PhD studentship in wheat pathology and molecular genetics - examination of ear diseases of wheat; Ergot caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea (Cp) and Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), caused by a Fusarium pathogen complex.
Applications are invited for a four year BBSRC-sponsored PhD student position in wheat pathology and molecular genetics to work with Drs Anna Gordon, Alison Bentley and Lesley Boyd at NIAB, Cambridge. This targeted studentship is part of the University of Cambridge DTP programme and standard DTP stipend applies. In year 1 the student will undertake two rotation projects and receive taught courses in statistics. They will also carry out a non-academic Professional Internship for PhD (PIP).
The project at NIAB will involve the examination of two important ear diseases of wheat; Ergot caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea (Cp) and Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), caused by a Fusarium pathogen complex.
Ground-breaking research at NIAB indicates that Cp co-opts the plant’s Gibberellic Acid (GA) pathways to establish infection and reproduce. Partial resistance to Ergot has been found to co-locate with the wheat dwarfing genes, Rht-1Bb and Rht-1Db (Gordon et al 2015; TAG 128: 2447), and wheat transgenic lines over-expressing a bean GA2 oxidase 1 gene specifically in ovules results in reduced Cp infection. Resistance to FHB has also been shown to be linked to the wheat dwarfing genes (Srinivasachary et al 2009; TAG 118: 695). The project will investigate the role of GA and hormone signalling in the development of these two fungal diseases.
The successful applicant should have a background in biological science and an interest in plant science and plant pathology. Knowledge of quantitative genetics and molecular biology, or a willingness to develop the relevant skills, will be an essential requirement. Previous experience in bioinformatics is also desirable. The successful applicant must be willing to work in a range of conditions, including in the field, and previous experience working with cereal crops is desirable.
For more details about the research please contact Dr Anna Gordon; [Email Address Removed]
The studentship will cover a stipend (currently £14,057 pa), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by the BBSRC: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/documents/studentship-eligibility-pdf/
The student will be registered at Cambridge University. If you have any queries about your eligibility please contact Sandra O'Neill, Graduate Secretary on [Email Address Removed].
To apply, please email a covering letter, CV and publications list to: [Email Address Removed] or post to the HR Office, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, quoting reference T/306.
Closing date for applications: 21 February 2016.
Details on the University of Cambridge DTP Programme can be found at: http://bbsrcdtp.lifesci.cam.ac.uk/dtpprog