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RNAi as a pest management tool in Aphids

  • Full or part time
    Dr T Davies
    Dr S Foster
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, December 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

An exciting opportunity for a 3-year AHDB-funded PhD on ‘targeted gene silencing’ to control aphid infestations in UK cereals and oilseeds. This studentship will investigate how best to optimize dsRNAi design and delivery for effective gene knockdown in aphids. There are currently several challenges to be addressed for such an RNAi approach to be effective, including the probability of dsRNA degradation by proteases present in the aphid gut and saliva, efficient uptake and translocation of the dsRNA in crop plants that the aphids feed upon, development of effective topical delivery methods, such as nano-particle conjugation, and achieving a sufficient dose of bio-aphicide to realize good control. To translate RNAi to field applicability, RNAi silencing elicitors will need to be combined with biotic or abiotic systems that mediate both protection and uptake of the eliciting RNAi trigger.

This studentship will be based at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden. Further details on our website.

Funding Notes

The successful student will be supported by the tax-free stipend (£14,777 in 2018/19), for 3 years. In addition, for eligible students, the award will cover fees for UK nationals and a Research and Training Grant to fund their research, conference attendance and networking.

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