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Understanding protein impact on soft wheat flour functionality: identification of protein markers for soft wheat breeding.

Project Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to work at pre-breeding of soft wheat, specifically targeting its processing quality for the bakery sector. The project is funded via a BBSRC-CTP and the research will be carried out in collaboration with Mondelez, where the student will take up a placement during the course of the studentship. Milling wheat is categorised into two commercial classes, soft and hard, according to the milling energy required to produce the flour. Soft wheat produces flour with low starch damage, which is ideal for the production of bakery products such as biscuits and crackers, but the quality of different soft wheat products is underpinned by different protein networking characteristics. For example, the manufacturing of crackers requires the formation of a strong, elastic gluten while this could be detrimental to the manufacture of cookies, since it may cause excessive shrinking, compromising s their size and shape. This project seeks to identify specific gluten protein subunits/clusters responsible for the formation of either extensible or strong/elastic gluten in a soft wheat background. This will be achieved via quantitative genetic dissection of the relevant biochemical and functional traits in field-grown grain samples of a multi-parent mapping population expected to have a high degree of variability at the loci encoding for gluten proteins using industry standard dough functionality prediction tests and advanced proteomics.
Individuals with a background in plant science and a strong interest in wheat processing quality and genetic research are especially encouraged to apply for this unique PhD opportunity.
Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree (or equivelent) or a Masters in a relevant subject.

For further enquiries please contact Dr Paola Tosi (subject : mondelez PhD)

Funding Notes

The four year award to start in January 2020 or as soon after, covers tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 for 2019/20). Due to restrictions on funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students only. EU students are eligible for fees only funding, unless they have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years.
To apply for this project please submit an application for a PhD in Crop Sciences quoting reference GS19-026 at View Website. This studentship will be advertised until a suitable candidate is found.

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