University of Dundee

Additional Dundee Based Studentships

Project title: S-acylation in plants – Regulating plant function for a greener future

Applications are invited to apply for a Summer Internship, funded by the BBSRC, working in the lab of Dr. Piers Hemsley. The project specifics will be devised in collaboration with the successful applicant to complement existing work in the lab, but will focus on dissecting the role of protein S-acylation in plants. S-acylation is a poorly understood lipid based post-translational modification regulating nearly half of all membrane proteins. As membranes separate the outside world from the inside of the cell, understanding how membrane proteins are regulated is of critical importance for understanding the uptake of virtually all nutrients, how plants perceive their changing environment, detect pathogens, control hormone signalling and regulate their development. Knowing how S-acylation affects membrane protein function is therefore important in many fields including food security, biotechnology and developing greener agricultural practices.  We have recently identified roles for S-acylation in the regulation of cell wall synthesis and pathogen resistance and are currently elucidating the enzymatic mechanisms underlying regulation by S-acylation. Skills developed in the lab will include molecular biology (DNA cloning, PCR, DNA purification), protein biology (e.g. western blotting), biochemistry (e.g. affinity purification), pathology assays and plant tissue culture.

Applicants must be in the middle years of their first degree studies, registered for a basic science (including mathematics and engineering) degree at a UK University and are expected to obtain a first or upper second class UK honours degree. The placement will be based at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie within the Division of Plant Sciences.  Interested students are invited to contact Dr. Piers Hemsley ( for more information.