Susceptibility of wheat pollen development to temperature stress: utilising temporal and genotypic diversity to develop stress tolerant wheat germplasm
University of Reading
Department/School: University of Reading - School of Agriculture, Policy and Development and University of Nottingham
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Jones, (UoR); Prof Zoe Wilson (Nottingham) and Dr Andy Phillips (Rothamsted Research)
Successful flower development and pollination is critical for the production of most foods. However, this process is particularly vulnerable to abiotic stress, frequently resulting in reduced fertility and yield. This research is aimed at determining the effect of environmental stress on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of male gamete production during wheat development and characterising the variation in response to such stress between different genetic backgrounds.
The research will use the natural variation in pollen formation that is present in different wheat varieties to improve resilience to climatic stress in wheat. This work will involve a molecular genetic analysis of this variation to establish the key effects of heat stress on pollen development. The work has strategic relevance to addressing the challenges farmers face in growing crops under changing climatic conditions. This has direct implications for the food security in the UK and the economic stability of the farming community. The knowledge from this work will support UK cereal breeders in developing genotypes better adapted to shifting climate patterns and, more specifically, increase the stress-tolerance of one of the most vulnerable stages in plant development - pollen formation.
The successful applicant will receive scientific training spanning the physiological analysis of floral development in wheat, microscopy, molecular genetic characterisation of anther development and expression analysis. The student will also be trained in additional transferable skills, such as genetic analyses, data processing and presentation.
The collaboration of which this studentship is an integral part will exploit the excellent facilities and resources available at the three institutions, such as precision control environment facilities at UoR, imaging, facilities for expression and molecular analysis at UoN and wheat genomics facilities at RRes. There is provision within the funding to support any additional costs of visiting/working at the different locations.
The expertise at the Universities of Reading and Nottingham, and at Rothamsted Research provide the framework within which the student will have the opportunity to present results to networks of excellence across industrial and academic centres, including the Defra sponsored WGIN.
Eligibility:Suggested information on eligibility: Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelors Degree in a relevant subject.
Due to restrictions on the funding for this studentship is available for candidates from the UK/EU. International students would require additional funding to cover the difference between Home and International fees.
Funding Details: Start date: Oct 2012
Duration: 3 years
Value of award: Equivalent to standard BBSRC rate (£13,590 pa)
How to apply: For an application form please contact: Anna Mieleszko, Postgraduate Student Office, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, Earley Gate, PO Box 237, Reading, RG6 6AR. Email: email@example.com
Please return application forms with a CV and cover letter to: Prof Zoe Wilson, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leics, LE12 5RD. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please quote the studentship reference number GS12-10 on your application.
Application Deadline: 25/06/2012
Further Enquiries: For further details please contact Zoe Wilson, email@example.com
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Date of input: Wednesday, 20 June
Date of expiry: Monday,
25 June 2012
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South East England
Type / Role:
Agriculture, Food and Veterinary
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