Epigenetic regulation of plant reproductive development (FENG_J18DTP)
- Research Area Agriculture and Food Security
- Partner The John Innes Centre (JIC)
Dr Xiaoqi Feng -
- Application Deadline 27/11/2017
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants is carried out by highly specialised lines of cells, called the sexual lineages. A fundamental but unresolved question is how the reproductive function and fate are installed and maintained precisely in these cell lineages. Preliminary studies in the Feng Group suggest that an epigenetic pathway promotes sexual lineage development via controlling genic DNA methylation, thereby contributing to the shift of gene expression during transition from somatic to reproductive development. This PhD project aims to investigate the molecular mechanism by which the DNA methylation pathway regulates sexual lineage development in the model plant Arabidopsis, using a combination of genetics, molecular and cell biology, epigenetics and genomics. This work will demonstrate, for the first time, how an epigenetic pathway can be tailored in a specific lineage of cells to convey precise biological functions, laying a foundation for the study of epigenetic regulation of plant development.
Working at the interface of developmental biology and epigenetics, you will greatly benefit from the scientific trainings in both fields. This project involves state-of-the-art techniques of molecular biology, flow cytometry, microscopy, high-throughput sequencing, and bioinformatics (eg. dealing with epigenomic data). You will receive support from a multidisciplinary group, and be encouraged and funded to attend conferences. JIC has a world class PhD training programme, providing not only top infrastructure and academic environment for your research, but also a number of training courses on transferable skills such as project management, presentation and leadership skills to promote your all-around development and employability.