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Copper-handling by Polaris and the metalation-status of ETR1 (Durham)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Robinson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ethylene signalling is central to numerous environmental responses and developmental cues in plants including, for example, fruit ripening and normal root development. Ethylene is sensed via a (bacterial-like) two component sensor ETR1. Such sensors are rare in eukaryotes. ETR1 needs copper in order to bind to the ethylene-effector via an unusual cation-pi interaction. The team has discovered a putative copper-protein that is required for ETR1 activation. Roles of this novel protein in copper supply to ETR1 will be explored. The project exploits complementary Chemistry and Biology facilities in Durham, plus collaboration with the medical School in Newcastle, to provide training in bio-inorganic chemistry, yeast molecular biology, plant molecular genetics and the cell biology of metals.

For further information see the websites: https://www.dur.ac.uk/biosciences/ and https://www.dur.ac.uk/chemistry/

To apply:
Please submit a full CV and covering letter directly to nigel.robinson@durham.ac.uk

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,057 for 2015-16). The PhD will start in September 2016. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.


Osman D, Peirgentilli C, Chen J, Chakrabarti B, Foster AW, Lurie-Luke E, Huggins TG, Robinson NJ. (2015) Generating a metal responsive transcriptional regulator to test what confers metal-sensing in cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290: 19806-19822.

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