This PhD project will provide comprehensive training for the successful candidate in potato genetics (diploid and tetraploid) as well as plant-pathogen genomics/co-evolution. The student will generate and analyse state-of-the-art Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data for the genetic mapping and the cloning of resistances effective against the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans in established segregating populations.
Receptor-like kinases are the principal means by which plants perceive their physical extracellular environment. As a result Receptor-like kinases regulate many aspects of development, pathogen perception, interaction with nodulating bacteria and cell wall remodelling and as a result are of particular interest for improving plant responses to environmental perturbations such as climate change and emerging pathogens or improving food yield.
Plants perceive extracellular physical stimuli, such pathogens, symbionts, hormones or cell wall stress, through Receptor-like kinases. Activation of Receptor-like kinases leads to intracellular signalling through multiple routes from the plasma membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus . S-acylation is a lipid based post-translational modification known to regulate many aspects of protein function including affinity for membranes and membrane microdomains.
Mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics is the method of choice for characterizing proteins to understand biological functions and processes, elucidate signalling networks, discover disease biomarkers for human and identify key genes underlying important traits in plants. Computational methods for proteomics play an essential role in interpreting MS data and generating biological insights, but their potentials remains to be fully exploited. Particularly in a plant proteomics experiments, fewer than 20% of the high-quality MS/MS spectra acquired can be meaningfully interpreted.
Huge potential exists for using waste plant biomass (straw, grain husks etc) as a renewable and sustainable feedstock for making fuels and chemicals or as animal feed. Using plant biomass for industrial biotechnology in a bio-based economy will displace the use of oil and fossil fuels, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions and mitigating climate change. Plant biomass is largely composed of plant cell walls which are naturally recalcitrant to being broken down into components that can be fermented into useful products or used in industrial processes.
A Plant Scientist in Dundee has been awarded almost £1.25 million to study the interaction between plants and soil microbes, with the ultimate aim of boosting sustainable food production.
Three new funding awards from the Global Challenges Research Fund were recently made to research teams in the Division of Plant Sciences.