Networks Underpinning Shoot Branching

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor Christine

By revealing the pathways by which hormones and sugar interact to drive bud outgrowth we aim to have a deeper understanding and well-rounded view of the networks that denote plant architecture and its impact on plant yield.

The project aims to examine the role of Trehalose-6-Phosphate (Tre6P) and the mechanisms involved in underpinning shoot branching and regulation of bud outgrowth in the absence of apical dominance. Tre6P, a sucrose availability signalling molecule, rapidly accumulates in buds after decapitation indicating reallocation of sugars important for bud outgrowth. Tre6P is synthesised by Tre6P synthase (TPS) and dephosphorylated by Tre6P phosphatase (TPP). There are 11 TPSs and 10 TPPs who’s role in the regulation of shoot branching networks and sugar signalling is still unknown. A large part of this PhD project will be to examine Class II TPs and TPPs and their role in the strigalactone signalling pathway, through a combination of molecular biology, plant physiology and reverse genetics.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of plant physiology with an interest in hormone signalling, molecular biology and genetics would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of hormone signalling and plant physiology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of scientific programming (e.g. R) is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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