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Plant genetics and molecular biology - dissecting the role of receptor-like kinases

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

My group is interested in understanding aspects of basic plant biology, primarily through the application of molecular biology and genetics.

Plants are developmentally labile. Unlike animals, their shape changes according to the environment. If a main shoot gets eaten or broken, side shoots will emerge to replace it. The cells in the plant therefore have to respond signals from other plant cells and the environment to determine how they function. Receptors on the cell surface detect many diverse signals to monitor the environment surrounding the cell. One major family of receptors is the receptor-like kinases. We are interested in the functions of a subset of the receptor-like kinases, and how these receptors contribute to plant development and environmental responses. PhD projects are available to dissect the role of receptor-like kinases and related signalling pathway components in plant development (e.g. fertilisation) and environmental responses (e.g. defence against pathogens).

Plants are not only able to respond to immediate environmental conditions. Over the last years it has become increasingly clear that they can also ‘remember’ past conditions, and even the environment in which their parent(s) grew. As the DNA sequence of a plant changes only very slowly, remembrance of the ancestral past is probably via chemical changes to the DNA (epigenetics). Research opportunities are available to study how these memories are encoded, how they affect gene expression and plant growth, and how they affect genome evolution in the medium term.

Science Graduate School
As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

Funding Notes

The applicant will need to find funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses

The applicant should have, or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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