The introduction of Reduced Height-1 (Rht-1) genes into wheat was critical to the success of the Green Revolution, resulting in substantial increases in grain yields. However, the effectiveness of Rht-1 mutations remains limited by negative pleiotropic effects that compromise productivity. The aim of this project is to characterize wheat mutants and over-expressors of the Phytochrome Interacting Factor (PIF) family of proteins, which are proposed targets of RHT-1, with the long term goal of providing more tailored and productive wheat varieties. To date, we have identified mutants in three TaPIF genes and produced three wheat lines overexpressing PIF proteins. We will characterise the physiology of these lines with respect to growth and development to gain an understanding of the roles of these PIF proteins. We will also use gene editing technologies (CRISPR/Cas9) to target further members of the PIF family to generate combinatorial Tapif mutants. The project is a collaboration with Dr Steve Thomas at Rothamsted Research.
Applications for a PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at: https://studentrecords.soton.ac.uk/BNNRPROD/bzsksrch.P_Login?pos=7187&majr=7187&term=202223
General enquiries should be made to Professor Matthew Terry at [Email Address Removed]. Any queries on the application process should be made to [Email Address Removed]
Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.
The University of Southampton and the School of Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Silver Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.