptibility. These assays will include in planta overexpression and silencing of host proteins as well as aphid effectors, and aphid performance assays. 

The project will help us better understand how aphids are able to manipulate the host to their own benefit, and generate novel insight into the molecular co-evolution of plant-herbivorous insect interactions. 

Please see our website for further details and how to apply -

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here

The information you submit to University of Dundee will only be used by them or their data partners to deal with your enquiry, according to their privacy notice. For more information on how we use and store your data, please read our privacy statement.

* required field

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Search Suggestions

Search Suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.