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Unravelling the plant redox code by chemical proteomics

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Megan Wright
    Prof C Foyer
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can cause oxidative stress and damage in cells. In recent years, the paradigm that oxidation is bad, whilst reduction is good, has been recognized as far too simplistic. We now know that ROS are crucial signaling molecules in both plants and animals, detected by redox-sensitive proteins that act as sensors to regulate cell function, growth, response to the environment and defense. Understanding how the environment controls plant physiology via redox processes could allow us to develop improved crop varieties that are better adapted to survive environmental stress and climate change.

At the molecular level, ROS generate post-translational modifications on specific protein residues, particularly cysteine. However, it is difficult to globally profile these modifications, which may be transient, unstable or low abundance. Unravelling the complex interplay between modifications (the redox code) is even more challenging. In this project you will develop and apply new chemical proteomic methods to understand redox signaling in plants. This will involve the design and synthesis of chemical tools, molecular and cellular biology, and mass spectrometry proteomics. This project is a collaboration between groups with expertise in chemical proteomics (Dr Megan Wright) and plant cell biology (Prof. Christine Foyer).

Funding Notes

BBSRC White Rose Mechanistic Biology DTP 4 year studentship.

Studentships covers UK/EU fees and stipend (c.£14,553) for 4 years to start in Oct 2018. Applicants should have/be expecting at least a 2.1 Hons. degree in a relevant subject. EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency in order to receive full studentship.

Not all projects advertised will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process and the projects selected by the successful candidates will be funded.

There are 2 stages to the application process. Please see our website for more information: http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/postgraduate/phdopportunities.php


Supervisor: MW
Wright MH*, Fetzer C, Sieber SA* (2017). Chemical Probes Unravel an Antimicrobial Defense Response Triggered by Binding of the Human Opioid Dynorphin to a Bacterial Sensor Kinase. JACS, 139: 6152.
Relevance: Chemical proteomics methodology.
Wright MH*, Paape D, Price HP, Smith DF, Tate EW* (2016). Global profiling and inhibition of protein lipidation in vector and host stages of the sleeping sickness parasite Trypanosoma brucei. ACS Infect Dis, 2: 427.
Relevance: Chemical proteomics of post-translational modifications.
Co-supervisor: CF
de Simone A, Hubbard R, Viñegra de la Torre N, Velappan Y, Wilson M, Considine MJ, Soppe WJJ, and Foyer CH* (2017). Redox changes during the cell cycle in the embryonic root meristem of Arabidopsis thaliana. Antioxid Redox Signal. Doi: ARS-2016-6959.
Relevance: Demonstrates redox cycles in the plant cell cycle.
Karpinska B, Owdah Alomrani S, and Foyer CH* (2017). Inhibitor-induced Oxidation of the Nucleus and Cytosol in Arabidopsis thaliana: Implications for Organelle to Nucleus Retrograde Signalling. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 372: 20160392.
Relevance: Organelle redox signaling in plants.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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