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The role of a novel plant orphan gene in wheat resistance to Fusarium head blight disease

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Fiona Doohan
    Dr Paul McCabe
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We have identified a novel wheat gene that (a) enhances wheat resistance to Fusarium head blight disease. We want to determine the mode of action of this gene and its ability to enhance resistance to other biotic and abiotic stresses. We have already developed transgenic wheat over expressing this gene. The successful candidate will use RNAseq to determine the effect of gene over expression on the wheat transcriptome. Using a combination of biochemical, cell biology and molecular biology tools, they will determine the role of this gene in classic plant defence pathways. Using overexpression lines, they will test the ability of the genet enhance resistance to a range of other diseases and abiotic stress conditions.

The successful candidate will have at least a first class honours degree and preferably an MSc degree in plant science. Preference will be given to candidates with an MSc qualification and with laboratory experience (either molecular, biochemical or cell biology). The ideal candidate will have an MSc in Plant Molecular Biology, which included a significant laboratory project. They will demonstrate the ability to critique and evaluate scientific literature and contribute to the project development.

The student will join a team of approx 20 scientists working in this field at UCD. This team is part of the UCD centre for plant science (http://www.ucdplantscience.com). There is no formal closing date - the position will be closed once a suitable candidate is appointed.

Funding Notes

This is a three year project is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and it is a four year studentship. The student fees (EU fees) will be paid. They will also receive an annual stipend of 18000 euro. Non EU students will have to pay an additional 6600 (approx.) in fees per annum. The student will be required to take coursework in years 1,2 (30 ECTS credits).


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