About the Project
In this project we will use a new Amaranth MAGIC population developed by the World Vegetable Center that captures diversity from 8 parents and across two species (A. hypochondriacus and A. cruentus). We have sequenced the genomes of the 8 parent lines (capturing sequence and structural variation) and know they differ in our target traits, including flowering time, branching from the stem base (enhances regrowth), and nutritional profile (particularly under conditions of water deficit). We will genotype the MAGIC population and collect trait data – both from growing the population in field trials in South Africa (with our partners at the Agricultural Research Council) as well as using highly controlled vertical farming systems to mimic the environmental conditions of different locations of smallholder farmers, with our partners LettUs Grow. The research will assess the impact of environment and genotype on our key traits, and identify genomic regions and differences that impact these traits.
This project offers a unique opportunity to combine genotyping, genomics and quantitative genetics with state-of-the-art plant growth technologies (and biochemistry) within research aimed at sustainable development. It also offers the opportunity to gain practical industry experience in a rapidly growing sector (vertical farming) and insights into the practicalities of starting, growing and operating a technology startup company. The collaboration will provide the student with training for a range of subsequent careers, e.g. in practical horticultural industry, the business side of the horticultural industry, knowledge transfer, or an academic career either in crop improvement, plant science, genomics/genetics and/or bioinformatic/computational biology roles in industry or academia.
The White Rose DTP in Mechanistic Biology is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.
Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£15,285 for 2020/21)
UK tuition fees (£4,473 for 2021/22)
Research support and training charges (RSTC)
Placement costs covered by the industrial partner LettUsGrow
International candidates (including EU) will be considered however they will need to have adequate funds to meet the difference in tuition fees. International tuition fees for 2021 entry is £22,250.
START DATE: 1st October 2021
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