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Utilising sunlight to enhance crop survivial at freezing temperatures

Project Description

This fully funded 4-year PhD studentship is part of a multi-disciplinary €4.9M H2020 grant which will enable a consortium of researchers from across Europe to embark on a project named ‘Boostcrop’. The project will design and develop spray-on sunlight-activated ‘molecular heaters’ to enhance crop growth under cold and freezing stress. Basic research in Arabidopsis thaliana will be performed alongside applied research in a variety of horticultural crops. The student will analyse the impact of leaf heating on plant physiology and productivity across a range of temperatures. Using Arabidopsis as a model, they will additionally use a range of plant physiology and molecular biology approaches to investigate interactions between light and temperature signalling pathways. The project includes a generous allowance for travel to enable interaction with European collaborators and industrial partners.

Funding Notes

Fully funded for 4 years. This includes a stipend at RCUK rates, tuition fees, bench fees and travel.


Hayes, S, Sharma, A, Fraser, D, Trevisan, M, Cragg-Barber, CWK, Tavridou, E, Fankhauser, C, Jenkins, G and Franklin, KA (2017) UV-B perceived by the UVR8 photoreceptor inhibits plant thermomorphogenesis. Current Biology 27,120- 127.

Quint, M, Delker, C, Franklin, KA, Wigge, P, Halliday, K and van Zanten, M (2016) Molecular and genetic control of plant thermomorphogenesis. Nature Plants 2.

Hayes S, Velanis C, Jenkins G and Franklin KA (2014) UV-B detected by the UVR8 photoreceptor antagonizes auxin signalling and plant shade avoidance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111, 11894-11899.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.60

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

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